Synopses & Reviews
Meet the ladies: a flock of smart, affectionate, highly individualistic chickens who visit their favorite neighbors, devise different ways to hide from foxes, and mob the author like sheand#8217;s a rock star. In these pages youand#8217;ll also meet Maya and Zuni, two orphaned baby hummingbirds who hatched from eggs the size of navy beans, and who are little more than air bubbles fringed with feathers. Their lives hang precariously in the balanceand#8212;but with human help, they may one day conquer the sky. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Snowball is a cockatoo whose dance video went viral on YouTube and whoand#8217;s now teaching schoolchildren how to dance. Youand#8217;ll meet Harrisand#8217;s hawks named Fire and Smoke. And youand#8217;ll come to know and love a host of other avian characters who will change your mind forever about who birds really are. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Each of these birds shows a different and utterly surprising aspect of what makes a bird a birdand#8212;and these are the lessons of andlt;iandgt;Birdologyandlt;/iandgt;: that birds are far stranger, more wondrous, and at the same time more like us than we might have dared to imagine. In andlt;iandgt;Birdology, andlt;/iandgt;beloved author of andlt;iandgt;The Good Good Pig andlt;/iandgt;Sy Montgomery explores the essence of the otherworldly creatures we see every day. By way of her adventures with seven birdsand#8212;wild, tame, exotic, and commonand#8212;she weaves new scientific insights and narrative to reveal seven kernels of bird wisdom. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;The first lesson of andlt;iandgt;Birdology andlt;/iandgt;is that, no matter how common they are, Birds Are Individuals, as each of Montgomeryand#8217;s distinctive Ladies clearly shows. In the leech-infested rain forest of Queensland, youand#8217;ll come face to face with a cassowaryand#8212;a 150-pound, man-tall, flightless bird with a helmet of bone on its head and a slashing razor-like toenail with which it (occasionally) eviscerates peopleand#8212;proof that Birds Are Dinosaurs. Youand#8217;ll learn from hawks that Birds Are Fierce; from pigeons, how Birds Find Their Way Home; from parrots, what it means that Birds Can Talk; and from 50,000 crows who moved into a small cityand#8217;s downtown, that Birds Are Everywhere. They are the winged aliens who surround us. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;iandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Birdology andlt;/iandgt;explains just how very "other" birds are: Their hearts look like those of crocodiles. They are covered with modified scales, which are called feathers. Their bones are hollow. Their bodies are permeated with extensive air sacs. They have no hands. They give birth to eggs. Yet despite birdsand#8217; and humansand#8217; disparate evolutionary paths, we share emotional and intellectual abilities that allow us to communicate and even form deep bonds. When we begin to comprehend who birds really are, we deepen our capacity to approach, understand, and love these otherworldly creatures. And this, ultimately, is the priceless lesson of andlt;iandgt;Birdologyandlt;/iandgt;: it communicates a heartfelt fascination and awe for birds and restores our connection to these complex, mysterious fellow creatures.
About the Author
andlt;Bandgt;Sy Montgomeryandlt;/Bandgt; is a naturalist, author, documentary scriptwriter, and radio commentator who writes for children as well as adults. Among her award-winning books are andlt;iandgt;The Good Good Pig, Journey of the Pink Dolphinsandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Spell of the Tigerandlt;/iandgt;, and andlt;iandgt;Search for the Golden Moon Bearandlt;/iandgt;. She has made four trips to Peru and Brazil to study the pink dolphins of the Amazon; and on other expeditions, she was chased by an angry silverback gorilla in Zaire; bitten by a vampire bat in Costa Rica; undressed by an orangutan in Borneo; and hunted by a tiger in India. She also worked in a pit crawling with eighteen thousand snakes in Manitoba; handled a wild tarantula in French Guiana; and swum with piranhas, electric eels, and dolphins in the Amazon. Research for this book included travel to China and Mongolia to see the latest discoveries of giant bird fossils, and to Australia to see the most dangerous birds in the world. She lives in New Hampshire.