480 pages, B/w illus
All animals are equal - but some, as George Orwell said, are more equal than others, and birds, most people would surely agree, are in the very first rank. They can do almost everything that mammals can do - and more. By mastering flight, they have a way of living that encompasses the whole world. In "The Secret Life of Birds", Colin Tudge explores the life of birds, all around the globe. From the secrets of migration to their complicated family lives, their differing habitats and survival techniques to the secrets of flight, this is a fascinating account of how birds live, why they matter, and whether they really are dinosaurs.
Colin Tudge shows how birds - who are like us in the general sense but very different in the particulars - live and think. For birds have minds: they feel, they are aware, they work things out. And so, by considering the birds, asking how and why it is possible for them to be so different, we gain insight into ourselves. Birds are beautiful, lively, intriguing - and all around us. This rich and endlessly absorbing book opens up their lives to everyone.
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When Colin Tudge was a small boy, he could recognize only five kinds of birds. Following a childhood spent at London Zoo and in conversation with a bird-watching cousin, he began to perceive that 'ordinary birds' included pipits and wagtails, terns and kestrels, and a miscellany of crows, not all of which were black. So began a lifelong interest in birds and how they live. After studying zoology at Cambridge, Colin wrote for the New Scientist and was a documentary maker for BBC radio. Now a full-time writer, he appears regularly as a public speaker. A Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, he was a visiting Research Fellow at the Centre of Philosophy at the London School of Economics for ten years.