Books  Zoology  Ornithology  Australasia 

Where Song Began: Australia's Birds and How They Changed the World

Coming Soon

By: Tim Low (Author)

422 pages, 16 plates with colour photos and colour illustrations; b/w illustrations

Yale University Press

Paperback | Aug 2016 | #231421 | ISBN-13: 9780143572817
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £23.50 $29/€26 approx
Paperback | Jul 2014 | #215645 | ISBN-13: 9780670077960
Availability: In stock
Clearance price: £13.05 £28.99 (Save £15.94) $16/€15 approx
Hardback | Nov 2016 | #227101 | ISBN-13: 9780300221664
Available for pre-order: Due Nov 2016 Details
NHBS Special Offer Price: £14.99 £19.99 (Save £5.00) $18/€17 approx (ends 31/12/2016)

About this book

Renowned for its unusual mammals, Australia is a land of birds that are just as unusual, a result of the continent's tens of millions of years of isolation. Compared with birds elsewhere, ours are more likely to be intelligent, aggressive and loud, to live in complex societies, and to be large and long-lived. They're also ecologically more powerful, exerting more influences on forests than other birds. But unlike the mammals, the birds did not keep to Australia; they spread around the globe. Australia provided the world with its songbirds and parrots, the most intelligent of all bird groups. Low has a rare gift for illuminating complex ideas in highly readable prose, here he brilliantly explains how our birds came to be so extraordinary, including the large role played by the foods they consume (birds, too, are what they eat), and by our climate, soil, fire, and Australia's legacy as a part of Gondwana. The story of its birds, it turns out, is inseparable from the story of Australia itself, and one that continues to unfold, so much having changed in the last decade about what we know of our ancient past. Where Song Began also shines a light on New Guinea as a biological region of Australia, as much a part of the continent as Tasmania. This is a work that goes far beyond the birds themselves to explore the relationships between Australia's birds and its people, and the ways in which scientific prejudice have hindered our understanding.

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