280 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations
When we see a bird flying from branch to branch happily chirping, it is easy to imagine they lead a simple life of freedom, flight, and feathers. What we don't see is the arduous, life-threatening challenges they face at every moment.
In Beaks, Bones, and Bird Songs ornithologist Roger Lederer guides the reader through the myriad, and often almost miraculous, things that birds do every day to merely stay alive. Like the goldfinch, who manages extreme weather changes by doubling the density of their plumage in winter. Or urban birds who navigate traffic through a keen understanding of posted speed limits. In engaging and accessible prose, Lederer shares how and why birds use their sensory abilities to see ultraviolet, find food without seeing it, fly thousands of miles without stopping, change their songs in noisy cities, navigate by smell, and much more.
Roger Lederer has studied bird behavior for more than thirty years. In Beaks, Bones, and Bird Songs he shares this knowledge in an entertaining and eye-opening way that will be widely embraced by birders and nature lovers.
"[...] This is a book that should appeal to anyone with an interest in birds; from the complete beginner to the more knowledgeable, almost everyone will learn something from this book."
– Ruth Walker, BTO book reviews
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Dr. Roger Lederer is Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at California State University, Chico. His expertise is in ecology and ornithology, and he has published over 30 scientific research papers and six books, including Ecology and Field Biology, Amazing Birds, and Birds of New England. He has been consulted by many organizations and individuals, including: the BBC, National Geographic, National Public Radio, National Canadian Television, the Guinness Book of World Records, and New Scientist.