324 pages, 50 b/w illustrations
One of our most eloquent nature writers offers a passionate and informative celebration of birds and their ability to help us understand the world we live in. As well as exploring how birds achieve the miracle of flight; why birds sing; what they tell us about the seasons of the year and what their presence tells us about the places they inhabit, The Meaning of Birds muses on the uses of feathers, the drama of raptors, the slaughter of pheasants, the infidelities of geese, and the strangeness of feeling sentimental about blue tits while enjoying a chicken sandwich. From the mocking-birds of the Galapagos who guided Charles Darwin toward his evolutionary theory, to the changing patterns of migration that alert us to the reality of contemporary climate change, Simon Barnes explores both the intrinsic wonder of what it is to be a bird – and the myriad ways in which birds can help us understand the meaning of life.
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Simon Barnes is the multi-award-winning former chief sportswriter for The Times. He is also a novelist, nature writer and horseman, and the author of over 20 books, including the bestselling How to be a Bad Birdwatcher.