An hourly guide that follows twenty-four birds as they find food, mates, and safety from predators.
From morning to night and from the Antarctic to the equator, birds have busy days. In this short book, ornithologist Mark E. Hauber shows readers exactly how birds spend their time. Each chapter covers a single bird during a single hour, highlighting twenty-four different bird species from around the globe, from the tropics through the temperate zones to the polar regions. We encounter owls and nightjars hunting at night and kiwis and petrels finding their way in the dark. As the sun rises, we witness the beautiful songs of the "dawn chorus." At eleven o'clock in the morning, we float alongside a common pochard, a duck resting with one eye open to avoid predators. At eight that evening, we spot a hawk swallowing bats whole, gorging on up to fifteen in rapid succession before retreating into the darkness.
For each chapter, award-winning artist Tony Angell has depicted these scenes with his signature pen and ink illustrations, which grow increasingly light and then dark as our bird day passes. Working closely together to narrate and illustrate these unique moments in time, Hauber and Angell have created an engaging read that is a perfect way to spend an hour or two – and a true gift for readers, amateur scientists, and birdwatchers.
Midnight: Barn Owl (Worldwide)
1 AM: Little Spotted Kiwi (New Zealand)
2 AM: Oilbird (South America)
3 AM: Kakapo (New Zealand)
4 AM: Common Nightingale (Eurasia)
5 AM: Brown-Headed Cowbird (North America)
6 AM (Sunrise): Silvereye (Australasia)
7 AM: Bee Hummingbird (Caribbean)
8 AM: American Robin (North America)
9 AM: Eclectus Parrot (Australasia)
10 AM: Indian Peafowl (Asia, Introduced Worldwide)
11 AM: Common Pochard (Eurasia)
Noon: Ocellated Antbird (Central America)
1 PM: Secretary Bird (Africa)
2 PM: Emperor Penguin (Antarctica)
3 PM: Superb Starling (Africa)
4 PM: Common Cuckoo (Eurasia)
5 PM: Indian Myna (Asia, Introduced Worldwide)
6 PM (Sunset): Standard-Winged Nightjar (Africa)
7 PM: Great Snipe (Eurasia)
8 PM: Bat Hawk (Africa and Asia)
9 PM: Black-Crowned Night Heron (Worldwide)
10 PM: Cook’s Petrel (New Zealand)
11 PM: European Robin (Eurasia)
Mark E. Hauber is the Harley Jones Van Cleave Professor of Host-Parasite Interactions in Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he teaches ornithology. He is the author of The Book of Eggs, also published by the University of Chicago Press. Tony Angell is the author and illustrator of over a dozen books related to natural history, including The House of Owls and In the Company of Crows and Ravens.
"'What do birds do all day long?' Ecology professor Hauber answers this question by taking an hour-by-hour, worldwide tour of two dozen bird species [...] Short vignettes about each bird are beautifully illustrated with Tony Angell's lively drawings, bringing the wonders of bird behavior to life."
"Bird Day is a brisk, high concept read. It lends the reader a pair of giant wings to soar across the globe, peeking in each hour on the lives of the world's most fascinating birds. Author Mark Hauber is a research ornithologist, and the text often draws upon his studies. We meet cooperatively breeding superb starlings; a secretary bird that stomps venomous snakes into submission; a duck, keeping one eye open while sound asleep; a bat hawk that swallows its nocturnal prey whole. Lushly patterned chiaroscuro drawings by Tony Angell heighten the mystery and delight of these tall-but-true bird tales."
– Julie Zickefoose, author and illustrator of Letters from Eden, The Bluebird Effect, Baby Birds, and Saving Jemima
"One could not ask for two better field companions than Mark Hauber and Tony Angell as they observe some of the world's most interesting birds. Their book gives us all new ways of seeing, hearing, and thinking about them – hour by hour – without ever leaving home."
– Robert McCracken Peck, author of A Celebration of Birds and The Natural History of Edward Lear
"A wonderful book that simultaneously made me nostalgic about a cave full of oilbirds in Trinidad and a kiwi running between my legs in a New Zealand sleet storm – and further informed me about the lives of birds. A brilliant collaboration between a first-rate behaviorist and my favorite bird artist."
– Paul R. Ehrlich, author of Life: A Journey through Science and Politics and The Birder's Handbook
"As much a meditation as a book, Hauber and Angell's Bird Day gives us a bird to think about at each hour of the day and night. They take us around the world, visiting birds including the brown-headed cowbird (5 a.m.), Hauber's own research subject, the ocellated antbird (noon), Cook's petrel in New Zealand (10 p.m.), and twenty-one others. The narrative brilliantly captures the moment; the art makes the moment come alive. Bird Day is an excellent pairing of text and art, one I will return to again and again as the hours go by."
– Joan E. Strassmann, author of Slow Birding: The Art and Science of Enjoying the Birds in Your Own Backyard