Darryl Jones, author of Feeding the Birds at Your Table, reveals the not-so-secret lives of the most common birds that share Australia's towns and cities.
Despite the noise, heat, dust and fumes, the ceaseless movement, light and toxins, many birds successfully live their lives among us. And not just furtively in the shadows. Ibis steal our lunch, brush-turkeys rearrange gardens and magpies chase us from near their nest.
From blackbirds and sparrows in his childhood country town to brush-turkeys in the suburbs, Darryl Jones shares a fascinating story of curiosity, discovery, adventure and conflict, played out in the streets and backyards of Australia. He also provides rare insights into the intimate lives of some of our most beloved and feared, despised and admired neighbours. Magpies, curlews, ibis, lorikeets and cockatoos will never seem the same again.
Darryl Jones is a Professor of Ecology at Griffith University in Brisbane, where for over 30 years he has been investigating the many ways that people and wildlife interact. He is particularly interested in why some species are extremely successful in urban landscapes, while many others are not, and how best to deal with the ensuing conflicts. More recently, he has been trying to understand more about the humans that also live in cities in large numbers, and how they engage with nature. This has led him into the strange and fascinating world of wild bird feeding and has resulted in collaborations with other researchers all over the world. He has published six books, including The Birds at My Table and Feeding the Birds at Your Table.
"What happens when nature comes to town? Darryl Jones has written a witty, rollicking account of his encounters with the ingenious creatures that make our urban homes their own. A wild, wonderful journey in the spirit of Gerald Durrell, unexpected and delightful, full of insight, humour and humility. Anyone who loves birds, nature and superb storytelling will love this book!"
– Jennifer Ackerman, author of The Genius of Birds
"As rare a delight as the urban curlews of the title, this is a thoroughly enjoyable account of the value that all birds, even the common ones we see every day, bring to our lives. We often talk about why birds matter. Darryl Jones shows how even backyard birds have the capacity to enrich and bring wonder to our lives."
– Sean Dooley, author of The Big Twitch
"Darryl Jones confirms what many people suspect, that ecologists lead fun lives."
– Tim Low, author of Where Song Began