Sparrows are often considered familiar to the point of invisibility, but the recent steep decline in numbers of both native British species is a reminder that these unassuming chatterboxes deserve a little more attention.
Of all the true sparrow species found worldwide, only two occur in the British Isles: the House Sparrow and the Tree Sparrow. Globally, the story of the House Sparrow is one of dramatic expansion from humble origins in the Middle East; while the smaller, more active Tree Sparrow has also spread extensively. Both species have been heavily persecuted to surprisingly little effect until recent years.
In Spotlight Sparrows, Amy-Jane Beer examines the causes behind the recent decline of these familiar species, and explores their biology and life cycle, social behaviour, and the significant role that sparrows play in human culture, from classical civilisation to Shakespeare, Edith Piaf and Captain Jack Sparrow.
- Meet the Sparrows
- Global Citizens
- Sparrow Bodies
- Daily Dramas
- It Takes Two
- Circle of Life
- Sparrows in Culture
- From Persecution to Conservation
Amy-Jane Beer has written more than 30 books about science and natural history including Cool Nature and The A-Z of Wildlife Watching. Her expertise has also seen her edit at a number of wildlife publications including Animals, Animals, Animals and Wildlife World magazine. Beer is a Country Diarist for the Guardian, and feature writer for BBC Wildlife magazine, BBC Countryfile and the Yorkshire Post.
Praise for the first edition:
"With courage and verve, and in a style accessible to general readers, Jablonka and Lamb lay out some of the exciting new pathways of Darwinian evolution that have been uncovered by contemporary research."
– Evelyn Fox Keller, MIT, author of Making Sense of Life: Explaining Biological Development with Models, Metaphors, and Machines
"In their beautifully written and impressively argued new book, Jablonka and Lamb show that the evidence from more than fifty years of molecular, behavioral and linguistic studies forces us to reevaluate our inherited understanding of evolution."
– Oren Harman, The New Republic
"It is not only an enjoyable read, replete with ideas and facts of interest but it does the most valuable thing a book can do – it makes you think and reexamine your premises and long-held conclusions."
– Adam Wilkins, BioEssays