Who knew that the morepork, New Zealand's forest-dwelling owl, can turn its head 270 degrees? Or that the eastern bar-tailed godwit doubles its body weight before undertaking an epic and continuous migration of 11,000 kilometres? Or that the tui has a specially placed voicebox, enabling it to duet with itself, sometimes producing sounds too high-frequency for humans to hear? Zany, off-kilter, wondrous and wild, The Brilliance of Birds gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the lives of some of New Zealand's feathered friends.
Skye Wishart is a journalist with a passion for science writing. Her degree in biochemistry and plant genetics initially led her to work in marine research in the South Island; then, after a sojourn in science journal publishing, she turned to the written word. Skye has written news for New Zealand Geographic magazine since 2009, as well as features and communications for other magazines and corporate clients. Skye grew up on a hill-country station outside Gisborne but is now based in Torbay, Auckland, with her husband and young family. She loves the great outdoors-hiking, surfing and ocean swimming.
Edin Whitehead is a seabird scientist and award-winning photographer who spends most of her time hanging out with petrels and shearwaters in the Hauraki Gulf. If she were a bird, she would be one of these ocean wanderers. Mixing science with photography, her birdventures have covered Aotearoa from north to south – including the remote Kermadec, Chatham and subantarctic islands. Her PhD research focuses on seabirds as the sentinels of marine ecosystems, monitoring how environmental change impacts on their health.