To see accurate pricing, please choose your delivery country.
 
 
United States
£ GBP
All Shops
We're still open for business - read our EU and Covid-19 statements

British Wildlife

8 issues per year 84 pages per issue Subscription only

British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

Subscriptions from £40 per year

Conservation Land Management

4 issues per year 44 pages per issue Subscription only

Conservation Land Management (CLM) is a quarterly magazine that is widely regarded as essential reading for all who are involved in land management for nature conservation, across the British Isles. CLM includes long-form articles, events listings, publication reviews, new product information and updates, reports of conferences and letters.

Subscriptions from £18 per year
Academic & Professional Books  Ornithology  Biology, Ecology & Behaviour

The Secret Perfume of Birds Uncovering the Science of Avian Scent

Popular Science Coming Soon SPECIAL OFFER
By: Danielle J Whittaker(Author)
312 pages, 11 b/w photos, 14 b/w illustrations
NHBS
Challenging the widespread belief that birds cannot smell, Whittaker describes here her research on this overlooked bird sense, mixing science, intellectual history, and memoir.
The Secret Perfume of Birds
Click to have a closer look
  • The Secret Perfume of Birds ISBN: 9781421443478 Hardback Mar 2022 Available for pre-order : Due Mar 2022
    £17.99 £20.50
    #254367
Price: £17.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

The puzzling lack of evidence for the peculiar but widespread belief that birds have no sense of smell irked evolutionary biologist Danielle Whittaker. Exploring the science behind the myth led her on an unexpected quest investigating mysteries from how juncos win a fight to why cowbirds smell like cookies. In The Secret Perfume of Birds – part science, part intellectual history, and part memoir – Whittaker blends humour, clear writing, and a compelling narrative to describe how scent is important not just for birds but for all animals, including humans.

Whittaker engagingly describes how emerging research has uncovered birds' ability to produce complex chemical signals that influence their behaviour, including where they build nests when they pick a fight, and why they fly away. Mate choice, or sexual selection – a still enigmatic aspect of many animals' lives – appears to be particularly influenced by smell. Whittaker's pioneering studies suggest that birds' sexy (and scary) signals are produced by symbiotic bacteria that manufacture scents in the oil that birds stroke on their feathers when preening. From tangerine-scented auklets to her beloved juncos, redolent of moss, birds from across the world feature in Whittaker's stories, but she also examines the smelly chemicals of all kinds of creatures, from iguanas and bees to monkeys and humans.

Readers will enjoy a rare opportunity to witness the twisting roads scientific research can take, especially the challenging, hilarious, and occasionally dangerous realities of ornithology in the wild. The Secret Perfume of Birds will interest anyone looking to learn more about birds, about how animals and humans use our senses, and about why it can sometimes take a rebel scientist to change what we think we know for sure about the world – and ourselves.

Contents

Preface

Chapter 1. The Most Ancient and Fundamental Sense
Chapter 2. Following the Bird's Nose
Chapter 3. Deciphering the Secrets of Smells
Chapter 4. What Does Sexy Smell Like?
Chapter 5. Making Scents of Bacteria
Chapter 6. Thanks for Sharing
Chapter 7. Major Histocompatibility Complex, or Magical Happiness Controller?
Chapter 8. Girl Power

Afterword: A Breath of Fresh Air

Customer Reviews

Biography

Danielle J. Whittaker (Lansing, Michigan) is the managing director of the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action at Michigan State University, where she is an instructor and the graduate program director in the Department of Integrative Biology.

Popular Science Coming Soon SPECIAL OFFER
By: Danielle J Whittaker(Author)
312 pages, 11 b/w photos, 14 b/w illustrations
NHBS
Challenging the widespread belief that birds cannot smell, Whittaker describes here her research on this overlooked bird sense, mixing science, intellectual history, and memoir.
Media reviews

"Covering a topic even expert birders would find intriguing, The Secret Perfume of Birds explores new territory related to neuroscience in an accessible yet scholarly way. Whittaker's writing style will be compelling to anyone who enjoys learning more about natural history. This fascinating book will make a great addition to current popular nonfiction literature."
– Laurie Spry, New England naturalist, birder, and educator

"This fun and fascinating book dispels the myth that birds can't smell, a topic largely overlooked since the time of Audubon. Whittaker uses her own unusual backstory to lead us through many interwoven layers that comprise the field (and lab) experience of bird olfaction, mate choice, and social behavior. She cleverly introduces us to bird scent at multiple levels of biological complexity (microbes to immune function to behavior) and provides comparisons across taxa, including humans. The Secret Perfume of Birds enables readers, for the first time, to master an understanding of how scents feature in the lives of birds while sharing with us the 'wow factor' that scientists experience when they discover how nature actually works!"
– Julie C. Hagelin, University of Alaska

Current promotions
British WildlifePrincetonCollins Birds of the World - 30% off pre-orderOrder your free copy of our 2021 equipment catalogues