The Thing with Feathers: The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal about Being Human

Author(s): Noah Strycker


An entertaining and profound look at the lives of birds, illuminating their surprising world--and deep connection with humanity. Birds are highly intelligent animals, yet their intelligence is dramatically different from our own and has been little understood. As scientists come to understand more about the secrets of bird life, they are unlocking fascinating insights into memory, game theory, and the nature of intelligence itself. "The Thing with Feathers "explores the astonishing homing abilities of pigeons, the good deeds of fairy-wrens, the influential flocking abilities of starlings, the deft artistry of bowerbirds, the extraordinary memories of nutcrackers, the lifelong loves of albatross, and other mysteries--revealing why birds do what they do, and offering a glimpse into our own nature. Noah Strycker is a birder and naturalist who has traveled the world in pursuit of his flighty subjects. Drawing deep from personal experience, cutting-edge science, and colorful history, he spins captivating stories about the birds in our midst and reveals the startlingly intimate coexistence of birds and humans. With humor, style, and grace, he shows how our view of the world is often, and remarkably, through the experience of birds. Beautiful and wise, funny and insightful, "The Thing with Feathers "is a gripping and enlightening journey into the lives of birds.


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Praise for "The Thing with Feathers" "Mr. Strycker has the ability to write about the worlds of man and fowl without simplifying either.... He thinks like a biologist but writes like a poet, and one of the small pleasures of "The Thing With Feathers" is watching him distill empirical research into lyrical imagery.... Part the palm fronds behind his sentences, and you can almost see the British naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough standing there in a pith helmet, smiling with amused approval at Mr. Strycker's off-center sensibility." - "Wall Street Journal" "Lovely, provocative..." - Robert Krulwich, NPR "Fascinating" - "Minneapolis Star-Tribune" ""The Things With Feathers" will encourage you to take a closer look at the natural world around you, and perhaps learn more not only about what you see but who you are." - "Seattle Times" "[Strycker] combines the latest in ornithological science with snippets of history and his own vast experience in the field to hatch a thoroughly entertaining examination of bird behavior... In Strycker's absorbing survey, we find out how much fun it is simply to watch them." - "Booklist," STARRED "[Strycker's] prose is difficult to stop reading." - "Publishers Weekly" "A delightful book with broad appeal." - "Kirkus Reviews" "A dazzling variety of avian subjects, including connections between birds and humans." - "Library Journal" "Noah Strycker explores the increasing likelihood that birds enjoy a vastly richer intellectual, emotional and even artistic life than we smug humans have ever suspected. Read this book." - Scott Weidensaul, author of "Living on the Wind" and "The First Frontier" "A thoughtful, engaging book, encompassing pigeon races, physics, vulture baiting, the Backstreet Boys, and a mathematical model applicable to both tennis rankings and chicken hierarchies--a work of dazzling range, nimbly written." - Brian Kimberling, author of "Sna

Noah Strycker has studied birds in some of the world's most extreme environments, and is associate editor of the American Birding Association's flagship magazine, "Birding." His previous book, " Among Penguins," describes a summer studying penguins in an isolated Antarctic field camp. Strycker writes, lectures, and lives near Eugene, Oregon, between field seasons.

General Fields

  • : 9781594486357
  • : Penguin Putnam Inc
  • : Riverhead Books,U.S.
  • : 213mm X 142mm X 30mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Noah Strycker
  • : Hardback
  • : 598.07234
  • : 288
  • : black & white illustrations