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Extreme Birds: The World's Most Extraordinary and Bizarre Birds
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Extreme Birds: The World's Most Extraordinary and Bizarre Birds

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  46 ratings  ·  13 reviews
"A photographic showcase of 150 birds at the extremes of nature."

Extreme Birds reveals nature's ingenuity and sometimes its sense of humor. The species showcased in this book are chosen for their extraordinary characteristics and for behaviors far beyond the typical. They are the biggest, the fastest, the meanest, the smartest. They build the most intricate nests, they hav
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published October 10th 2008 by Firefly Books
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Super Underrated Books (Fewer than 50 Ratings)
473rd out of 1,003 books — 212 voters
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Community Reviews

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Elaine Meszaros
Holy heck! Who knew birds were so interesting and diverse? I mean, yes, lots of colors, some in the tundra, some in trees, some in water, big feathers, little bills, twit twit, caw caw. But birds with neurotoxins on their feathers? Or ones that create and use tools? How about birds that perform dances cross-species to help one species mate? Here are birds that kick their prey to death...including humans! Some birds spend their entire lives building intricate nests, replete with pebbled walkways ...more
Last Ranger

And The Winner Is------

This extraordinary picture book is like an oversized Field Guide to strange and unusual birds. It's also a testament to the power and creativity of Natural and Sexual Selection. Science tells us that birds may have evolved from dinosaurs and the cold, malevolent, stare of the Shoebill hints that this could be the case. Couzens starts out the book with a brief introduction followed by a series of stunning photo's under four different headings: Extreme Form, Ability, Behavio
Dominic Couzens has compiled a sort of Guinness Book of Bird Records with this offering. It includes all sorts of records set by birds in a lot of categories you would not have guessed. There is, for instance, the smelliest bird, the crested auklet, which smells like tangerines (from the caption, you’d think he’d have picked something truly offensive). There’s also the most poisonous bird, which is aptly named the hooded pitohui. There are also categories for “snuggest underwear,” “ugliest looks ...more
Amy Derwae
Birds are amazing ~ and this book highlights SO many peculiarities among different species! You'll never look to the sky quite the same way again...

The photos are stunning, and the stories are informative; sometimes touching, but often hilarious. I can't help but marvel not only at the critters themselves, but also at the humans who must have observed them closely enough to discover their secrets!

I shall continue to read any Dominic Couzens book I can get my beak ~ uh, "hands" on. (He is also t
The text is really good. It's like an encyclopedia of very specific bird behaviors. Fun to read with my 9-year-old, who wants to know, what is the fastest bird? What bird dives the deepest? Which bird eats the most, do owls eat cats, etc.
Aug 07, 2009 Lynne rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: nf
Excellent photos and filled with fun facts!

1. An ostrich's eye measures 2 inches in diameter and is 5x larger than a human eye. (It is also the largest eye of any land mammal and is comparable to the body size of the smallest hummingbird. Astonishing!)

2. The bee hummingbird's nest is 3/4 inch in diameter as well as depth.

3. The southern cassowary has stabbed and disemboweled humans. Since 1990 there have been six serious attacks on humans, one in which a zookeeper was killed.

4. Africa's marabou
Fun book full of large pictures of birds and fun facts about them. Not as many weird attributes as I was hoping for, and sometimes the bird photos didn't fully satisfy me (I want a photo of the attribute and a clear shot of the bird as well). Also, I think it would have benefitted from maps on each page with the bird's geographic regions marked (you know, like in the bird books). But I'm a map person. Sometimes (ok, often) the text got into either cheesey humor or boring content, so I don't thin ...more
The photographs in this book are very beautiful and I enjoyed the accompanying information about the bird and what makes it special. I learned a lot, actually. The book is large and somewhat cumbersome, so it is better to read in the daytime on the lap than at night in bed whilst laying on your side. It is also deceptively long. You'd think that with as short as the entries are it would be a breeze. Nope, it took longer than I had anticipated. Check out online the call of the three-wattled bellb ...more
This book was easy to flip through and had some great photos and information. It was fun, like I expected it to be. However, it suffers from "the cover photo is by far the best of the book" syndrome, as well as "shocking is the new entertaining" syndrome. You see, I wasn't expecting to read about which bird has the largest penis or which birds have the longest copulation. Um, why can't we stick to plumage, sounds, flight and brains for heavens sake? I think I just dated myself.
Even if you aren't a birder, this is a fun and informative and at times astonishing book. Jerry got it for me at the library (its BIG and expensive). Longest courtship, fastest eater, loudest voice, loudest drumming, most promiscuous, etc. gorgeous photos as well.
Another picture book I couldn't help from grabbing - really fun to read about those crazy birds - and some wonderful photographs!
Tofu Fairy
so freaking interesting and awesome photos!
Dave Van Es
Lots of cool info.
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"I have been a British-based freelance writer and birdwatching field trip leader since 1988."

Dominic lives in the UK.


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