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The Bird: A Natural History of Who Birds Are, Where They Came From & How They Live
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The Bird: A Natural History of Who Birds Are, Where They Came From & How They Live

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  170 ratings  ·  27 reviews
• How are birds so good at flying and navigating?
• Why are birds so like mammals– and yet so very different?
• Did birds descend from dinosaurs, and if so, does that mean birds are dinosaurs?
• How do they court each other and fend off rivals?
• What' s being communicated in birdsong?
• Can we ever know how birds think?

In this fascinating exploration of the avian class, Colin
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ebook, 0 pages
Published October 20th 2009 by Crown (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 886)
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B. Rule
I didn't finish this book. The author gets points for being exhaustive, but... he loses points for being exhaustive. A lot of the book is just lists of things some birds do. And since birds are so diverse, those lists get LONG. And not necessarily organized by any particular principle. While I usually like this sort of infodump, I just couldn't get into it here. There needs to be some narrative structure or hook that keeps you awake. Sadly, I didn't find one before Izzzzzzzzzzz
Sher
The writer tries to do much in 400 plus pages besides just covering the natural history of birds. Tudge has chapters on the mind of the birds, bird conservation and the history of extinct species, and even a chapter on prehistoric birds and bird classification. I got lost in the detail in some of this book, but I have studied birds enough that I found much of his esoteric details on species I know --fascinating. Because Tudge is British, many birds of the UK are covered, and although he uses met ...more
Kerry
Wow, it took me ages to finish this book (18 months or so). The first half was a long trudge through a survey of every bird family. Exhaustive but lots of interesting things in there to keep me going.

The second half was a fascinating look at how different birds feed, breed, think, and behave.
Al Bità
This is a rather wonderful summation of current knowledge regarding birds, beautifully written, with some rather lovely line drawings (for those of you expecting some nice colour photos bve warned: there are none...) and covering just about anything a lay person might want to know about the current state of knowledge regarding those amazing creatures we know as birds.

Admittedly, there is the occasional feeling that the book is providing one with too much information, but it appears to me that th
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Robert
A tour of what we know and what we are learning about birds. There is one chapter that surveys all of the birds of the world. It's a bit encylopedic and I skipped it. But the rest is engaging and packed full of detail, historical and otherwise.

One good example of these marvelous details, of the many that stuck with me, is his example of a cline -- a population, generally spread out geographically, that varies continuously from one end to the other with individuals successfully mating only with t
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BRS
THE BIRD is really packed with information, quite a bit more than you'd find in some of the Sibley books, but with the humor and commentary that you don't find in a standard ornithology textbook. I especially enjoyed the sections on bird evolution (it's so clearly explained). Also, the author doesn't hesitate to show what ornithologists don't know about birds, which is actually quite a lot. In some parts (the sections on eating and mating, for instance) I think there was some information overloa ...more
Mark Desrosiers
Colin Tudge is a remarkable writer in that he can remain both authoritative and filled with doubt in a sentence. Along with a bit of angular Anglo wit, this makes for a groovy page-turner about birds: their evolution, abundance, behavior, classification, and strangeness. Although one brave and huge chapter depicting the dramatis personae -- every avian order in the 2010 taxonomic system -- will bog you down as he tries to say something interesting about them all, the rest of the book is a deligh ...more
Leilani
An absolutely brilliant immersion in everything Bird, written in thoughtful prose with a wonderfully dry wit. The sections on evolution, eating, mating, and bird consciousness were fascinating, filled with lively anecdotes and clear descriptions of the science involved. The listing of all the bird families in the world did slow me down a bit, but even that chapter had interesting tidbits scattered all the way through.

The last two chapters, about our historical/cultural views of humanity's relat
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Aharon
782 interesting facts about birds, plus 19,384 more.
Mark
on page 104
Troy
Tons of material in here, not easy to just sit down and read, easier to take it in a little bit at a time. As a comprehensive study of birds, this book is great. Thorough and detailed, Tudge looks at all aspects of this animal and presents it in a clear way. As a non-fiction book, it was a bit dull and boring at times, occasionally repetitive, and overall just far too long to appeal to the layperson.
Clarissa
This is a wonderful book full of entertaining facts about birds and how they live. Colin Tudge is quite funny at times, and birds do many interesting things. For example crows have been seen to make and use tools.

Konrad Lorenz once had a jackdaw who was fond of the maid. To show it's affection it would try to stuff caterpillars into her ear!
Patricia
This book calls for a slow reading and then a rereading. It's packed with wide-ranging detail that takes some time to start to sink in. All that detail conveys wonder and delight, though, in author's personal, personable style. One of the most wonderful chapters explores how birds might think.
Laith El-Moghrabi
A nice enjoyable read. Although I am a birdwatcher but there was a lot of info that was new to me. I would recommend to people who would like to know more about these amazing creatures.
It's a very good awareness book for birds and nature as a whole
Billy
What a wonderful book. Told with great love and affection for its subject, this is a story of the growth of scientific knowledge backed by the growth of the human heart and spirit.Through birds, Tudge helps us get a handle on all of life.
Kathe
Love this book, after several re-readings I truly appreciate the deep understanding of birds and their lives. Wow. Now to find more books by Colin Tudge. British, of course.

This book so complete, so detailed, I'll refer to it often.
Elena Gaillard
A fascinating and well-organized exploration of the history, lives, physiology and habits of birds. A terrific summation of current science and knowledge, with some nice observations.
Debra
A nice overview of the bird families, but much too spare--I would have liked more details. I enjoyed his tree book more, perhaps because I've read so many bird books already.
David R.
This is a surprisingly readable text in light of the high density of material. In spite of small flaws I would recommended book to bird enthusiasts at any level.
J. D.
This is a fascinatng survey of current knowledge about birds. Tudge is an able ornithologist, a capable advocate for avains, and a fine, entertaining writer.
Cary Neeper
Loving the chatty verbiage and detailed story of how information makes science an ongoing puzzle never fully solved, always open to question.
Nomad
Very interesting subject, a lot of information but poorly written and not logically organized.
Nomad
Mhairi Taylor


I knew very little about birds prior to reading this book and now I am fascinated!
Tuck
a MUST HAVE book for any birders, natural history readers, and science readers. Tudge is the best.
Holly
some gems in here for bird nerds like me. but really needed a better editor.
Eva
I'm enjoying so far
James
Feb 18, 2010 James rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone with a biology or science interest.
Not a guide to birds, but an introduction and discussion of what birds are, including extensive glances back into the fossil record as well as assessments of current (often grim) bird habitats, populations, and prognoses.

Since the book deals with the fossil record, it also of necessity discusses the entire evolutionary development of bird phylogeny as currently understood. Tudge fearlessly leaps into the world of DNA phylogeny and highlights major portions of the current structure that likely wi
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Ciaran Mealer
Ciaran Mealer marked it as to-read
Jan 30, 2015
Maegan Cummins
Maegan Cummins marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2015
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Colin Tudge was educated at Dulwich College, 1954-61; and read zoology at Peterhouse, Cambridge, 1962-65.

Ever since then he has earned a living by spasmodic broadcasting and a lot of writing—mainly books these days, but with occasional articles. He has a special interest in natural history in general, evolution and genetics, food and agriculture, and spends a great deal of time on philosophy (esp
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More about Colin Tudge...
The Tree: A Natural History of What Trees Are, How They Live & Why They Matter The Link: Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor The Time Before History The Variety of Life: A Survey and a Celebration of All the Creatures that Have Ever Lived Neanderthals, Bandits and Farmers: How Agriculture Really Began

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