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The Life of Birds

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,070 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Over 9,000 species, the most widespread of all animals: on icebergs, in the Sahara or under the sea, at home in our gardens or flying for over a year at a time. Earthbound, we can only look and listen, enjoying their lightness, freedom and richness of plumage and song.

David Attenborough has been watching and learning all his life. His new book, with its accompanying series
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 24th 1998 by BBC Books (first published January 1st 1998)
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Average rating 4.36  · 
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 ·  1,070 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Ridwan Anam
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
অসাধারণ সুনদর সুখপাঠয একটা বই। ডাইনোসর আর সরিসৃপ থেকে কিভাবে পাখি আসলো, কিভাবে তারা উডতে শিখলো, আবার কি কারণে তাদের অনেকে উডা ছেডে দিলো (পেঙগুইন, ইমু, উট, রিযা), কোন পাখি কিভাবে খাবার সংগরহ করে (নিরামিষভোজী, আমিষভোজী) কোন পাখি কিভাবে বাসা বাঁধে, সঙগিনী খুঁজে, বাচচা পালে, সব কিছু অতি সুনদর সহজ ভাষায মাতর পাতায বুঝিযে দিযেছেন অযাটেনবুডো। সাথে আছে চোখ ঝলসানো, পরাসঙগিক অসংখয সব ছবি। সবার ভালো লাগার কথা, পাখি-পরেমীদের জনয অবশযপাঠয। ...more
When do you know you are homesick?

When you are sitting in Geneva watching a German Attenborough sort of program about penguins in Australia.

No. That's not all, not quite.

When you are sitting in Geneva watching a German Attenborough sort of program about penguins in Australia and you think you recognise one of them.

No. That's not all, not quite either.

When you are sitting in Geneva watching a German Attenborough sort of program about penguins in Australia, you think you recognise one of them
John Nelson
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is another book I'd had on my shelf for years without getting around to looking at it. It is the companion volume to a late-1990s BBC television series. The author, David Attenborough, was an enthusiast, not a specialist. As a result, it is not surprising that the book contains a broad but shallow overview of the subject. Still, it includes some useful information, especially in the opening chapter which discusses how the evolutionary family tree of birds from the feathered dinosaur ...more
Shirley Revill
Doesn't get much better than this. Recommended.
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the very best book on birds I've ever had the privilege of reading. I enjoyed my first read so much I sent a "Thank You" letter to Sir David in care of his U.S. publisher. Several weeks later I was thrilled to receive a personal response, yes, hand written by the author himself "par avión"! If I could keep only one book from my small library of good old-fashioned hard cover books, this would be it. The chapters are logically arranged and presented and being familiar with Sir David's ...more
Jul 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nature-travel
A fascinating and beautiful book filled with stunning photographs from the legend that is David Attenborough. His style of writing is compelling and doesn't weigh you down with hard science. The book was a brilliant read and I know it will be one I will pick up again and again. Am now filled up with lots of new bird facts!
Florence Millo
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: environment
The Life of Birds by David Attenborough

What a gorgeous, delightful, educational book! Every chapter in this book is a delight to the eye and to the mind. From the first chapter chronicling the evolution of birds to the last chapter on environmental challenges facing birds, the book is informative with stunningly beautiful photographs. The book is broken into chapters following the life cycles of birds in the myriad varieties. I just can't begin to express how much I enjoyed this book and how
Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
David Attenborough gibi kıymetli bir bilim insanından, kuşlar hakkında her şeye dair yapılmış on bölümlük BBC serisinin bu kitabı, kuşlara ilgi duyan herkesin kütüphanesinde olması gereken mükemmel bir eser. Her cümlesinden muazzam keyif alacağınız ve birçok şey öğreneceğiniz, birbirinden güzel fotoğraflarla süslü, kuş gözlemcisinin olmazsa olmaz başucu kitaplarından biri.
Oct 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some impressive photography, although the films probably show the subjects off better. The printed format underlines what a gifted communicator the author is; it's always entertaining to read, full of enthusiasm and wonderfully clear.
Feb 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature
Interspersed this with other books during all of Sep through December. Awesome text and photos. Will love going back to this again and again.

BTW - Wouldn't it be fascinating if David Attenborough was my grandfather and Lidia Bastianich was my grandmother?
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Such fascinating information about birds. I appreciate them so much more having read this enjoyable book. It was fun to look up the clips from the companion BBC series on YouTube and see the behavior I read about. Another good one from David Attenborough.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Filled with beautiful pictures and an amazing richness of information. Attenborough is a treasure. Everyone should read this book to appreciate the different forms of intelligence and diversity that permeate our world.
David R.
Aug 03, 2009 rated it liked it
It may have been a great television series, but it poorly translated to book form. The writing is superficial. The real strength, such as it is, is exquisite photography.
Nov 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's a modern classic.
Andrew Ives
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the 3rd of Sir Dave's books that I've read, and while the scope of this book is necessarily narrowed by focusing solely on birds and their habitats, birds are so diverse in nature that this book is very nearly as interesting and educational as the wonderful Life On Earth. The photographs here are arguably a little better, the writing style is perfect and no single species is dwelt upon for too long. Apart from a couple of tiny typos and some photos that are either too detailed to ...more
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
All the facts you ever wanted to know, artfully arranged in an easy to read book with gorgeous pictures. It reminds me of the old Wild Kingdom episodes, where the camera shows lots of creatures going about the business with only a light narration. Enjoyable; wide-ranging; a tad bit shallow.

You'll gain a lot of random knowledge reading this, but I can't say you'll come away with a well-filled stomach. It's an appetizer and a salad, not a main course.
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-nature
Love David Attenborough! We don't agree on evolution, but his writing is so captivating, the subject so interesting! This was a great read!
Indah Threez Lestari
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
240 - 2018
George Cook
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Good if you want to know about Bird Lives
Azadeh Asaran
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
همهچیز در جهت بقاست. تمام نگرانی و اضطراب پرندهها در هر اقلیمی و هر شرایطی به تولید نسل مربوط میشه و یافتن جفت مناسب و قوی برای بقای نسل. زندگی تک تک این پرندهها مثل یک کتاب پرهیجان و زیباست ...more
Jess Kimmet
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: birding
Fascinating summary of bird behavior with particularly interesting examples pulled from around the globe.
Vineeth Kartha
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever been fascinated by birds, have you ever wondered how they sleep, eat or what their social life is like. Who better can explain this other than Sir David Attenborough. The colorful pictures and the simple yet effective narrative will make this book a page turner. This is unlike other ornithological text books, this is a story of birds.
Jeffrey S.
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: birding
The Life of Birds by David Attenborough is an amazing book - birders and naturalists will love it. Insightful writing and beautiful pictures. Each of the 10 chapters build on each other leaving the reader with a very good understanding and appreciation for how and why birds are special. As if a birder needs to be told that.
Janet C-B
Sep 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I have read on bird behavior.

I read it when I first had an interest in birding, but "in the dark" about the bird behavior that I was observing.

David Attenborough, as a British author, references birds from around the world in his discussion of bird behavior. The photographs are outstanding.

I was surprised that this book was readable vs. a reference guide.

Highly recommend.
Jan 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2011
This book certainly provides a colourfully illustrated and thorough treatment of the subject matter at hand. It is typical of what we have come to expect from David Attenborough. However, I think if it had been much longer then it would really have struggled to engage my interest until the end. This doesn't mean that it doesn't serve it's purpose as a book but does make me suspect that the DVD series would be more captivating and I for one will be rushing out to buy it just as soon as I can.
Apr 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone interested in birds
Recommended to Marilyn by: Goodreads
I bought a used copy of this book on amazon for 3 euros !
Let's just say that "it was worth it" is an understatement, this book is really great, it makes you see at birds in a different way and discover so many exceptional species, and behaviour.
As many people already said in their reviews, the photos are really great, even if the book was released almost 20 years ago. I definitely recommend it to all the bird-lovers :)
Dana Beyer
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Amazing resource book covering the full spectrum of the behavior of birds. This is a Scientific treasure in the field of Ornithology. Wider doors for investigating techniques using technology such as of radio transmitters and genetic fingerprinting.
May 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own

This book is full of stunning photos and very accessible information. Even a science novice will understand the behaviors. I loved this book and am going to hand off to my bird loving grandparents.
Farah Farah
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
it was a great book
Shelly Pridmore
Aug 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely exquisite book, and the documentary series is spell-binding.
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Sir David Frederick Attenborough is a naturalist and broadcaster, who is most well-known for writing and presenting the nine "Life" series, produced in conjunction with BBC's Natural History Unit. The series includes Life on Earth (1979), The Living Planet (1984), The Trials of Life (1990), Life in the Freezer (about Antarctica; 1993), The Private Life of Plants (1995), The Life of Birds (1998), ...more