Michelle's Reviews > The Wisdom of Birds: An Illustrated History of Ornithology

The Wisdom of Birds by Tim Birkhead
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's review
Jan 31, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: birds

I hardly know how to rate this book! I very much enjoyed parts of it, and loved the beautiful historical illustrations. The author undertook to find out how we know what we know about birds--the people whose ideas and study helped us to discover things like migration, reproduction, territory, etc. There was a LOT of evolutionary theory in the book. I sort of expected that. There was also a LOT of "bird sex" I was a little less thrilled with that. I suppose it's necessary, but it's not why I am interested in birds. :-) I wish I could give the first part of the book a "4" and the rest a 2 or a 3. There was a lot of information in here that was fascinating, but also some stuff I skimmed. And at 400 pages, it still took me a long time to read it!
If you are a bird nut and interested in bird reproduction, this book is terrific. If you are a run-of-the-mill birdwatcher, perhaps borrow it from the library and just skim or skip the chapters on sex and infidelity.
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