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Publisher's Summary

What is it like to be a swift, flying at over one hundred kilometres an hour? Or a kiwi, plodding flightlessly among the humid undergrowth in the pitch dark of a New Zealand night? And what is going on inside the head of a nightingale as it sings, and how does its brain improvise?
Bird Sense addresses questions like these and many more, by describing the senses of birds that enable them to interpret their environment and to interact with each other. Our affinity for birds is often said to be the result of shared senses - vision and hearing - but how exactly do their senses compare with our own? And what about a bird's sense of taste, or smell, or touch, or the ability to detect the earth's magnetic field? Or the extraordinary ability of desert birds to detect rain hundreds of kilometres away - how do they do it?
Bird Sense is based on a conviction that we have consistently underestimated what goes on in a bird's head. Our understanding of bird behaviour is simultaneously informed and constrained by the way we watch and study them. By drawing attention to the way these frameworks both facilitate and inhibit discovery, Birkhead identifies ways we can escape from them to explore new horizons in bird behaviour.
There has never been a popular book about the senses of birds. No one has previously looked at how birds interpret the world or the way the behaviour of birds is shaped by all their senses. A lifetime spent studying birds has provided Tim Birkhead with a wealth of observation and a unique understanding of birds and their behaviour that is firmly grounded in science.
©2012 Tim Birkhead (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

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By Kathy on 11-14-17

Are You A Serious Birdwatcher?

If so, this is a book that should really be of interest to you. I have been watching birds for over 20 years. Recently, I started photographing them as well, which really adds to the fun. But after a significant time, I found that I was rarely seeing new birds to add to my life list, my state list, my backyard list, etc. So I have found myself wanting to know more about the birds I am seeing repeatedly. I want to know more about their behaviors and more about how these birds perceive the world.

Birds' senses and perception of their world is well-researched and covered in Bird Sense in a scientific and thorough manner by bird behaviorist and historian, Tim Birkhead. Robin Sachs does a great narration. The entire book was informative and very engaging. It should be very enjoyable and interesting for bird lovers with a scientific bent.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

By Chris on 07-27-14

Fascinating facts about birds

If you like learning cool facts about animal behavior, you'll love this book. Full of surprising information on how various species of bird perceive the world, and how that drives their behavior. Good narrator, kept my interest.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Accidental Hero on 10-19-15

A comprehensive answer

Where does Bird Sense rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

If you have ever wondered what it's like to be a bird this book is a must. Details like why a falcon's eyesight is so good (because the eyeball has two foviae as opposed to a human's one). And did you know that relative to body size, the size of bird's eyes are almost twice as large as those of most mammals? Even with a distaste for biology this book easily held my attention...sound localisation, taste, smell, magnetic sense, emotions, it's all there. And all very well done and ranks among the best.

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