The Genius of Birds

  • by Jennifer Ackerman
  • Narrated by Margaret Strom
  • 11 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Birds are astonishingly intelligent creatures. In fact, according to revolutionary new research, some birds rival primates and even humans in their remarkable forms of intelligence. Like humans, many birds have enormous brains relative to their size. Although small, bird brains are packed with neurons that allow them to punch well above their weight.

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What the Critics Say

"[Narrator Margaret] Strom sounds suitably amazed by it all, too--a fine match of material and voice." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Stick with fiction, narrator!

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I'd like to preface this by saying that I have a passion for birds, and I love reading books about them. This book, however, was ruined. It was actually painful to try to trudge through this book BECAUSE OF THE NARRATION. I finally had to give up and read the hard copy. The book is good, but is not written by an ornithologist, so it lacks some of the deep understanding and passion that an ornithologist would offer.


Would you be willing to try another book from Jennifer Ackerman? Why or why not?

Yes. The book was well researched and interesting (once I got rid of the narrator).


Would you be willing to try another one of Margaret Strom’s performances?

NO. If it were not for her broad middle-America accent, I would have thought that this narrator was unfamiliar with the English language. At the most generous, she is unfamiliar with many science terms. She loses fluency when there is the least bit of technical terminology and mispronounces so often that my groaning responses raised eyebrows of people next to me in the gym.When she said "orthony" instead of ornithology, I gave up, requested a refund, and read the hard copy.


What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Frustration: how hard can it be to find a narrator who has a basic understanding of biology? Or at least a producer who recognizes when pronunciation was wrong. I am sure the production staff caught some mistakes, but there were SO MANY of them! Irritation/Anger: The most irritating part of the problem was the halting tempo of her speech; it was obvious she did not understand what she was reading.


Any additional comments?

Do not hire this narrator for non-fiction.

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- Pianodoc

What a disappointment!

What disappointed you about The Genius of Birds?

While the stories told in this book are interesting, the way the book is structured serves to distract and even trivialize the points Ackerman is trying to make. But most of all: the narration is awful. The narrator reads as if she has never looked at the text before, pausing in the middle of sentences to turn pages, stumbling over Latin names. I couldn't bring myself to sit through the entire book. And I really wanted to like this book.


How could the performance have been better?

The narrator could have practiced a bit before sitting down to record the book.


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- S. Benedict

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-12-2016
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a Division of Recorded Books