Birdology

by Sy Montgomery | Science |
ISBN: 1416569847 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 9/5/2014
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, September 05, 2014
Subtitled "Adventures with a Pack of Hens, a Peck of Pigeons, Cantankerous Crows, Fierce Falcons, Hip Hop Parrots, Baby Hummingbirds, and One Murderously Big Living Dinosaur", this fair-condition hardcover by a New Hampshire author grabbed my attention from the ongoing book-sale shelves in Milford's Wadleigh Library. (The book's inscribed in pencil by a previous owner, to a "bird brain grand daughter" {wry grin}.)

The book opens with a chapter on chickens, introducing the author's flock in all their individualistic glory. There are trials and tribulations involved in keeping chickens - and that's even if one is not inclined to prepare them for the stewpot; protecting them from wildlife or from neighborhood dogs is one thing, protecting the neighbors from potential noise and odor is another. [Choose your neighbors wisely if you want to raise chickens - or any other livestock, for that matter!]

From there the book ranges far and wide, from cassowaries in Australia (perhaps the most dinosaur-like of surviving birds) to hummingbirds in California. The cassowary chapter is quite entertaining, though also a bit scary; while not quite at velociraptor levels of danger, the birds are very large and powerful, and could inflict a lot of damage if they chose. A rather amusing bit - to me if not to the owners of the cars - mentions occasional cassowary damage to doors and windows; apparently they, like our songbirds, sometimes try to battle their own reflections, but when the bird is over five feet tall and weighs 150 pounds it's the car that will take the most damage!

The hummingbird chapter includes some sad accounts of the fates that these tiny, jewel-like birds sometimes suffer, but also provides examples of their marvelous capabilities. I've been able to witness the ruby-throats (the only variety in my area) at the feeders, sometimes viciously defending the feeders against all comers, and sometimes - or so it seemed to me - hovering at the window as if to tell me to come and refill the feeders at once...

There's a chapter on hawks, with examples of falconry (and the hazards of carrying around birds with talons and beaks designed to inflict damage), and on pigeons, and parrots, and crows, with personal encounters as well as descriptions of the history and ups-and-downs of each variety. Quite fascinating!

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Boston, Massachusetts USA on Monday, March 23, 2015

Released 3 yrs ago (3/24/2015 UTC) at Boston, Massachusetts USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I plan to give this book to eponine38 when we meet for a book-release run in Boston. It's a prize for the Great Backyard Bird Count release challenge. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 3 by wingeponine38wing at Boston, Massachusetts USA on Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Thank you for this wishlist book, Gory, as well as the other goodies: bookmarks and colorful labels!

Journal Entry 4 by wingeponine38wing at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Wednesday, February 28, 2018
It's the last day of the month and I'm trying to get several books out the door for challenges, so this review will be shorter than I would have liked. :-)

This was a fascinating book covering a variety of birds. I was intrigued by the Cassowaries, though I don't fancy meeting one face to face. I had no idea parrots could do so many things, and the dancing Snowball was a hoot - no, wait - that should be used to describe an owl...

I was surprised to learn that birdsong can vary according to place. It makes sense, as human language sure does that, but it's something I never thought about. This book is just packed with interesting info!

I must say that crows have risen considerably in my estimation after reading this. I remember hearing years ago from a bird enthusiast that crow families have au pairs, which after reading this I have learned are actually children from previous matings that stick around to help care for the next batch. It's true that crows can be noisily annoying, especially in large groups (interesting to learn of the efforts to keep large flocks out of cities), but they're also unfairly discriminated against because of their color (just like black cats). As a language lover, I found it interesting (and disheartening) to see an example of this prejudice in the words for groups of birds: "a large group of crows is called a murder; a flock of ravens, an unkindness."

Earlier, I had read an entire book about pigeons and had learned about the popularity of racing them, and their amazing homing skills. It was nice to revisit this subject here in this book.

Thanks again, Gory, for the opportunity to read this.

Journal Entry 5 by wingeponine38wing at Little Free Library, 25 Bellevue Rd in Arlington, Massachusetts USA on Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Released 11 mos ago (2/28/2018 UTC) at Little Free Library, 25 Bellevue Rd in Arlington, Massachusetts USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Left at about 4:15. Hope it finds a new reader!

Released for Keep Them Moving Challenge hosted by booklady331.
Released for 2018 Great Backyard Bird Count Challenge hosted by GoryDetails.
Released for February 2018 Ultimate Challenge hosted by jumpingin. This month's theme is By Air or By Sea.



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