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January 20 , 2008

The Magic and Mystery of Birds

The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal About Being Human


Noah Strycker has spent the last decade studying bird behaviour in some of the world’s remotest places – from a penguin colony in Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, the Australian outback, the Galápagos Islands – and has observed almost 2,500 species of birds. Noah has come to understand that birds are lively, unpredictable individuals loaded with personality and, if you look closely enough, birds have human counterparts. From the homing instinct of pigeons (and the mystery of the pigeon equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle in eastern England), testing the turkey vulture’s sense of smell with a deer carcass to the reason behind penguin’s fear of water and lack of fear of humans, even the courtship rituals of Australia’s winged Casanova, the bowerbird, by studying birds, we ultimately learn about ourselves. As we learn about birds, we gain insights into memory, relationships, game theory and the nature of intelligence itself. Drawing on cutting-edge scientific research, along with his personal experience, and colourful anecdotes The Magic and Mystery of Birds is a thoughtful and engaging look at how the life of birds connects with humanity.

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