➤ The Genius of Birds Ebook ➪ Author Jennifer Ackerman – Writerscompany.co.uk
Birds Are Astonishingly Intelligent Creatures According To Revolutionary New Research, Some Birds Rival Primates And Even Humans In Their Remarkable Forms Of Intelligence In The Genius Of Birds, Acclaimed Author Jennifer Ackerman Explores Their Newly Discovered Brilliance And How It Came About As She Travels Around The World To The Most Cutting Edge Frontiers Of Research, Ackerman Not Only Tells The Story Of The Recently Uncovered Genius Of Birds But Also Delves Deeply Into The Latest Findings About The Bird Brain Itself That Are Shifting Our View Of What It Means To Be Intelligent At Once Personal Yet Scientific, Richly Informative And Beautifully Written, The Genius Of Birds Celebrates The Triumphs Of These Surprising And Fiercely Intelligent Creatures. The insult bird brain has always bothered me how exactly is this insulting I suppose if the only birds you are familiar with are domestic chickens and turkeys, you might think it s appropriate, but if you ve ever studied wild birds, you ll know that it s completely off the mark Detailed observation of the domestic fowl might change your mind, too.Think of the hummingbird with a brain smaller than a pea, it manages to migrate long distances and maintain detailed mental maps of nectar sources in its territory, knowing when each flower will be refilled with sweet goodness and ready to be drained again Or think about the Gray Jay, with its multitudinous stored foodstuffs, to be recovered before they have spoiled Even the lowly pigeon can do amazing things witness the homing pigeons, used successfully by people to communicate over great distances.This book, while enjoyable, it not a scientific tome Much of it consists of anecdotal evidence, which seems self evident, but hasn t necessarily been peer reviewed If you are searching for a definite science textbook on bird intelligence, this book may leave you frustrated, but if you are a bird enthusiast you will enjoy gaining a new appreciation for our feathered neighbours. I read this over Christmas mostly because a customer ordered four copies saying it was brilliant and would make great gifts So since I liked Bernd Heinrich s Mind of the Raven and his other books on ravens, owls and geese, I prepared to meet another 5 star natural history book But I was disappointed.Not very It s still a 4 star just read But although it is science based, to some extent, it is full of unproven theories and anecdotes, some of which are very charming and some which belabour the point at length I always have a problem with scientists testing of animals because we are testing them in comparison to our own intelligence not to themselves I also have a problem with scientific pronouncements of animal behaviour being taken as gospel and anecdotes considered frivolous when they actually might be even meaningful Witness Jane Goodall s paradigm shifting observations of the Gombe chimps.Once I had an experience with some wild golden pheasants in Kew Gardens in London It was spring, mating season and my son had got very close to a big, beautiful male bird and called me over We were able to get within 6 of the bird He didn t seem to care at all Up strode another equally big and beautiful male accompanied by two drab females who were walking slightly behind him.There was a row The two male birds flew into the air and had a considerable fight with feathers flying and the earth kicked up The two females stood together and watched the proceedings with interest The first bird beat the second one, he even lost a feather or two and slunk off.Now,in the tv documentaries, which invariably are presented and written by men, the two drab females are supposed to remain with the winner Indeed, the winner thought so too But the females went off with the loser, one on each side of him inclining their heads towards him that, anthropomorphism or not, definitely looked like they were comforting him They hadn t watched the right documentaries So I do question both when the author says, some scientists say and when she goes off about, for instance the colour blue being so important to bower birds because it is the rarest colour in nature She gives far to few theories about the homing instinct and ability to navigate and since I m reading The Homing Instinct Meaning and Mystery in Animal Migration right now, I m amazed by all the different methods birds and other animals have to find their way home The difference between Bernd Heinrich and Jennifer Ackerman, is one of degree Heinrich is a better scientist, better observer and better writer His books are 10 star and hers 4, enjoyable but too light. Up until four years ago I have had birds for most of my life Parakeets, delightful finches, a crockety Cockatiel and some very clever love birds Then my asthma became debilitating and I found birds have allergies than dogs and cats Who knew So, I had to give away my two lovebirds I knew how clever birds could be and even how cunning, but those in this book will surprise.Ravens that use tools Can figure out eight step puzzles and other games I loved the shrub Jay s who hide their nuts for the winter, but are also thieves that steal nuts from others They have also figured out a way to psyche out other would be thieves Chickadees that have a early warning system based on perceived threat levels They show empathy when confronted with a dead bird Some hnow compassion to their partners So much info is included, and explained so well Many I hadn t heard of an spent time looking them up on wiki, but I enjoyed this book immensely Read it with a sense of wonder that all the bird slights, name calling such as bird brain, or lame duck, may actually be compliments. 3.75 s What a birdbrain Awk After reading this book I cry Fowl I wont use that term or think of the birds visiting my feeders in the same way again, especially the jays and pigeons.Bird fanciers should enjoy this but you needn t be an enthusiast to appreciate much of the content within My favorite chapters were on navigation and caching skills.Some things to crow about Size does matter to the ladies Give a hen a giant egg to sit on even artificial and she prefers it to smaller ones Crows leave thank you gifts in feeders when they are treated regularly Check out some treasures from Gabi Mann s collection Golden Winged Warblers anticipate deadly impending storms Bee hummingbirds weigh less than an old penny Birds don t need to count calories In an average thirty year lifetime a tern may fly the equivalent of three trips to the moon and back Pigeons, our first air mail providers and GPS navigators, are bookish than we might imagine, differentiating between the paintings of VanGogh, Monet, Picasso, and Chagall Can I do that Their average flying speed is an impressive fifty miles per hour The Chinese military has built a force of ten thousand trained messenger pigeons in order to communicate with troops along borders in case of electromagnetic interference or a collapse in their signals Shorter than I thought at 267 pages because the rest of the count goes towards acknowledgements, notes, and index This one just might win the award for most footnotes ever Being an avid watcher of Nova and Nature much of the content was already familiar to me.Overall it s interesting reading but it won t keep you up like a night.