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Publisher's Summary

Birds are highly intelligent animals, yet their intelligence is dramatically different from our own and has been little understood. As we learn more about the secrets of bird life, we are unlocking fascinating insights into memory, relationships, game theory, and the nature of intelligence itself.

The Thing with Feathers explores the astonishing homing abilities of pigeons, the good deeds of fairy-wrens, the influential flocking abilities of starlings, the deft artistry of bowerbirds, the extraordinary memories of nutcrackers, the lifelong loves of albatrosses, and other mysteries - revealing why birds do what they do, and offering a glimpse into our own nature.

Drawing deep from personal experience, cutting-edge science, and colorful history, Noah Strycker spins captivating stories about the birds in our midst and shares the startlingly intimate coexistence of birds and humans. With humor, style, and grace, he shows how our view of the world is often, and remarkably, through the experience of birds.

©2014 Noah Strycker (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A thoroughly entertaining examination of bird behavior…. Birds are equally alien and familiar, and in Strycker's absorbing survey, we find out how much fun it is simply to watch them." ( Booklist Starred Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting book, terrible reader

This book is pretty interesting but it’s difficult to get past the stilted, oddly cadenced reading style.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great book, if a bit long-winded

The title made me think that the comparisons between birds and humans were going to be more poetic/philisopical, but the comparisons kind of read like high school book reports, packed with a ton of trivia. I wish this had just been "My Adventures in Birding." That's when the book shines. Some of the information about related research got way too detailed and off topic. I hope the author writes another book only with tales of his quests to see rare or interesting birds.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Avian folklore - bird-onification

Captivating, intriguing, and well researched. Drop in on any chapter. A must read for ornithologists and lay-man alike.