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Publisher's Summary

Birds, Jim Robbins posits, are our most vital connection to nature. They compel us to look to the skies, both literally and metaphorically, draw us out into nature to seek their beauty, and let us experience vicariously what it is like to be weightless. Birds have helped us in so many of our human endeavors: learning to fly, providing clothing and food, and helping us better understand the human brain and body.

The Wonder of Birds illuminates qualities unique to birds that demonstrate just how invaluable they are to humankind - both ecologically and spiritually. The wings of turkey buzzards influenced the Wright brothers' flight design; the chickadee's song is considered by scientists to be the most sophisticated language in the animal world; and the quietly powerful presence of eagles in the disadvantaged neighborhood of Anacostia proved to be an effective method for rehabilitating the troubled young people placed in charge of their care. Exploring both cutting-edge scientific research and our oldest cultural beliefs, Robbins moves these astonishing creatures from the background of our lives to the foreground.

©2017 Jim Robbins (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"In this deeply felt and well-supported argument for avians' value to humankind, science writer Robbins hits the full trifecta for engrossing and satisfying nature writing." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Wonder of Birds

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Stories about birds with something for everyone

Author Jim Robbins has a wonderful way of writing with both depth and bredth that is extremely accessible and fun. Bird stories in this book range from fascinating scientific discussions of bird evolution and behavior, to the history and impact of birds on human life, to heart wrenching tales of birds helping inner city kids. It has something for everyone, whether you're just curious about nature, a history buff, a human interest story lover, or hardcore birdwatcher. The Audible narration is overall very good, although the narrator does occassionally mispronounce some words in a way that is distracting.

9 people found this helpful

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Fascinating and moving

I listened to this book with my teenage children during a couple of brief road trips. Although initially reticent to listen (they fought me tooth and nail), they quickly became engrossed in the fascinating stories. We were all moved and amazed by the various historical and modern accounts of avian intricacies. The novel shares information pertaining to birds, but ultimately, it underscores the importance of the often unnoticed interconnectedness all humans have with the natural world. The Wonder of Birds will capture the attention of the ornitholics of the world, but this book is absolutely written for all. This is a spectacular read that I highly recommend.

5 people found this helpful

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unexpected, couldn't put it down

Loved this book! So understandable and fascinating :) if there are more like it I would read them happily

3 people found this helpful

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Good but uneven

This book ranged from very engaging to mind-numbing. The first few chapters were great, but as we got to the chapters on the bird brain and language, we just about gave up. Like many books, this would benefit from and editor who would shorten the book by keep the author on topic and limiting the social cause diversions. Overall, it was informative and entertaining. If I were listening again, I would skip a few chapters.

3 people found this helpful