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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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I love birds. I keep rescue birds and volunteer at a wildlife sanctuary. I spend my days surrounded by birds. They're my hobby and my passion in life.

But this book bored me to tears. It's less a book about birds' sensory abilities, more an autobiography with historical (and often failed) science experiment information thrown in. For every fact there's a dozen pages of filler of get through. The book took me two months to finish as I was so bored with it, but I was determined to finish to glean every bird fact I could. It wasn't worth it.
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on 16 September 2013
I got a loan of this book from a friend but I just really wanted to take my time and be able to re read it again and again and so I bought it. There is a huge amount of information in it and I thoroughly enjoy it every time I dip in. Great. A definite one for the collection.
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on 30 April 2013
The book doesn't tell you what it's like to actually be a bird, as some seem to believe the subtitle promises. However, it clearly explains why this is not possible.

What the author does very well, is give details on how the different senses are used by various species to enhance their lives in an often unique way. For me the book was full of little details I could never have imagined and that will make me look at birds in a very different way from now on.

It's a fascinating subject matter with a lot of research work still to be done. I am looking forward to the advances in the field, and hope the author will be able to follow up this book with a sequel some day.
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on 11 February 2013
This very readable book gives an analysis of birds' senses, as far as is known today, together with a history of the scientific discoveries, theories, and experiments which have resulted in our current knowledge. The topic is much more varied and interesting than you might expect, and full of surprises.
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on 21 June 2013
This is one of the most fascinating and thought-provoking books I have ever read. It reaches into the entire range of life experience,emotion and sensation. It s also a brilliant exposition of scientific method. I wish this had been around when I studied Biology at University in the 60's. It would have inspired me and changed my entire outlook.
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on 17 April 2012
I bought this book after BBC Wildlife magazine recommended it as their 'book of the month', and it certainly lived up to expectations! It was definitely un-put-downable, especially for its genre. Well written and entertaining, as well as informative. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and learning about the different bird senses. I would recommend both for birders and non-birders alike.
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on 5 March 2013
A fascinating insight to bird senses and the discovery process over the centuries how we arrived at todays conclusions but there are still gaps in our knowledge. Tim's book is an easy read and very informative. What I found particularly interesting is the way reasearch is conducted both good and bad. The way that facts are and can be easily misinterpreted and that 'solid recognised reseach in the past' was found to be grossly flawed.

The intimation that there are 'smell maps' on the land and especially the sea is as amazing as the magnetic forces that birds use to find their way.

My only criticism is that some sections have more words and detail that could have been reduced.
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on 4 April 2013
You don't need to know anything about (or love) birds to find this book fascinating. Read how birds see, hear and smell and learn how this knowledge has impacted on our own lives. A book written with deep scientific research but also an easy and enjoyable read for the uninitiated.
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on 17 November 2013
Funny, engaging, clear and tremendously interesting. I love wildlife and a clear explanation of science: This book was right up my street.
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on 11 May 2016
No idea why I didn't know about this book before as it's answering questions I've been asking myself for years. If you're interested in birds and their abilities this really is a superb book.
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