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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another brilliant book by Tim Birkhead
After 'The Wisdom of Birds' I thought that it would be very difficult for anyone to write anything quite so good about birds for a long time. I am pleased to say that I was totally wrong - its been done again, and by the same author! For anyone who has watched birds for any length of time it is not long before they start asking questions such as 'how do they do that?' or...
Published on 1 Mar 2012 by Dave

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative but timid
An easy to read, enjoyable, informative book.

I especially enjoyed the explanations of how birds hear and see differently from humans. For example it is mind stretching to contemplate how some birds can perceive some sounds which exists only for a short time span whereas humans can't.

For my taste there was a little too much 'history of science' in...
Published 22 months ago by M. D. Holley


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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something for everybody, 21 May 2012
By 
Steve Keen "therealus" (Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
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Rather smaller than Birkhead's The Wisdom Of Birds, Bird Sense complements the earlier work by taking a look at some of the things we do and don't know about how birds experience the world via a tour of their senses, all six of them.

The mistake many people make, Birkhead points out, is thinking that birds experience the world as humans do. But equally mistaken has been the notion that birds' senses are completely different, and that they don't smell, taste, feel, see or hear anything like us. Over the years, though, through both experiment and accident, scientists have been finding the various sense organs, or recording the behaviour implying their presence. Some of the experiments are described with a brutal honesty, and without judgement, such as those involving poking out the eyes of bats to show they are able, like cave-dwelling birds, to navigate by hearing alone.

Through the various experiments we now know that various aquatic birds are able to smell and feel their way around the environment into which they are plunging their snouts, contrary to the views of celebrated naturalists in the past. We also not only know that birds are not even remotely as monogamous as was once thought, but that at least one is able to sustain copulation for a considerable length of time and even attain orgasm.

Birkhead's own observations, from a lifetime of study, are a valuable part of the narrative, from the ability of guillemots to sense their partners' return to the nest to the touching stories of the author's blind zebra finch, Billie, and his ability to recognise the author's daughter and enjoy her allopreening. Other tales, such as that of the shearwater released in Cambridge to see how long it took it to return home are entertaining just through sharing the author's speculation as to the thoughts of any birders who happened to see a normally pelagic bird speeding over the fens, but this tale also demonstrates just how different bird sense can be from ours in covering the sixth, magnetic sense.

The book covers a wide range of species, from familiar backyard types such as thrushes and chickadees to exotica like woodhoopoe and oilbirds, so almost anyone can relate the narrative to their own experience of birds and virtually everyone will have their curiosity piqued by something outside. There are also some wry asides regarding the parlous state of avifauna in New Zealand and other places.

Overall this is a really enjoyable read, with something for the general reader and bird aficionados alike, and small enough to tuck in a side pocket to carry on holiday. And just as intriguing as what we do know is what we don't, although the rate at which we are finding things out means that maybe Bird Sense 2 is already in preparation.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bird Sense, 18 Jun 2014
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Was recommended this book and bought it. Very articulate and well written BUT not for someone looking for a lightweight read
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book came highly recommneded by a trusted friend, 23 Mar 2014
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I have wanted to read this book for years but have to confess have not read it yet, just glanced through some of the content. I know if will be a good read, so it is next on my reading list.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 23 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Bird Sense (Kindle Edition)
Wonderful insights into bird cognition, the way in which they make sense of the world, how they think and feel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Facts, 6 Mar 2014
By 
J. R. Taylor "Flossytreadwell" (London UK) - See all my reviews
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Amazing facts I'd never have known. Birds are amazing creatures I have one but the data collected from studies in this book is of great value. People have spent many hours gathering the data & the detail in this book make that clear.
A beautiful book that can teach us much.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 12 Feb 2014
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Great book. Check other reviews also and further books by this author. Look forward to reading them in due course
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book. A must for bird nerds., 4 Dec 2013
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Bluey (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bird Sense: What It's Like to Be a Bird (Paperback)
A un-put-downable read for certain! This is a fascinating insight into how birds go about their lives and I learned a great deal from it. When complex science is delved into the author relates it in an accessible way and doesn't bog the text down. The prose is never dry and everything flows well.

I am a fanatical birdwatcher and have already recommended this book to everyone I can. If you're into birds you won't be disappointed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, detailed and bursting with life!, 17 Nov 2013
By 
CasioB (Bingley, W.Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bird Sense (Kindle Edition)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable, 28 Sep 2013
This review is from: Bird Sense: What It's Like to Be a Bird (Paperback)
Fascinating!! A huge amount of interesting and intriguing information - very addictive, keeps you wanting to read and learn more. A very enjoyable read. Highly recommended!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fasinating book, 16 Sep 2013
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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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Bird Sense: What It's Like to Be a Bird
Bird Sense: What It's Like to Be a Bird by Tim Birkhead (Paperback - 17 Jan 2013)
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