The Wonder of Birds: What They Tell Us About Ourselves, the World, and a Better Future
Our relationship to birds is different from our relationship to other wild creatures. We love to watch them, listen to them, keep them as pets, wear their feathers, even converse with them. Birds, Jim Robbins posits, have helped us in so many of our endeavours- learning to fly, clothing and feeding ourselves, and providing medical treatments. And they even have much to teach us about being human. A natural storyteller, Robbins illuminates how qualities unique to birds make them invaluable to humankind - from the wings of turkey buzzards influencing the Wright brothers' flight design, to the quietly powerful presence of eagles in a disadvantaged neighbourhood of Washington D.C. rehabilitating the troubled teenagers placed in charge of their care. Australian birds abound in this fascinating story, from the superb lyrebird, whose song is the most sophisticated in the world - and can include mimicry of other birds, koalas, and even crying babies and chainsaws - to the brush turkey, who helped scientists find out how dinosaurs first took to the skies.Exploring both cutting-edge scientific research and our oldest cultural beliefs, Robbins shows us that we must fight to save the imperilled bird population, for the sake of both the planet and humankind.