Try an audiobook on us

The Genius of Birds

Narrated by: Patience Tomlinson
Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)
Regular price: £21.39
£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

In The Genius of Birds, acclaimed author Jennifer Ackerman explores the newly discovered brilliance of birds and how it came about.

Consider, as Ackerman does, the Clark's nutcracker, a bird that can hide as many as 30,000 seeds over dozens of square miles and remember where it put them several months later; the mockingbirds and thrashers, species that can store 200 to 2,000 different songs in a brain a thousand times smaller than ours; the well-known pigeon, which knows where it's going, even thousands of miles from familiar territory; and the New Caledonian crow, an impressive bird that makes its own tools.

This elegant scientific investigation and travelogue weaves personal anecdotes with fascinating science.

©2016 Jennifer Ackerman (P)2016 Isis Publishing Ltd

More from the same

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

An interesting read, hard work at times

A great book full of amazing information, slightly lacking flow at times. The book is ordered by measures of intellect and as such, felt disjointed as it jumps from one species to another, one continent to another and one example to another.

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

An interesting listen

I can't fault the content of this book, it's a very interesting listen with plenty of balanced discussions about a wide variety of birds and their cognitive abilities.

The one thing I struggled with was the length of each chapter; they could easily have been split into smaller chapters with overarching themes. It often feels like although sections of a chapter are related, it would be much easier to digest in smaller chunks.

For example, halfway through I decided to start listening to the book at 1.5x speed and the longest chapter still took an hour and a half! If you struggle to focus for long periods of time then perhaps this isn't the book for you.

On the other hand, if you're looking to expand your knowledge of our feathered friends then this book will scratch that itch, with loads of great information on all sorts of topics relating to intelligence in birds from an author who clearly has a passion for them.