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What It's Like to be a Bird

David Allen Sibley


PUBLISHED: 7th April 2020
ISBN: 9780307957894
What It's Like to be a Bird
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PUBLISHED: 7th April 2020
ISBN: 9780307957894

Publisher Description

Can birds smell?" "Is this the same cardinal that was at my feeder last year?" "Do robins 'hear' worms?" In What It's Like to Be a Bird, David Sibley answers the most frequently asked questions about the birds we see most often. This special large-format volume is geared as much to nonbirders as it is to the out-and-out obsessed, covering more than 200 species and including more than 430 new illustrations by the author. While its focus is on familiar backyard birds--blue jays, nuthatches, chickadees--it also examines certain species that can be fairly easily observed, such as the seashore dwelling puffin. David Sibley's exacting artwork and wide-ranging expertise brings observed behaviors vividly to life. (For most species, the primary illustration is reproduced life-sized.) And while the text is aimed at adults--including fascinating new scientific research on the myriad ways birds have adapted to environmental changes--it is nontechnical, making it the perfect occasion for parents and grandparents to share their love of birds with young children, who will delight in the big, full-color illustrations of birds in action. Unlike any other book he has written, What It's Like to Be a Bird is poised to bring a whole new audience to David Sibley's world of birds.

Author Biography

DAVID ALLEN SIBLEY is the author and illustrator of the series of successful guides to nature that bear his name, including The Sibley Guide to Birds. He has contributed to Smithsonian, Science, The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, Birding, BirdWatching, and North American Birds, and to The New York Times. He is the recipient of the Roger Tory Peterson Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Birding Association and the Linnaean Society of New York's Eisenmann Medal. He lives and birds in Massachusetts.

Review Quote

"Lingering over every page of What It's Like to Be a Bird, this is what can be seen: The book's beauty mirrors the beauty of birds it describes so marvelously." --NPR "Any new Sibley book is an event . . . A sprightly, information-packed encyclopedia of bird behavior. What lifts it into the realm of art is Sibley's illustrations--330 of them, many life-size. Captured in pencil and gouache, Sibley's birds are as scientifically accurate as Peterson's or Audubon's, but less static, more alive . . . The American robin with a rust-red Dickensian waistcoat; a martial, copper-feathered red-tailed hawk perched watchful along a country road--these and all the birds celebrated in What It's Like to Be a Bird seem ready to take flight." --Peter Fish, San Francisco Chronicle "After years of rushing to his indispensable field guides for sure resolution of any bird or tree ID conundrum, I'm delighted to find David Allen Sibley stretching his considerable artistic and literary wings . . . Having painted them all in every possible plumage permutation, evenly lighted and in profile, Mr. Sibley's joy in creating chiaroscuro tableaux of birds feeding, flying and tending their young is palpable . . . Expect to be surprised at the mental and physical capabilities of birds." --Julie Zickefoose, The Wall Street Journal "Simply gorgeous . . . Appropriate for general readers as well as bird experts, and it is perfectly suitable for young readers . . . As the world's bird population shrinks, it is helpful and even inspiring to learn as much as possible about the amazing feathered creatures that share our planet. There is no better way than to browse through David Allen Sibley's new book, What It's Like to Be a Bird." -- Nancy Gilson, The Columbus Dispatch "Sibley answers all kinds of questions people have about birds . . . [His] exacting artwork and wide-ranging expertise bring observed behaviors vividly to life." -- Birdwatching "Gorgeous art and fascinating information come together here. The organization makes it easy to pick up and read whatever strikes your fancy, while the depth of information means that anyone can learn a great deal. And then there's the art--lots and lots of it. All that makes this book attractive to anyone even remotely interested in birds." -- The Birder's Library "A fascinating work that fulfills its goal to 'give readers some sense of what it's like to be a bird' . . . [Readers] will emerge with a deeper appreciation of birds, and of what observable behaviors can reveal about animals' lives." -- Publishers Weekly

Promotional "Headline"

The bird book for birders and nonbirders alike that will excite and inspire by providing a new and deeper understanding of what common, mostly backyard, birds are doing--and why

Excerpt from Book

Introduction The Diversity of Birds Birds are dinosaurs [p. 81 bottom]. Some dinosaurs grew feathers more than 160 million years ago and gave rise to true birds. The meteor impact 66 million years ago wiped out more than two-thirds of all terrestrial species on earth, including all dinosaurs and all but a few bird species [p. 81 middle]. The general consensus is that there are about eleven thousand species of birds on earth today, and about eight hundred are found regularly in North America north of Mexico. These species are incredibly diverse, and a sampling of their remarkable adaptations and abilities are presented in this book. EVOLUTION--

Product Details

Author
David Allen Sibley
Year
2020
ISBN-10
0307957896
ISBN-13
9780307957894
Format
Hardcover
Publication Date
2020-04-07
Country of Publication
United States
Pages
240
Subtitle
From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing--What Birds Are Doing, and Why
Publisher
Alfred A. Knopf
Short Title
What It's Like to Be a Bird
Language
English
Audience
General/Trade
Series
Sibley Guides