The Secret Life of Birds

Colin Tudge


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Penguin Books Ltd
6 August 2009
ISBN: 9780141034768
512 pages

From the publisher

In The Secret Life of Birds, lifelong bird enthusiast Colin Tudge explores the extraordinary variety, secret history and hidden importance of birds around the world.

Birds are beautiful, intriguing and life-enhancing. They can do everything mammals can, and even more besides. Collected here are birds who navigate using the stars, tool-making crows, territorial robins, cooperative penguins and swans who mate for life - among hundreds of others.

Revealing everything from why birds sing to how they fly, think, bond and survive, from how they evolved (and whether it really is from dinosaurs) to why, in so many ways, they are very much like us, this rich, evocative book will make you love and admire the birds that are all around you.

'Enjoyable ... entertaining ... masterful'
Stephen Moss, Guardian

'Simply fizzing with ideas ... his heart is with the birds'
Literary Review

'Inspired ... Tudge's writing is always clear and frequently embellished with wry humour'
Richard Fortey, Sunday Telegraph

'Only when we read this scintillating study do we see how little we've known about the creatures we see around us'
Michael Kerrigan, Scotsman Books of the Year

'An author whose own deep relish for the extraordinary lives of birds seems only marginally less pleasurable to him than sharing that wonder with others'
BBC Wildlife Magazine

When Colin Tudge was a small boy, he could recognize only five kinds of birds. After studying zoology at Cambridge, Colin wrote for the New Scientist and was a documentary maker for BBC radio. His other books, also published by Penguin, include The Secret Life of Trees and So Shall We Reap: What's Gone Wrong with the World's Food - and How to Fix It.