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Bald Coot and Screaming Loon: Adventures in the Curious, Mysterious and Remarkable World of Birds Hardcover – March 2, 2010


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Bald Coot and Screaming Loon: Adventures in the Curious, Mysterious and Remarkable World of Birds + The Curious Gardener's Almanac: Centuries of Practical Garden Wisdom
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Trade; 1 edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399535683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399535680
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,052,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After an abortive encounter with birds during Spring break, a teenaged Edworthy gave up his dream of nature photography for writing; with a number books under his belt (The Curious Gardener's Almanac, The Optimist's/Pessimist's Handbook), he returns to his early passion for "the magical enigma" of birds with a guidebook aimed at general readers, rather than committed bird-watchers. Full of fascinating information and trivia presented in a well-illustrated, magazine-like layout, Edworthy's volume discusses topics like the probability that birds and reptiles share a common, 145-million-year-old ancestor, the crow-sized "Archaeopterix," and the myth that birds are largely monogamous (although swans, albatrosses and most birds of prey "do settle down for life"). Surprisingly, he overlooks some recent research-like a 2007 study contradicting his assertion that, in most instances, only male birds sing-but is largely reliable in his discussion of bird behavior, providing colorful anecdotes for characteristics like problem solving in crows: "in Japanese cities crows drop walnuts in front of cars ... and wait for an obliging wheel to break the shell open."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. Leed on March 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Niall Edworthy's enjoyable and fascinating book on all things birds is well worth the read. It is a well written resource about the curious lives of birds. Those new to bird watching will find many practical tips and explanations about bird behavior. Even those with experience will find something of interest with little effort. It is the kind of book that one can start reading a random page and soon find something fascinating that they did not know about birds. Well worth the price.
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Format: Hardcover
I've read lots of books about birds, and this is one of my all-time favorites. It's a great compilation of facts, anecdotes, poetry, quotes, and more. (And I really like the title too.)
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By Himri VINE VOICE on April 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Bald Coot and Screaming Loon by Niall Edworthy is a book written in qestion answer format about birds and what they eat(or what we should or should not feed them), where they live and all the other things they do. He degrades them in the beginning to put them on the pedestal after the introduction.

I have read a Q&A book on birds before that didnt sustain my readership for too long. Compared with that, this book is an eye candy with accurate, lyric and funny illustrations. Its an ear candy too with the poems in it. My favourie is Dixon Lanier Merrit's poem in which he rhymes pelican with '(his bill can hold more than his)belican' and '(But i'm damned if I see how the) helican'.

If you are a beginner, you will learn a lot about how the birds 'flying' rules all of its other activities - molting, what organs it can or cannot have. For a bird with scavenging habits, you cannot have feathers on your neck. The most amazing fact to know for me was the duration of day that it takes to make an egg. Again its the need to fly for food. Bird mommy gets no maternity leave. That they discard their nitrogen in a way very differet from mammals which again goes back to how it cant bloat itself so that it can fly. Dusting. Anting and many other phenomenon.

If you have not done birdwatching before, theres a how to.

With so much going on about air controllers caught sleeping while on duty, a patrol crane with a stone held in its feet might have a way out for waking when you fall asleep.

When the author describes how the birds drink water, from what I have seen or remember, I think they posess a soaking ability. I will have to watch more keenly and look for them to hold their head back to gulp it down.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Gresham on December 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first read Bald Coot, and was so charmed by the graphics and the writing that I immediately looked into other books by Niall Edworthy. My next read was The Curious Garden, and it was equally engaging. The "read and pause" nature of these books is wonderful for those who can't devote hours to reading at one sitting. Even though I've been a bird lover and a gardener for decades, I learned so much from each book, and already think of the author as an interesting neighbor, albeit from England. These books were purchased as a gift for our daughter who is delving into these hobbies across the continent.
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