The Thing with Feathers: The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal About Being Human Hardcover – March 20, 2014
|New from||Used from|
Inspire a love of reading with Amazon Book Box for Kids
Discover delightful children's books with Amazon Book Box, a subscription that delivers new books every 1, 2, or 3 months — new Amazon Book Box Prime customers receive 15% off your first box. Learn more.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
"Mr. Strycker has the ability to write about the worlds of man and fowl without simplifying either.... He thinks like a biologist but writes like a poet, and one of the small pleasures of The Thing With Feathers is watching him distill empirical research into lyrical imagery.... Part the palm fronds behind his sentences, and you can almost see the British naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough standing there in a pith helmet, smiling with amused approval at Mr. Strycker's off-center sensibility." – Wall Street Journal
“The Thing With Feathers turns a shrewd, comparative eye on a succession of bird families to explore what [Strycker] calls their ‘human’ characteristics…This is an engaging work which illuminates something profound about all life, including our own.” – The Economist
"Intelligence, altruism, self-awareness, love . . . Strycker is especially engaging describing his own fieldwork with penguins and albatrosses . . . As Strycker writes, 'By studying birds, we ultimately learn about ourselves.'" – New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice
"[A] fun and enlightening read. Strycker knows words as well as birds; he has the literary chops to make the results of very complex experiments accessible." – Newsweek
"Strycker has a keen eye for what is most interesting about each species, and he presents each bird story with tight language, humor and even an occasional splash of self-consciousness . . . this is a lively and vibrant book. Bird journalism of the highest order. Bird journalism that crackles." – The Washington Post
"One of the best bird books you’ll read this decade. Guaranteed." – BirdWatching
"Beautifully written, filled with strange and lovely details, The Thing with Feathers is a delightful read from start to finish." – The Boston Globe
"It is Strycker's ability to see and draw connections between bird behavior and humanity that make The Thing with Feathers difficult to put down. . . The Thing with Feathers encourages reflection on one's own assumptions about the perceived limitations of the animal kingdom." – The Oregonian
"Strycker marshals original reporting and scientific studies to argue the simple yet radical notion that birds have something to teach us about our own humanity. Spend some time with this book." – Audubon
"Birds intrigue humanity, and in this research round-up Noah Strycker reveals why - in marvels such as the equal-radius paths of flocking starlings and the decontamination chamber that is a vulture's stomach. As he notes, such findings can mirror human realities." – Nature
"Noah Strycker all but lassos readers with his binocular strap to bring people nose to beak with the plumed creatures he knows so well. . . [an] edifying and entertaining book." – Science News
"Lovely, provocative..." – Robert Krulwich, NPR
"Fascinating" – Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“The Things With Feathers will encourage you to take a closer look at the natural world around you, and perhaps learn more not only about what you see but who you are." – Seattle Times
“[Strycker] combines the latest in ornithological science with snippets of history and his own vast experience in the field to hatch a thoroughly entertaining examination of bird behavior… In Strycker’s absorbing survey, we find out how much fun it is simply to watch them.” – Booklist, STARRED
“[Strycker’s] prose is difficult to stop reading.” – Publishers Weekly
“A delightful book with broad appeal.” – Kirkus Reviews
“A dazzling variety of avian subjects, including connections between birds and humans.” – Library Journal
“There’s bird watching, then there is obsessing over why nearly 2,500 different species do the things they do. That’s Noah Strycker, and this lovely book is compelling to those that chart the different birds they see on walks, and the rest of us who just gaze longingly at them as they fly through the air.” – Flavorwire
“Noah Strycker explores the increasing likelihood that birds enjoy a vastly richer intellectual, emotional and even artistic life than we smug humans have ever suspected. Read this book.” – Scott Weidensaul, author of Living on the Wind and The First Frontier
"As the 'owner' of a dancing Green-cheeked Conure, as a life-long pigeon-lover, seabird researcher, and falcon enthusiast, I can tell you that not only is this book full of solid information—I expected that—but as a writer I am astonished at how loose and easy Noah Strycker has made the reading for us. This is an insightful and wonderfully companionable book. I can’t wait to read more from Strycker; meanwhile we have this gem." – Carl Safina, author of Song for the Blue Ocean and The View From Lazy Point.
“A thoughtful, engaging book, encompassing pigeon races, physics, vulture baiting, the Backstreet Boys, and a mathematical model applicable to both tennis rankings and chicken hierarchies—a work of dazzling range, nimbly written.” – Brian Kimberling, author of Snapper
“I’ve read books about birds all of my life and this is the one I’ve been waiting for. Birds have a great deal to teach us. Strycker loves birds, understands their magic and mystery, and can extrapolate from their behavior wisdom for us all. At last we have a book worthy of this subject.” – Mary Pipher, author of The Green Boat
- Publisher : Riverhead Books; First Edition (March 20, 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1594486352
- ISBN-13 : 978-1594486357
- Item Weight : 15.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.05 x 8.6 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,009,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The problem is that the book arrived quite damaged. A portion of the lower half of the cover page was torn and folded over and appears to have been pressed that way for a long time. Plus the book appears to have been pressed very hard against a sharp corner, like a table. So there was a single, large crease permeating the entire length of the book. That could have happened in delivery. But I highly doubt the tear happened in transit. It was in one of those white, somewhat firm plastic sleeves with no damage on the outside. So I can only surmise that it was already damaged when it was slipped into the sleeve.
Normally I would send it back for an exchange since it was a gift. But there wasn't sufficient time. So I gave it to my buddy anyway and he decided it was fine. It wouldn't change the readability of it. But I was a disappointed that I had to give him a worn and used looking book.
unusual in a particular type of bird. The knowledge that the author has for each bird is vast, and the result of travel and following birds into their habitat for long periods of time. In addition to that, much study of science, music, physics and anything related to the aspect of the bird behavior he is presenting. Humor is also present. The author does to seem to take himself too seriously, and sometimes, had me laughing our loud. I'm a painter, and not a book reviewer - so will use the new appreciation I have of birds, in my paintings, and have already done so.
Within its pages, Noah Strycker creates a compelling case for how living creatures are often like other living creatures; he shows us the mysteries that make us wonder; the baffling realizations that drive us to study birds at all. It transcends mere human psychology, exploring the abilities of homing pigeons, the precision of starling flocks, why white owls wander, the aggression of hummingbirds, penguin fear rhythm in parrots and true and undying love in albatrosses. It directly addresses the question: why are birds the way they are?
It also defines the fascinating career of young Noah Strycker, a seasoned and widely experienced ornithologist (and associate editor of "Birding" magazine), whose avian curiosity drives the passion behind the quest to understand the brains of birds and how that relates to how we humans think, or, as Strycker writes, "This book may be about the bird world, but it's also about the human world."
In its largest sense, Strycker analyses the physical, mental, and spiritual lives of birds from around the world through each of his more than a dozen selected breeds; more than that, it's how he sections his work.
And for those looking for " an anecdotal addition" to their interest in birds, this might just be THE book you were looking for, and THE author to present it to you.