Monday, March 17, 2014

Book Review: Ten Thousand Birds, Ornithology Since Darwin

I received Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology Since Darwin from Princeton University Press a couple of weeks ago. A large book, I admit I put off giving it an in-depth review just because of the size (544 pages.) It also doesn't have all of the pretty pictures most bird books have, although it does have several. One of the authors, Tim Birkhead, wrote Bird Sense, one of my favorite books about birds, so that caught my attention and gave me additional incentive to read the book.

So I made the plunge. The book delves into the rapid expansion in the study of birds since Darwin, but especially over the past few decades. It reviews our knowledge about bird evolution, classification, behavior, migration, ecology and conservation. The book takes a biographical approach, focusing on the major players in the field of ornithology and interweaving that information with their discoveries. What was especially interesting to me was how they went about making their discoveries--their thought processes and why they chose to study what they did.

Once I got into the book, there was a lot of fascinating information about birds tucked in throughout the book, so even if you are not necessarily excited about reading about science history and individual ornithologists, there is still a lot of attract a birder to the book. I found the book thoroughly entertaining and can see there is more than enough substance to have me returning to the book many times in the future.

This book is available from the publisher for $45.00 or  from for $32.12.

Good birding!

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