The Genius of Birds

by Jennifer Ackerman. Penguin Press, 2016

Review by Anne Hanley

genius-of-birds-bookIf you enjoyed the David Attenborough Life of Birds episode about the Bower birds’ decorating skills or the Nature show describing research with crows that showed they can recognize faces, you will find this book fascinating.

Ms. Ackerman describes many recent studies showing the amazing skills birds have – navigation, remembering locations and even tool use in some cases. I thought she did a great job of showing the marvelous behaviors and abilities in the avian world. I like birds a lot, but I found my appreciation growing the more chapters I finished.

The book is written for a general audience, so the more technical aspects of the research is not included. If you love statistics, you’ll have to check out the references in the footnotes.