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'
'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.
When Colin Tudge was a small boy, he could recognize only five kinds of birds. Following a childhood spent at London Zoo and in conversation with a bird-watching cousin, he began to perceive that 'ordinary birds' included pipits and wagtails, terns and kestrels, and a miscellany of crows, not all of which were black. So began a lifelong interest in birds and how they live. After studying zoology at Cambridge, Colin wrote for the New Scientist and was a documentary maker for BBC radio. Now a full-time writer, he appears regularly as a public speaker. A Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, he was a visiting Research Fellow at the Centre of Philosophy at the London School of Economics for ten years.