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A Short Philosophy of Birds Hardcover – Illustrated, 24 September 2019

4.7 out of 5 stars 43 ratings

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Hardcover, Illustrated, 24 September 2019
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Product details

  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 176 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 006294567X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0062945679
  • Customer reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 43 ratings

Product description

Review

This little book does a beautiful job of inspiring awe for the capacities of birds and applying lessons from their lives to the struggles of humanity. --Wall Street Journal

"A charming, witty and thought-provoking look at the way bird behaviour can both reflect and influence the way we live our lives"--Stephen Moss, naturalist and author

"A little gem. So much wisdom to be drawn from the feathered world of birds."--Raynor Winn, author of THE SALT PATH

"Brilliant, magical and engrossing-I will never see birds the same way again."--Peter Wohlleben, author of THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES

About the Author

Philippe J. Dubois is an ornithologist and writer who has travelled the world birdwatching. He is the author of several works on climate change and biodiversity, and is the former head of Delachaux and Niestlé, the world's oldest nature publisher, in Paris.

Elise Rousseau has a Master's degree in Literature and a degree in Philosophy, and is a conservationist and the author of several works on nature and animals.



Elise Rousseau has a Master's degree in Literature and a degree in philosophy, and is a conservationist and the author of several works on nature and animals.

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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
Peg Griffith
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful questions to ask self and get answers from birds!
10 March 2020 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
sister soul
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have
16 January 2020 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful
Tommy J. Or Ray
5.0 out of 5 stars Bird Wisdom
26 January 2020 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Megan Sargent
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Short Read
15 October 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Short Read
Reviewed in the United States on 15 October 2019
So excited to #partner with @tlcbooktours and @deystreet to feature A Short Philosophy of Birds today! 🦆I have always been a fan of birds and if I had a superpower it would of course be to fly! 🦅I mean when you really think about birds, they are just so amazing.🦉 .

Some of the things we can learn from birds are independence, vulnerability, and gender equality. 🐦The book asks you to think about how often you see a bird as a symbol- from an eagle, to a dove, to a stork. 🕊Pretty interesting right!🦢 .

And a funny side note about me- when I was in 2nd grade I went around telling everyone I wanted to be an ornithologist! 🤓It was the biggest word I could spell, and it made me sound really smart. 🐥When adults would ask me what that was, I would look at them and be like duh- it’s the study of birds! 🐓But then when I learned you had to do stuff like sift through what they ate, I changed my mind!🦚 .
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3 people found this helpful
Schizanthus Nerd
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick Read That Touches on Various Lessons Birds Can Teach Us
7 December 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
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4.0 out of 5 stars Quick Read That Touches on Various Lessons Birds Can Teach Us
Reviewed in the United States on 7 December 2019
If we pay attention, birds have plenty to teach us, whether it’s their adaptability through unpredictable weather or their patience during the time of their ‘eclipse’ plumage, when some species that are moulting are unable to fly and are at their most vulnerable, allowing themselves to grow stronger before soaring once again. They live in the present, they are curious and willing to take risks.

While this book doesn’t reference many specific philosophers or philosophical schools of thought, which I expected a book with ‘philosophy’ in its title would, it does encourage introspection. A reflection of your own life, the way you spend your time and what you place value on. In short chapters this quick read touches on various lessons birds can teach us. Courage, freedom, beauty, romance and death are all mentioned.

Often when I read books that have been translated it can feel like I’ve missed something vital that would have been captured in the original text. I didn’t experience that feeling here so commend Jennifer Higgins on her translation of the text into English.

I have a number of birds of different species that visit me each day and I love watching their behaviour. I’m in awe of the level of trust they afford me and it delights me when I discover something new about their individual personalities. I didn’t think I could appreciate them any more but some of the facts included in this book astounded me. Take the bar-tailed godwit, for instance:

“In spring, the godwit migrates to make its nest in the Arctic. By tracking one of these godwits with a satellite tag, researchers have discovered that they are capable of covering the distance between Alaska and New Zealand - over 7,000 miles - in one go. That equates to flying for a whole week at forty-five miles per hour. Consider, too, that the godwit weighs just 250 grams. What’s more, during this non-stop flight, the godwit rests by allowing only one half of its brain to fall asleep at a time - thereby enabling it to fly continuously through its sleep.”

I really enjoyed Joanna Lisowiec’s illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. The flamingoes and duck were two of my favourites.

If I were to nitpick I’d tell you that when facts were stated I would have liked to have seen these backed up with references, such as when it’s mentioned that crows’ brains have “twice as many synaptic connections as that of any mammal.”

Given the majority of the birds discussed reside in the Northern Hemisphere (unless they’re migrating) I was unfamiliar with the behaviours of some of the specific birds, although I could easily compare these with the birds native to Australia that visit my garden.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and WH Allen, an imprint of Penguin Random House UK, Ebury Publishing, for the opportunity to read this book.
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2 people found this helpful