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Tim Birkhead: Birds and Us


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Birds and Us wings its way through 12,000 years of our species’ engagement with the avian world. Birkhead tells it all with delightful gusto, plaiting personal encounters with challenging historical research and bewitching scientific rigour’ Tim Dee 


In Birds and Us, award-winning writer and ornithologist Tim Birkhead takes us on an epic and dazzling journey through our mutual history with birds, from the ibises mummified and deified by Ancient Egyptians to Renaissance experiments on woodpecker anatomy, from Victorian obsessions with egg collecting to the present fight to save endangered species and restore their habitats.

Weaving in stories from his own life as a scientist, including far-flung expeditions to wondrous Neolithic caves in Spain and the bustling guillemot colonies of the Faroe Islands, this rich and fascinating book is the culmination of a lifetime’s research and unforgettably shows how birds shaped us, and how we have shaped them.

‘Thought-provoking at every turn, this inspiring, shocking, wonder-filled exploration of our relationship with birds from earliest times delivers a sobering challenge to us living with birds today’ Isabella Tree, author of Wilding

Tim Birkhead is a Fellow of the Royal Society and Emeritus Professor of Zoology in the School of Biosciences at the University of Sheffield. His research has taken him all over the world in the quest to understand the lives of birds, among his many prize-winning books are The Wisdom of Birds: A History of Ornithology, Bird Sense, What It’s Like to Be a Bird and The Most Perfect Thing: Inside (and Outside) a Bird’s Egg.


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