If you are a bird nerd then Jennifer Ackerman’s “The Genius of Birds,” is a must have. This book is part personal history, part textbook, part reference book, and window into several of the most unique aspects of birds. It turns out that even though birds are the most studied species in history, we still have a lot to learn. I happen to be sitting in a backyard in New York looking at species I’ve seen a hundred times, but I still don’t know much about these little suckers especially when it comes to their private lives.
It also turns out there are several parallels between the bird brain and human brains, so when someone disses you with “Hey, bird brain, get your sh%$ together,” don’t take it personally. Birds are social, sometimes cruel, focused creatures who love to get over on each other, navigate long distances and adapt at recording-breaking pace. (This still won’t save many of them.) All things I’m guessing you already know, but Ackerman travels to remote spots to work with researches conducting incredibly focused efforts. With climate change roaring full speed ahead, many of these feathered beauties have limited time, while many others are already vanished from our little planet. The next time you see a story about PFAS chemicals or watch as a mall parking lot replaces a section of wetland, well, think of the birds .