Today I was sorting out the blog for yesterdays Random Act of Wildness – “Admire the setting Sun”, it was raining and I had work later. I wasn’t really left with many options, due to the constraints (time and weather). So, I chose to read a non-fiction book on the bus to work (wildlife related of course).
The bird on the front of the book is an American Goldfinch, it’s just a funky Siskin to us Brits 😛 I really like the first two paragraphs in the introduction for Section One of the book, so I’ve quoted them below:
Birds are not only one of the most successful groups in the animal kingdom but they hold a special position in our awareness of the natural world. They are often the most obvious living creatures in a landscape (their apparent confidence borne of an ability to fly to safety) and their bright colours and melodic songs have long been admired by man. Yet it is only recently that we have begun to fully appreciate just how intricate their lives are.
The 8000 or so species of birds have evolved over millions of years and have adapted to many different modes of life. If one was to take a single feature which places the birds apart from all other animals it would be the development of feathers. These complex and delicate structures not only make flight possible but also serve many other functions, notably providing insulation from cold or wet and furnishing attractive or eye-catching plumages for use in courtship and territorial rituals.
Such great facts! ❤ What a top way to introduce readers to a book all about birds.
I have to stop myself from quoting more paragraphs, so I’ll just quote one more. From the top of page 8:
Birds have lived on earth for far longer than man or any of the mammals. When giant dinosaurs roamed the world, there were already many kinds of birds inhabiting the forests, and wetlands and the marine environment. They included some types which we would recognise today, such as grebes, herons and waterfowl. In fact, it seems that birds are probably descended from small dinosaurs called coelurosaurs which ran standing up on their hind legs and balancing with their tails, much as birds do today. Compsognathus is a typical coelurosaur.
This book was published in 1989 by The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited. It has 3 sections in all; Biology of Birds, Bird Habitats of the World and Bird Families of the World – covering all aspects. It has a mixture of stills and illustrations, I think it’s a brilliant book.