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Bird Sense: What It's Like to Be a Bird - 14th Oct 2016

You put out sugarwater for the tuis and the bellbirds. You laboriously fashion fat-feeders with seeds & salt-free peanut butter and festoon the trees with them. You know exactly how many pairs of blackbirds inhabit your garden and you watch to see where they're nesting. You were upset when the waxeye population suddenly declined.  You actually briefly considered allowing the muehlenbeckia to swamp your garden because the fantails love it. You watch and listen so often that you recognise individual birds.  Your choice of plants is dictated by what the birds like. You frighten off the local cats whenever they venture in.  

If any of that struck a chord with you, then Tim Birkhead's book will probably appeal to you. Bird Sense: What It's Like to be a Bird is a beautifully written book and explores a bird's senses and how birds interpret the world.  

It will address questions such as what it's like to fly at over 100km per hour or how flamingos can sense rain falling hundreds of kilometres away or how birds' senses compare to our own. The book is divided into chapters called Seeing, Hearing, Touch, Taste, Smell (which explains the book's title) and a couple of extras dealing with emotions & magnetic sense.  

It is a fascinating read for anyone interested in birds, ornithology or natural history. Come in and get a copy 

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