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The Thing With Feathers

The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal About Being Human, by Noah Strycker

Bird nerds get an unfair rap as socially awkward. But in his second book, the affable author, Noah Strycker, all but lassos readers with his binocular strap to bring people nose to beak with the plumed creatures he knows so well.

An ornithologist and editor at Birding magazine, Strycker has a knack for describing random avian encounters: “The first time I walked through the Adélie penguin colony at Cape Crozier, Antarctica, I quickly learned to step carefully.” He makes tracking his feathered friends seem anything but tedious, whether he’s haplessly (and happily) frozen in place as penguins untie his shoelaces, stopping two hummingbirds from killing each other in a Costa Rican jungle or stumbling upon a bowerbird’s “artwork” in the Australian outback.

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