The Genius of Birds PDF/EPUB ☆ The Genius ePUB

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The Genius of Birds It´s are not just the complex social structures the ability to learn to speak etc but especially the speed and accuracy of intelligence that may evolve higher than the one of other animals To learn an 8 step method to get food might get tricky to impossible to many animals that are smart tooWhat is uniue and has the most potential for genetic engineering is the optimization of the use of space in those relatively small bird brains that are in relation to body size as large as the ones of mammals but minimized for optimized natural lightweight construction If one would take this immense concentration of brainpower and put it in a whale or elephant it´s computational power would explode although there may be a problem with the heat and general overload of the system Certainly that could be fixed too by adapting the whole metabolism and organs to fit to the new brain but until then just understanding how so much can be processed by such a tiny unit will open up many other applications Orientation and navigation in birds are still a mystery and there seem to have evolved different methods of how to find the right way over thousands of kilometers As melodious as singing birds are as unclear is how they learn it and how complex their vocabulary might be if they use it to express emotions and if they may be able to talk about the past maybe dead birds they remember or complex philosophical topicsAll the included theories and ideas that might be the reason for the high intelligence make the book in some part fictional which I highly appreciate between the theoretical partsBecause birds have tool use understand complex correlations and human art are descendants of the magnificent dinosaurs can get very old teach their kids lie fake manipulate can adapt to new environments etc they might evolve to something of very high intelligence in millions of years If they would lose the ability to fly for higher possible brain size that still stays as highly connected as it was necessary for flying evolve and skillful claws and live together in complex groups building their houses together and get civilization diseases Based on a different brain architecture with many similarities to humans in functioning they could become eual to human intelligence A wiki walk can be as refreshing to the mind as a walk through nature in this completely overrated real life outside books This is a marvelous book about the intelligence of birds In this book Jennifer Ackerman describes a wide range of bird species brain sizes and capabilities Bird brains in size relative to body weight are similar to those of mammals Of course in absolute terms they are small as their total weight must be minimal in order to fly I learned so much from this book I had no idea about some of the capabilities of our feathered friendsThe smartest birds appear to be crows ravens and parrots The most clever bird seems to be the New Caledonian crow Take a look at this video which shows a crow that has learned an 8 step method to get to some food Only four animals make complex tools; humans chimps orangutans and New Caledonian crows And the crows make hook tools; the only other species than humans New Caledonian crows demonstrate cumulative technological change Their tools are too complex to be invented by a single bird New Caledonian crows have an extended juvenile period of learning tool making from parents Also the lack of predators on New Caledonia allow crows time and ease of mind to tinker with sticks and barbed leaves Keas small parrots like play most of all; they love to horseplay And they are practical jokesters They have stolen TV antennae from houses deflated automobile tires and stolen money from cars And it seems like some birds actually enjoy playing just for the fun of it Take a look at this video showing a crow enjoying sledding down a snow covered roof on a jar lid again and again Bird brains have evolved separately from mammals so their brain architecture is uite different from that of humans Nevertheless their neural connection patterns are uite similar to those of humans Sleep patterns and functions are similar between birds and mammals; these patterns seem to have evolved separately in parallelBirds have a trade off at birth between immediate functionality flying almost as soon as they are hatched and greater brainpower later The uestion this book raises is not whether birds are smart some are definitely smart but rather why are they smart? The best answer seems to be that birds are smart so that they can solve problems in their environment; how to get food from hard to get places In Japan crows drop nuts onto a roadway and position the nuts so that passing cars break the nuts which they then recover Crows and ravens have been observed to dig up rocks and drop them on invading researchersScrub jays play a shell game with food that they store in caches They bury then later move or pretend to move food from one cache to another They try to trick and confuse other scrub jays They do this only in front of rival birds not their mates But they play this shell game only if they themselves have pilfered food from others in the pastThere is a fascinating description of how birds learn to sing with parallels with humans learning to speak It is a mystery how birds and humans independently evolved similar approaches for vocal learning One theory is that birds and humans evolved neural circuits that control body movements into vocal capabilitiesThe book describes the art projects that male bower birds develop in order to attract mates And this is followed by Darwin's really dangerous idea; colorful feathers or beautiful bowers might not just be indicators of a male's fitness vigor and health they can be desirable ualities beatiful traits in the mind of the female The female's preference has acted to evolve these traits in the male Birds have been trained to distinguish between paintings by Picasso and Monet; they could distinguish impressionists from cubists They could also learn to discriminate between good and bad paintings as defined by human criticsThere are lots areas where birds excel even in comparison with humans I won't cover them all here I simply recommend to everyone who enjoys watching birds to read this book It is beautifully written comprehensive in scope and the writing style is very engagingOh and one thing; last night I dreamt that I was a bird I flew up into the upper region of a big tree worrying whether the thin upper branches could support my weight I figured out how to perch on a branch a feat that seemed difficult at first and then I talked with some of the other birds in the tree Up until four years ago I have had birds for most of my life Parakeets delightful finches a crockety Cockatiel and some very clever love birds Then my asthma became debilitating and I found birds have allergies than dogs and cats Who knew? So I had to give away my two lovebirds I knew how clever birds could be and even how cunning but those in this book will surpriseRavens that use tools Can figure out eight step puzzles and other games I loved the shrub Jay's who hide their nuts for the winter but are also thieves that steal nuts from others They have also figured out a way to psyche out other would be thieves Chickadees that have a early warning system based on perceived threat levels They show empathy when confronted with a dead bird Some hnow compassion to their partners So much info is included and explained so well Many I hadn't heard of an spent time looking them up on wiki but I enjoyed this book immensely Read it with a sense of wonder that all the bird slights name calling such as bird brain or lame duck may actually be compliments 375 🧠 🧠 🧠 🧠 s What a birdbrain? Awk After reading this book I cry Fowl I wont use that term or think of the birds visiting my feeders in the same way again especially the jays and pigeonsBird fanciers should enjoy this but you needn’t be an enthusiast to appreciate much of the content within My favorite chapters were on navigation and caching skillsSome things to crow about● Size does matter to the ladies Give a hen a giant egg to sit on even artificial and she prefers it to smaller ones● Crows leave thank you gifts in feeders when they are treated regularly Check out some treasures from Gabi Mann’s collection●● Golden Winged Warblers anticipate deadly impending storms● Bee hummingbirds weigh less than an old penny● ● Birds don’t need to count calories In an average thirty year lifetime a tern may fly the euivalent of three trips to the moon and back● Pigeons our first air mail providers and GPS navigators are bookish than we might imagine differentiating between the paintings of VanGogh Monet Picasso and Chagall Can I do that 🤔? Their average flying speed is an impressive fifty miles per hour The Chinese military has built a force of ten thousand trained messenger pigeons in order to communicate with troops along borders in case of “electromagnetic interference or a collapse in their signals” ●Shorter than I thought at 267 pages because the rest of the count goes towards acknowledgements notes and index This one just might win the award for most footnotes ever Being an avid watcher of Nova and Nature much of the content was already familiar to meOverall it's interesting reading but it won’t keep you up like a night🦉 Rating 45 of five rounded down for jargoneeringI voted for this book in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards It deserves ever one of its stars I was fascinated by the breadth of the study's scope I was impressed by Ackerman's lucidity of prose despite the inevitable I suppose use of a lot of scientific jargonI've been a bird fancier since the first time I saw a Balti oriole's nest in 1967 In fact after the birds had raised their chicks and migrated north again I scaled for the one and only time in my life so scared of heights I had to be rescued by my aunt's gardener the pecan tree where I'd watched them live their South Texas breeding lives and got me that empty nest It was a staple of my home decor until a careless mover crushed it in 1999 I was so angry I had to leave the house for an hour or I'd've crushed himCrows fascinate me to this day In Austin in the 1970s the street I lived on had gob oodles of trees Crows liked to perch in them because there was an extensive open space very near us Great place to grub around in the literal sense of the verb and thus I could over time learn that there were certain trees where certain crows could normally be found I also discovered that crows like multi grain bread which I do not so they appreciated my gifts of whole crumbled loaves of the stuff that my mother couldn't afford to replace with anything except my preferred rye or pumpernickel bread Thanks guysThis book resonated with me for those reasons and also taught me a goodly amount of new information I am completely unsurprised by the expanded knowledge scientists are accumulating about birds They've been evolving for over 300MM years Dinosaurs weren't stupid to begin with; add the last 65MM years for the birds to accumulate new knowledge and it shouldn't surprise us they're smart it should surprise us if we find that they're dimwitted instinct driven dum dumsVery highly recommended if you're already interested in birds; still recommended if you're only mildly curious about the avian family that we continue to decimate with our carelessness about the planet we live on Pretty soon ladies and gentlemen THE BIRDS will be a prediction not a cautionary tale Why did I read a book like ‘Genius of Birds? I walk a few times a week for exercise but because it was boring to do so on a treadmill I chose to walk outside At first I had earbuds for listening to music and audiobooks jammed into my ears most of the time because I assumed it would be a little dull walking outside too But eventually I realized I was hearing birdsong all over the place I wondered what kind of birds were making those sounds I identified maybe day I saw a hawk sitting on top of a tall evergreen tree; the hawk caused a birdsong pandemonium much like this video the following sound was one I heard all of the time despite that I am a mile away from Elliot Bay were these little noisy fellows some not so little? Why so noisy? I live in a medium sized city with chunks of tamed parkland and an occasional polluted stream around me How do birds survive in my urban environment? What and who are these birds of all colors and sizes? Crows in particular surround my area in fact every area I have ever lived on the west coast Are they the bosses top of the bird food chain? How do birds sing anyway? What are they thinking? Do they think? No book about birds can answer every uestion about birds An encyclopedia set couldn’t include everything we have seen through millennia about birds What ‘The Genius of Birds’ explores is primarily what has been discovered about how some birds think and communicate their thoughts if they have thoughts If birds have thoughts what do they think about and how does it specifically relate to their lives?Jennifer Ackerman discusses some of the testing scientists have devised for observing birds’ thinking behavior The chapters areFrom Dodo to CrowThe Bird WayBoffinsTwitterFour Hundred TonguesThe Bird ArtistA Mapping MindSparrowville One bird the New Caledonian crow is tested freuently because it may be the smartest bird in the world The book describes the tests the crow passes with ease It can solve three step puzzles using tools have only recently seen with what organ birds use to sing and communicate The author Jennifer Ackerman describes bird vocal chords recently seen by an MRI She also discusses various theories of if and why a species of bird devises different tunes and even accents are songs passed down from parent to child? Or does the knowledge of tunes come along with the baby birds at birth? Is the how of birds that sing and talk related to human brain mechanisms? Are birds actually saying anything intellectually meaningful? Scientists can only make guesses about observed bird sounds and behavior For instance why do birds imitate the sounds of other birds chainsaws human babies crying and doors opening? Do they sing just to hear themselves or only to attract mates or do they also sound off to warn and teach young’uns? Do other species of birds or animals listen for a different bird species’ warnings or recognize songs as warnings? lovely bird tunes to ‘The Genius of Birds’ scientists and amateur birdwatchers have made some fascinating discoveries about bird cognition culture omg birds appear to have culture and it varies around the world even within the same species aesthetics building skills mapping talents and adaptation skills particular in adapting to us humans What brain neurons are at work? Are their neurons the same as humans? Do their neurons function like our neurons when doing the same task? Do birds intentionally trick other species of birds and animals and if so what kind of mental cognition is involved? Can birds connive and scheme? Do birds play around just for fun? She describes the suspected brain talents of various bird species Her writing is cogent and she has chosen interesting things to describe to us readersMost of what Ackerman discusses is what scientists professional and amateur have seen in studies and tests showing what possible cognitive activity is occurring behind the actions different species of birds do under certain circumstances She describes what bird owners have told about what their pet birds have done some stories are very funny This book is interesting but while fairly comprehensive in some bird brain studies it left me wanting But clearly birds have a working intelligence behind their beautiful eyesThankfully Ackerman has included sections for Acknowledgements Notes and IndexIt is an interesting bookI am not the only one who has wondered what birds do with their lives People see remarkable bird behavior all of the time once they begin to look If you want gentle reader Youtubecom is a treasure trove of bird videos and songsSpeaking of bird behavior and cultureDancing birds bird pretty bird to those who want to own birds who can imitate human language if you do not want guests to hear the things you and your family say do not say things within the hearing distance of your pet bird Talking birds can speak VERY clearly even if it might be only a mindless imitation And I do think some birds are NOT simply imitating youthey are TALKING They have feelings Some like to cuddle and play and do mischievous tricks They get mad They pick up on cues from living with people Imitating electronics plus R2D2 gets raped by a budgie bird speech might actually mean they have done something and they know how to get to you if they say “hear me now bcth?” They hear and memorize speech from Tv and video games too besides from youWarning fowl language as well as foulhttpsyoutubeb22nUygu7h0This video well idk it’s just kinda soothinghttpsyoutubecnxwsC1RYFYAlfred Hitchcock was on to something about birds gentle reader when he made that movie ‘The Birds’ This book will give some weight to the idea of no longer using the term “bird brain” to disparage anyone Wow birds are cool Birds are astonishingly intelligent creatures According to revolutionary new research some birds rival primates and even humans in their remarkable forms of intelligence In The Genius of Birds acclaimed author Jennifer Ackerman explores their newly discovered brilliance and how it came about As she travels around the world to the most cutting edge frontiers of research Ackerman not only tells the story of the recently uncovered genius of birds but also delves deeply into the latest findings about the bird brain itself that are shifting our view of what it means to be intelligent At once personal yet scientific richly informative and beautifully written The Genius of Birds celebrates the triumphs of these surprising and fiercely intelligent creatures I was hoping to have fun with this read It is a scientific and close up and personal look at the varying species of our avian neighbors and how they compare to other members of the animal kingdom including humansThis extensively researched book is for the serious birder and contains many results of experiments on varying species of birds the world overA 5 read for the serious birder and 4's for the casual enthusiast like myselfI'll just be happy watching the birds in my backyard Everything from hawks to hummers Full of fascinating details of the incredible mental processes of various kinds of birds Just a delight The reason for four stars instead of five is the running commentary that assumes evolution in the background which had the disconcerting effect of making the reader think that Ackerman was telling us a bunch of true and stupefying things but was not paying any attention to just how amazing they wereDarwinism is not just a house of cards it is an inverted house of cards with the apex of the entire card pyramid being one upright joker holding up the whole thing and then five stories up the storytellers started adding bricks cinder blocks and anvils Every couple pages Ackerman heaves another brick at the top as though there were nothing unusual going on at all Everything you ever wanted to know about birds and The author has compiled research from many sources to convey the capabilities and talents of a wide variety of bird species In addition to the scientific studies Ackerman includes anecdotes current speculations and a bit of humor It is logically arranged and flows smoothly The author’s love of birds shines through Highlights include Birds with a preference for certain colors and art types The ability to remember where they cached food supplies even months later Vocalization and songs as a form of bird communication Birds making and using tools and teaching their young to do so Gift giving Recognition of facial expressionsIt reuires a strong interest in science animal intelligence ornithology or ecology to fully appreciate it as there is an enormous amount of information imparted in a somewhat technical manner Ackerman recounts many experiments – the setup controls and results I listened to the audiobook read by Margaret Strom Her voice has a pleasing tone and she reads well On a personal note I have a water feature in my backyard and always look forward to the spring when I can reactivate it after the snowy season I watch the many varieties of birds finches cardinals jays robins doves sparrows chickadees and even uail that come to drink bathe or play It is one of the small joys of my year

  • Hardcover
  • 352 pages
  • The Genius of Birds
  • Jennifer Ackerman
  • English
  • 18 September 2014
  • 9781594205217

About the Author: Jennifer Ackerman

Jennifer Ackerman has been writing about science and nature for three decades She is the author of eight books including the New York Times bestseller The Genius of Birds which has been translated into than twenty languages Her articles and essays have appeared in Scientific American National Geographic The New York Times and many other publications Ackerman is the recipient of a Nat