The Thing with Feathers: The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal About Being Human

Mediocre book that tries to connect bird behavior to humans, grouped chapters falling into Body, Mind, Spirit buckets that purport to show similarities. Sense of smell, memory, monogamous love, pecking order, etc. Some bits were of interest– how birds navigate by “seeing” the earth’s magnetic field, how birds use spatial memory to recall where they dropped their seed caches during the summer. Naturally anytime anyone talks about memory these days, they have to name-drop Simonides, the 500 BC Greek who was outside when a building collapsed and who could identify the bodies by visualizing where they all sat. Mostly discouraged by the jarring quality of the writing itself (my Achilles heel), he tries too hard to be cute and link disparate topics (“We’ll come back to chickens. But first we have to talk about tennis for a moment.”)