The Genius of Birds

Jennifer Ackerman’s The Genius of Birds

The final paragraph of Ted Anderson’s book on house sparrows is this: “As I watch live television news from Baghdad, Gaza, Jerusalem, or Kosovo and hear sparrows chirping in the background, I sometimes wonder what opinion, if any, the house sparrow has about the havoc wreaked by its human hosts.”

This book was another PCV Chris recommendation and once again, it did not disappoint. I have always had an interest in animals and how they think, behave, and function and this book was an incredibly interesting book about the intelligence of various species of birds. I started reading this book while vacationing on the Amazon river in Iquitos, Peru, so as I was reading as I was visiting a bird-rich part of the world and I got to spend time bird watching and thinking about the pages I had read the night before. It is not written as a list of boring, scientific discoveries, but stories that help the reader to better understand and love birds.