The Thing with Feathers: The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal About Being Human is a delightful set of stories about birds, written by a knowledgeable birder. From pigeons to starlings, nutcrackers to parrots, the author takes pains to show how birds have abilities that we can only imagine, and badly at that. What does it mean to “see” the earth’s magnetic field? Along the way, many funny stories are told, whether about red contact lenses for chickens (to minimize pecking) to the author’s own hauling of a dead deer in his parents’ car to observe buzzards’ feeding habits.
I loved the stories — and I would preferred they not be systematically accompanied by comparisons to the more mundane capabilities of humans.