Bird Minds

Cognition and Behaviour of Australian Native Birds

Author: Gisela Kaplan

Publisher: CSIRO PUBLISHING

ISBN: 1486300200

Category: Science

Page: 280

View: 8651

In her comprehensive and carefully crafted book, Gisela Kaplan demonstrates how intelligent and emotional Australian birds can be. She describes complex behaviours such as grieving, deception, problem solving and the use of tools. Many Australian birds cooperate and defend each other, and exceptional ones go fishing by throwing breadcrumbs in the water, extract poisonous parts from prey and use tools to crack open eggshells and mussels. The author brings together evidence of many such cognitive abilities, suggesting plausible reasons for their appearance in Australian birds. Bird Minds is the first attempt to shine a critical and scientific light on the cognitive behaviour of Australian land birds. In this fascinating volume, the author also presents recent changes in our understanding of the avian brain and links these to life histories and longevity. Following on from Gisela’s well-received books on the Australian Magpie and the Tawny Frogmouth, as well as two earlier titles on birds, Bird Minds contends that the unique and often difficult conditions of Australia's environment have been crucial for the evolution of unusual complexities in avian cognition and behaviour.

Bird Brains

Inside the Strange Minds of Our Fine Feathered Friends

Author: Budd Titlow

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 0762797703

Category: Nature

Page: 240

View: 7462

Through a hundred short vignettes accompanied by stunning avian portraits, Bird Brains takes a look at the antics, behaviors, and idiosyncrasies of wild birds from the viewpoint of a professional wildlife biologist and award-winning wildlife photographer. Titlow understands the often wild and wacky lives of birders--those who are always ready and willing to drop everything at a moment’s notice and "twitch off" to some exotic locations just to add another checkmark to their life lists. His engaging stories, complemented by vivid images, provide a fascinating compendium of wild bird lore perfectly suited to the 65-million-plus birders across the United States.

Defender (Hive Mind)

Author: Janet Edwards

Publisher: Wallam-Crane Press

ISBN: N.A

Category: Fiction

Page: 356

View: 6093

Becoming a telepath was hard. Being a telepath is harder. Eighteen-year-old Amber is the youngest of the five telepaths who protect the hundred million citizens of one of the great hive cities of twenty-sixth century Earth. Her job is hunting down criminals before they commit their crimes, but this time her team arrive too late. Someone is already dead. Someone that Amber knows. Amber is determined to catch the murderer, but she doesn’t realize who she’s up against, or the true danger of opening her mind to the thoughts of others. Defender is the second book in the Hive Mind series.

Is Birdsong Music?

Outback Encounters with an Australian Songbird

Author: Hollis Taylor

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253026482

Category: Music

Page: 364

View: 4558

How and when does music become possible? Is it a matter of biology, or culture, or an interaction between the two? Revolutionizing the way we think about the core values of music and human exceptionalism, Hollis Taylor takes us on an outback road trip to meet the Australian pied butcherbird. Recognized for their distinct timbre, calls, and songs, both sexes of this songbird sing in duos, trios, and even larger choirs, transforming their flute-like songs annually. While birdsong has long inspired artists, writers, musicians, and philosophers, and enthralled listeners from all walks of life, researchers from the sciences have dominated its study. As a field musicologist, Taylor spends months each year in the Australian outback recording the songs of the pied butcherbird and chronicling their musical activities. She argues persuasively in these pages that their inventiveness in song surpasses biological necessity, compelling us to question the foundations of music and confront the remarkably entangled relationship between human and animal worlds. Equal parts nature essay, memoir, and scholarship, Is Birdsong Music? offers vivid portraits of the extreme locations where these avian choristers are found, quirky stories from the field, and an in-depth exploration of the vocalizations of the pied butcherbird.

Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite

Evolution and the Modular Mind

Author: Robert Kurzban

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691154392

Category: Psychology

Page: 274

View: 8536

We're all hypocrites. Why? Hypocrisy is the natural state of the human mind. Robert Kurzban shows us that the key to understanding our behavioral inconsistencies lies in understanding the mind's design. The human mind consists of many specialized units designed by the process of evolution by natural selection. While these modules sometimes work together seamlessly, they don't always, resulting in impossibly contradictory beliefs, vacillations between patience and impulsiveness, violations of our supposed moral principles, and overinflated views of ourselves. This modular, evolutionary psychological view of the mind undermines deeply held intuitions about ourselves, as well as a range of scientific theories that require a "self" with consistent beliefs and preferences. Modularity suggests that there is no "I." Instead, each of us is a contentious "we"--a collection of discrete but interacting systems whose constant conflicts shape our interactions with one another and our experience of the world. In clear language, full of wit and rich in examples, Kurzban explains the roots and implications of our inconsistent minds, and why it is perfectly natural to believe that everyone else is a hypocrite.

Birds and Other Creatures in Renaissance Literature

Shakespeare, Descartes, and Animal Studies

Author: Rebecca Ann Bach

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317203674

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 216

View: 1273

This book explores how humans in the Renaissance lived with, attended to, and considered the minds, feelings, and sociality of other creatures. It examines how Renaissance literature and natural history display an unequal creaturely world: all creatures were categorized hierarchically. However, post-Cartesian readings of Shakespeare and other Renaissance literature have misunderstood Renaissance hierarchical creaturely relations, including human relations. Using critical animal studies work and new materialist theory, Bach argues that attending closely to creatures and objects in texts by Shakespeare and other writers exposes this unequal world and the use and abuse of creatures, including people. The book also adds significantly to animal studies by showing how central bird sociality and voices were to Renaissance human culture, with many believing that birds were superior to some humans in song, caregiving, and companionship. Bach shows how Descartes, a central figure in the transition to modern ideas about creatures, lived isolated from humans and other creatures and denied ancient knowledge about other creatures’ minds, especially bird minds. As significantly, Bach shows how and why Descartes’ ideas appealed to human grandiosity. Asking how Renaissance categorizations of creatures differ so much from modern classifications, and why those modern classifications have shaped so much animal studies work, this book offers significant new readings of Shakespeare’s and other Renaissance texts. It will contribute to a range of fields, including Renaissance literature, history, animal studies, new materialism, and the environmental humanities.

The Minds of Birds

Author: Alexander Frank Skutch

Publisher: Texas A & M University Press

ISBN: N.A

Category: Nature

Page: 183

View: 6824

In this controversial culmination of a lifelong quest, Alexander F. Skutch, a well-known ornithologist who has studied birds for more than sixty years, makes a case for "believing that birds' mental capacities have been grossly underestimated." Lacking hard scientific proofs of what birds think and feel, we are left, Skutch argues, with inferences gleaned from observation of their behavior. His intimate, six-decade study of tropical and north temperate birds and his wide survey of the literature inform this remarkable review of the psychic life of birds. Although varying widely by species, many birds have a striking ability to recognize as individuals not only other birds of their own kind (which all look alike to humans), but also familiar humans, even after a long absence. They have good memories and give indications of forethought. Only humans take more elaborate care of their offspring than most birds do, and few animals of any kind live in such closely united families as those of cooperatively breeding birds, which carefully avoid incest. The diverse play of birds suggests their capacity for enjoyment. They can be taught to count up to eight, and some are known to use tools. The tastefully adorned constructions of bower birds and the songs of many other species also point strongly to an aesthetic sense. The journeys of migrants between known breeding and wintering territories separated by thousands of miles speak of memory and navigational skills that baffle human observers. True, Skutch concludes, inferential evidence only suggests hypotheses and cannot offer scientific proof. Nonetheless, his carefully gathered and documented observations, delightfully reported, accord with the strong intuition of many bird lovers that birds are not unfeeling automata but sensitive creatures, aware of what they do. Birders and behaviorist ornithologists alike will find Skutch's work provocative and rewarding–no more easily dismissed than the apparently purposeful behavior of the birds he describes. A timely and useful contribution to the debate on animal intelligence, this book offers--with precision, force, clarity, and a wide range of examples--a challenge to the longstanding mechanistic view of nonhuman life.

For Enquiring Minds

A Cultural Study of Supermarket Tabloids

Author: S. Elizabeth Bird

Publisher: Univ. of Tennessee Press

ISBN: 9780870497292

Category: Social Science

Page: 234

View: 5666

Millions of people read weekly supermarket tabloids. Yet little serious effort has been made to understand why so many Americans make a valued place for these papers in their lives. Instead, the tabloids are dismissed as the epitome of "trash"--sensational, gossipy, stereotyped, ephemeral. Libraries shun them. As the papers are "trashed" by critics, so by extension are their largely working-class readers, who are viewed as unworthy of consideration. This book, the first full-length analysis of the tabloids within their historical and cultural contexts, examines the interplay among tabloid writer, text, and audience. Drawing on anthropology, communications, folklore, and literary theory, Elizabeth Bird argues that tabloids are successful because they build on and feed existing narrative traditions, much as folklore does. Men and women, to judge from letters and interviews, read the tabloids from different perspectives. And while people buy the papers for various reasons, readers tend to be alienated from some aspects of the dominant culture. The tabloids are popular precisely for the reasons they are despised: formulaic yet titillating, they celebrate excess and ordinariness at the same time. After beckoning readers into a world where life is dangerous and exciting, the tabloids soothe them with assurances that, be it ever so humble, there is no place like home. Thus, while readers are active, playful consumers, we cannot assume that the papers offer a real opportunity to resist cultural subordination.

Philosophers of Our Times

Author: Ted Honderich

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0198712502

Category: Philosophy

Page: 373

View: 7883

Eighteen of the world's most eminent philosophers of recent years tackle central questions of philosophy in this collection of the prestigious annual lectures given at the Royal Institute of Philosophy in London. The line-up of authors is stellar: Simon Blackburn, Ned Block, Tyler Burge, David Chalmers, Noam Chomsky, Jerry Fodor, Jurgen Habermas, Anthony Kenny, Christine Korsgaard, John McDowell, Alasdair MacIntyre, Thomas Nagel, Derek Parfit, T. M. Scanlon, John Searle, Sir Peter Strawson, Bernard Williams, and Mary Warnock. There are six pieces on questions to do with mind, perception, and action; four on reason and morality; six range over freedom, identity, religion, and politics; and the last two take a step back to look at philosophy itself and how it works. The best way to learn about philosophy is to read philosophy at its best: that is what this fascinating anthology offers.

Tawny Frogmouth

Author: Gisela T. Kaplan

Publisher: CSIRO PUBLISHING

ISBN: 0643092390

Category: Nature

Page: 155

View: 3155

"We are shown this captivating Australian species in completely new and even unexpected ways. We learn that tawny frogmouths are very affectionate, have close bonds with lifelong partners, scream like prowling tomcats when distressed, fight with lightning speed and defend nest sites from reptilian predators by mobbing and spraying pungent faeces at these dangerous opponents. Uncompromising male fights are contrasted with a touching gentleness of males as fathers." "We also learn how resilient and unusual tawny frogmouths are in the way they cope with heat and cold, sit out danger, do without drinking for most of their lives, and can use a large variety of food items." "The developmental stages of nestlings and juveniles are illustrated with a number of stunning visual images accompanying the text, most of which have never before been described or seen." --Back cover.

Der Wüstenplanet

Roman

Author: Frank Herbert

Publisher: Heyne Verlag

ISBN: 3641173086

Category: Fiction

Page: 800

View: 3565

Der erfolgreichste Science-Fiction-Roman aller Zeiten - jetzt neu übersetzt Tausende von Jahren in der Zukunft und eine fantastische Welt: Arrakis, der Wüstenplanet. Einzigartig, herrlich – und grausam. Und doch haben es die Menschen geschafft, sich dieser lebensfeindlichen Umwelt anzupassen ... Vor fünfzig Jahren erschien Frank Herberts Roman Der Wüstenplanet – ein Datum, das den Beginn einer großartigen Erfolgsgeschichte markiert: Der Wüstenplanet wurde zum weltweiten Bestseller und von David Lynch spektakulär verfilmt. Heute gilt das Buch als Meilenstein der Zukunftsliteratur – ein monumentales Epos, das jede Generation von Leserinnen und Lesern neu für sich entdeckt.

Eine Geschichte der Wölfe

Roman

Author: Emily Fridlund

Publisher: eBook Berlin Verlag

ISBN: 3827079705

Category: Fiction

Page: 384

View: 4891

In den dunklen Wäldern von Minnesota wächst Linda in den kläglichen Überresten einer Kommune auf. Ihre Eltern sind über das Scheitern ihrer Hippie-Ideale zu Eigenbrötlern geworden, in der High-School kommt sie sich vor wie eine Außerirdische. In ihrer Isolation fühlt sich Linda wie magisch hingezogen zu ihrer Klassenkameradin Lily und zu ihrem Geschichtslehrer, Mr. Grierson. Es ist ein Schock, als der wegen des Besitzes von Kinderpornographie verhaftet wird und dann auch noch Lily von der Schule verschwindet. Linda hat niemand, mit dem sie über all das reden könnte. Da zieht eine Familie neu an den See. Alles bei ihnen scheint Linda gut und schön. Sie wird die Babysitterin des kleinen Paul und sehnt sich danach zu dieser heilen Familie zu gehören. Doch als Paul schwer krank wird, bleiben seine Eltern seltsam inaktiv. Soll Linda trotzdem einen Arzt rufen und damit das gute Verhältnis zu ihren "neuen Freunden" riskieren? Eine vielleicht unmögliche Entscheidung für eine Vierzehnjährige, die ihr ganzes weiteres Leben beeinflussen wird....

The Big Year

A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession

Author: Mark Obmascik

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1439107459

Category: Nature

Page: 288

View: 4062

Every year on January 1, a quirky crowd of adventurers storms out across North America for a spectacularly competitive event called a Big Year -- a grand, grueling, expensive, and occasionally vicious, "extreme" 365-day marathon of birdwatching. For three men in particular, 1998 would be a whirlwind, a winner-takes-nothing battle for a new North American birding record. In frenetic pilgrimages for once-in-a-lifetime rarities that can make or break their lead, the birders race each other from Del Rio, Texas, in search of the rufous-capped warbler, to Gibsons, British Columbia, on a quest for Xantus's hummingbird, to Cape May, New Jersey, seeking the offshore great skua. Bouncing from coast to coast on their potholed road to glory, they brave broiling deserts, roiling oceans, bug-infested swamps, a charge by a disgruntled mountain lion, and some of the lumpiest motel mattresses known to man. The unprecedented year of beat-the-clock adventures ultimately leads one man to a new record -- one so gigantic that it is unlikely ever to be bested...finding and identifying an extraordinary 745 different species by official year-end count. Prize-winning journalist Mark Obmascik creates a rollicking, dazzling narrative of the 275,000-mile odyssey of these three obsessives as they fight to the finish to claim the title in the greatest -- or maybe the worst -- birding contest of all time. With an engaging, unflappably wry humor, Obmascik memorializes their wild and crazy exploits and, along the way, interweaves an entertaining smattering of science about birds and their own strange behavior with a brief history of other bird-men and -women; turns out even Audubon pushed himself beyond the brink when he was chasing and painting the birds of America. A captivating tour of human and avian nature, passion and paranoia, honor and deceit, fear and loathing, The Big Year shows the lengths to which people will go to pursue their dreams, to conquer and categorize -- no matter how low the stakes. This is a lark of a read for anyone with birds on the brain -- or not.

The Sleeping Father

A Novel

Author: Matthew Sharpe

Publisher: Soft Skull Press

ISBN: 9781932360004

Category: Fiction

Page: 200

View: 4811

A young brother and sister try to rehabilitate their father on their own after he slips into a drug-induced coma and then emerges suffering from brain damage, in a novel that addresses the crisis in authority and faith in American families. Original.

Das egoistische Gen

Mit einem Vorwort von Wolfgang Wickler

Author: Richard Dawkins

Publisher: Springer-Verlag

ISBN: 3642553915

Category: Science

Page: 489

View: 6384

p”Ein auch heute noch bedeutsamer Klassiker“ Daily Express Sind wir Marionetten unserer Gene? Nach Richard Dawkins ́ vor über 30 Jahren entworfener und heute noch immer provozierender These steuern und dirigieren unsere von Generation zu Generation weitergegebenen Gene uns, um sich selbst zu erhalten. Alle biologischen Organismen dienen somit vor allem dem Überleben und der Unsterblichkeit der Erbanlagen und sind letztlich nur die "Einweg-Behälter" der "egoistischen" Gene. Sind wir Menschen also unserem Gen-Schicksal hilflos ausgeliefert? Dawkins bestreitet dies und macht uns Hoffnung: Seiner Meinung nach sind wir nämlich die einzige Spezies mit der Chance, gegen ihr genetisches Schicksal anzukämpfen.

Lady Bird

A Biography of Mrs. Johnson

Author: Jan Jarboe Russell

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1501106996

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 352

View: 4353

A revealing biography of Lady Bird Johnson with startling new insights into her marriage to Lyndon Baines Johnson and her unexpectedly strong impact on his presidency. Long obscured by her husband's shadow, Claudia "Lady Bird" Johnson emerges in this first comprehensive biography as a figure of surprising influence and the centering force for LBJ, a man who suffered from extreme mood swings and desperately needed someone to help control his darker impulses. Expertly researched and written, Lady Bird draws from rare conversations with the former First Lady and from interviews with key members of Johnson's inner circle of friends, family, and advisers. With chapters such as "Motherless Child," "A Ten-Week Affair," and "LBJ's Midlife Crisis," Lady Bird sheds new light on Mrs. Johnson's childhood, on her amazing acumen as a businesswoman, and on the central role she played in her husband's life and political career. A vital link to the Kennedys during LBJ's uneasy tenure as vice president and a voice of conscience on civil rights, Lady Bird is portrayed here as a political force, strikingly different from the somewhat minor figure depicted in previous works on LBJ. Especially fascinating today, in light of the enormous attention now focused on the private lives of our leaders, are the personal details about her marriage to a man whose extramarital affairs were widely discussed. In this intimate portrait, Russell shows us the private Lady Bird -- not only a passionate conservationist but a remarkable woman who greatly influenced her husband, his administration, and the country.

Bird

Author: Crystal Chan

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1448174937

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 416

View: 1770

'Grandpa stopped speaking the day he killed my brother, John. His name was John until Grandpa said he looked more like a Bird with the way he kept jumping off things, and the name stuck. Bird’s thick, black hair poked out in every direction, just like the head feathers of the blackbirds, Grandpa said, and he bet that one day Bird would fly like one too. Grandpa kept talking like that, and no one paid him much notice until Bird jumped off a cliff, the cliff at the edge of the tallgrass prairie, the cliff that dropped a good couple hundred feet to a dried-up riverbed below. From that day on, Grandpa never spoke another word. Not one. The day that Bird tried to fly, the grown-ups were out looking for him – all of them except Mom and Granny. That’s because that very day, I was born.' Twelve-year-old Jewel never knew her brother, but all her life she has lived in his shadow. Then one night, on her birthday, she finds a mysterious boy sitting in her oak tree. His name is John. And he changes everything.