A History of Birds by Simon Wills

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A History of Birds

“Intriguing stories from the history of the human relationship with birds, including their symbolism in art, literature, religion, and folklore” (Booklist).
 
Even the most well-informed wildlife enthusiast will be entertained by the stories and fascinating facts in this beautifully illustrated book.
 
Our ancestors hunted, tamed, worshipped, and depicted birds, and even bestowed magical properties upon them. Why did ancient writers consider the sparrow a lustful creature? Which bird was killed and hung up to predict the weather? And what was an “arse-foot?”
 
Wildlife photographer and history journalist Simon Wills explores the intriguing and at times bizarre stories behind our relationship with birds. Find out why robins feature on Christmas cards, and how Mozart was persuaded to keep a pet starling. What bird did Florence Nightingale carry around in her pocket? How did the blue tit get its name?
 
Whole careers have been created around birds—from falconers to ostrich farmers—and birds have had great symbolic importance too. Discover, for example, why Raleigh bicycles carry a heron logo and why church lecterns are in the shape of an eagle.
 
If you enjoy wildlife, then this book is full of surprises. Pigeons were trained to carry messages in wartime, but could gulls be taught to hunt U-boats? And which American president’s parrot started swearing at his funeral?
 
“A pleasing and often illuminating book with many examples of historical connections with birds, from Queen Victoria’s parrots and the Prince of Wales’s feathers to Kellogg’s cockerel and recipes for flamingos.” —Bird Watch
 
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books ISBN: 9781526701572 Pages: 192