Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bird Talk: What Birds are Saying and Why

Have you ever heard birds outside your window and wondered what they're saying? Maybe you've been at the zoo and seen some dancing and prancing and wondered what that's all about. Then Bird Talk is the book for you. Lita Judge, granddaughter of ornithologists, has written about her love of birds and what they do to communicate.

This fascinating look into bird behavior will have you spouting off facts to anyone who will listen. I, myself, jumped right to the online databases to do a little research of my own. Indian Sarus Cranes mate for life. They do a wonderful ballet on the surface of the water, bowing and leaping. Western Grebes also dance on the water's surface with their mates. The Blue Bird of Paradise hangs upside down to attract his mate.

Birds also communicate to protect their young. The North American Killdeer screams and flaps a "broken" wing to lure a fox from her eggs. They communicate to stay safe. The American Bittern silences its loud, booming voice when danger is near and sits "still as a stone."

Some birds listen and learn. Northern mockingbirds can mimic other birds or even cell phone rings. Alex the parrot learned 150 words, could name objects and count to six.

Lita finishes her informational picture book by giving more facts about the birds in this book. Go ahead and do what I did. Look it up. It's true. And while you're there, look for videos. You can see see Grebes dance and Sarus Cranes ballet. Better grab a tissue- it's amazing. 

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