Into the Nest Intimate Views of the Courting Parenting and Family Lives of Birds

Posted 2015-02-21 by Jennifer Muirheadfollow

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Storey Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

It's funny how we refer to sex as "the birds and the bees" when the business of how birds and bees reproduce is so very different from what we mammals do and so mysterious to most of us. This book gives a great overview of how exactly "birds do it", from courtship displays to mating, nesting and rearing young. It answers questions such as why eggs come in different colours, why domestic hens keep laying daily when some wild birds stop after just one or two eggs and why some birds mate for life and others take a new mate every spring.

The book's focus is on North American birds, so many of the species mentioned were unfamiliar to me, but I still found the information about their habits interesting and I could appreciate the beautiful photographs. There are some gorgeous shots of brightly coloured Cardinals and Bluebirds and hummingbirds in flight. I should warn Monty Python fans that this is not the expurgated version and does indeed contain the Nuthatch.

Into the Nest would make a nice coffee table and reference book, more something to dip in and out of than read cover to cover. I recommend it for keen birdwatchers and nature lovers.

Published: February 18 2015


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