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A History of Birds (Paperback)

Wildlife Photography Animals

By Dr Simon Wills
Imprint: White Owl
Pages: 160
ISBN: 9781526701558
Published: 8th November 2017
This Week's Best Sellers Rank: #14

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Even the most well-informed wildlife enthusiast will be entertained by the stories and fascinating facts in the 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 lectems 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?

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Dr Simon Wills

About Dr Simon Wills

Dr Simon Wills is a maritime genealogist, researcher and author, who writes for many genealogy and history magazines including Who Do You Think You Are?, Family Tree, Discover Your History, and Your Family Tree. He has over 25 years' experience researching maritime history and also works part-time as an information adviser to the NHS and other healthcare organisations.

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