The Bird Book
Clarion Books, 2023
48pp., hbk., RRP $A29.99
From the time a small feathered animal launched itself into the air 150 million years ago, the planet’s skies have been populated with birds and now more than 10 000 species have evolved from that first archaeopteryx, being the only creatures of the dinosaur era to survive the impact of the asteroid that hit the earth 66 million years ago.
Using minimum text and many many illustrations of examples, the reader is taken on an exploration of the species that explains what a bird is, how the species evolved, and the features that have made them so successful including the power of flight, their senses, their adaptations to their habitats, migration and all the other facets of life that one would expect to discover. The only drawback that it may have for the younger reader is the small, hand0writing like font that may prove tricky for them to read without help. Overall, though, this is an intriguing and informative book that really provides an ‘all-you-need-to-know’ introduction to a creature that varies from the bee hummingbird that weighs less than a ping pong ball tp the wandering albatross with its wingspan of over three metres to the ostrich which is the largest living bird on the planet these days, outstripped by the extinct giant moa, endemic to New Zealand.