What an Owl Knows: The New Science of the World’s Most Enigmatic Birds


Usually dispatched within 2-5 days
What an Owl Knows: The New Science of the World’s Most Enigmatic Birds Author: Format: Hardback First Published: Published By: Oneworld Publications
string(3) "352"
Pages: 352 Language: English ISBN: 9780861546909 Categories: , , , , , , , Tag:

From prehistoric cave paintings to the prints and etchings of Picasso, owls have captivated and inspired us for millennia. Whether they appear as ancient Athenian symbols of wisdom, ghostly harbingers of death, or the cuddly sidekicks of Harry Potter and Winnie the Pooh, these birds have continued to fascinate and disturb us in equal measure.

Through revelatory new behavioural research, Jennifer Ackerman provides an intimate glimpse into these magnificent creatures’ lives. From the evolutionary quirks behind their silent flight and rotating heads, to their romantic relationships and parenting styles, What an Owl Knows brings the rich natural history of owls to life. Deftly weaving together science and art, Ackerman journeys into the owl’s moonlit world and asks: what is it about these birds that so enthrals us?


Weight0.4374 kg




There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.

‘A charming, deeply researched book.’ —Guardian ‘Fascinating, fact-filled and wonderfully readable.’ —Stephen Moss, author and naturalist 'Ackerman is a warm and companionable guide, so enthusiastic about her subject that I suspect even the avian-indifferent will be charmed by her encounters with owls and the dedicated people who study them.' —New York Times ‘With their largely nocturnal lifestyles, cryptic plumage and wary nature, owls can be difficult to locate, let alone study. But in recent years, discoveries about these mysterious and otherworldly birds have come thick and fast as radio trackers, infrared cameras, drones, audio lures, DNA analysis and even specially trained sniffer dogs have joined more traditional methods in unlocking their secrets. What an Owl Knows is an accessible, highly readable tour of these discoveries by Jennifer Ackerman’ —Melissa Harrison, The Times ‘Ackerman’s love for these birds is totally infectious… Long may they continue to fly through the darkness.’ —Daily Mail 'A must-read for all bird lovers, Ackerman’s latest engaging work contains a feast of revelations about creatures that have fascinated us throughout human history.' —Observer ‘An absorbing ear-tuft-to-tail appreciation of the raptor that Mary Oliver, a poet, called a “god of plunge and blood”.’ —Economist 'Important… The knowledge Ackerman marshals so skillfully comes from devoted ornithologists, and they are rightly honoured too… [What an Owl Knows] extends our circle of care… It all feels liberating, and has never been more urgent.' —New Statesman ‘The author… invites us on her quest to discover why owls enthral us so much. She achieves this in a lyrical and easily digestible way… fascinating… Ackerman knows how to hold the reader's attention… We should all definitely give more of a hoot about their future.’ —Country Life ‘A gripping history of these creatures in folklore and art across human history… What an Owl Knows is a treat.’ —Financial Times ‘A scientific investigation rich in narrative detail. Her writing is at its most compelling when she lets her own delight and surprise at the birds slip through.’ —New Scientist 'Immensely enjoyable... What an Owl Knows eloquently bridges the gap between science and popular assumption to bring us the surprising (and often endearing) facts about these legendarily mysterious birds. Forget what you know, or think you know, because the truth is stranger than fiction!' —James Aldred, author of Goshawk Summer 'Absorbing and exquisitely researched. Ackerman guides the reader around the world, carefully unpacking what it means to be an owl and examining the human relationship with these oft-misunderstood birds.' —Jonathan Slaght, author of Owls of the Eastern Ice ‘Lively and informative… While her [Ackerman's] straightforward style enables easy comprehension for the science-phobic, there is lyricism too… Her sense of wonder runs through the book.’ —TLS ‘Ackerman explores their world from historical and scientific perspectives, combining new behavioral discoveries with personal observations from the field.’ —Washington Post ‘I loved it… richly detailed, wide in scope, written with precision and clarity… I won't be able to see an owl in the same way again.’ —Stephen Rutt, author of The Seafarers: A Journey Among Birds ‘A fascinating study of a captivating bird. I learnt something new on every page. Ackerman’s book is a wonderful synthesis of ethology, wonder and passion for her subject.’ —James Macdonald Lockhart, author of Wild Air

Author Biography

Jennifer Ackerman is the bestselling author of The Genius of Birds and The Bird Way. She was a writer at National Geographic for seven years and has written extensively for many publications, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Scientific American and Smithsonian Magazine.