The Birds at My Table
Why We Feed Wild Birds and Why It Matters
By Darryl Jones | Comstock Publishing Associates | May 2018 | Paperback | 327 pages, no illustrations | ISBN: 9781501710780 |
The Publisher’s View: Darryl Jones is fascinated by bird feeders. Not the containers supplying food to our winged friends, but the people who fill the containers.
Why do people do this? Jones asks in The Birds at My Table. Does the food even benefit the birds? What are the unintended consequences of providing additional food to our winged friends?
Jones takes us on a wild flight through the history of bird feeding. He pinpoints the highs and lows of the practice. And he ponders this odd but seriously popular form of interaction between humans and wild animals. Most important, he points out that we know very little about the impact of feeding birds despite millions of people doing it every day.
Unerringly, Jones digs at the deeper issues and questions, and he raises our awareness of the things we don't yet know and why we really should. Using the latest scientific findings, The Birds at My Table takes a global swoop from 30,000 feet down to the backyard bird feeder and pushes our understanding of the many aspects of bird feeding back up to new heights.
Other Views: "The Birds at My Table is a passionate discussion of the complex ways that bird feeding matters. The author has read every scientific study of bird feeding and visited bird feeders in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He brings his own interest in feeding birds to the table, too. The Birds at My Table is an impressively comprehensive study of why people feed birds and how birds are affected by this practice. This book will be a benchmark for those interested in the social history and ecological effects of bird feeding. Jones convincingly shows that bird feeding is a global practice with ethical implications."
– Jeff Karnicky, author of Scarlet Experiment: Birds and Humans in America
"The Birds at My Table is a delightful and informative read by a keen naturalist and gifted scholar that will deepen your understanding of birds and why so many of us are compelled to feed them."
– John M. Marzluff, Professor of Wildlife Science and author of Welcome to Subirdia
Fatbirder View: It’s a noble endeavour and I wanted to like the book more than I did. It’s a vital pursuit – feeding birds and the hows and whys, including human motivation are useful to know to spread the practice. However, this is rather academic and I found the style rather dry. I guess coming from Cornell that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. I’ve read a few doctoral theses in my time and this rather felt like one. I’m sure others will enjoy the style more and there is some important content so please don’t be put off by my review and see for yourself.A few dozen illustrations… even black and white drawings to break up the text would make it more accessible too. Don’t get me wrong I learnt from it and given the amount of my hard-earned goes on bird feed at the moment I’m already converted to the cause.
Buy this book from NHBS Fatbirder
2nd April 2018