Sunday, June 16, 2013

Book review: The Unfeathered Bird

When I was younger, I remember my dad taking me to the old natural history museum about once a week.  He was working on a project for college, so I would go and explore.  I saw many cool things that were on display and also got to see many specimens that were not on display.  I remember seeing the many bird specimens, both skins and skeletons.   I was like a child in a candy store back then, wanting to absorb all that I could.

The Unfeathered Bird by Katrina van Grouw brought back many of those childhood memories for me.  Very seldom does a book come along with such beauty.  The artistic talent of the author is just amazing.  The illustrations seem to come alive with every page turned.

This book will really give the average birder a deeper appreciation for birds in general.  They are simply biological wonders.  

The book is separated into similar groups of birds with a non-academic text description of each group that discusses the different physiological adaptations that make them unique.  

The author/illustrator is a former curator of ornithology at the Natural History Museum of London as well as a taxidermist.  I used to volunteer as a bird skinner for a museum, so I can appreciate the time it took to prepare and lay these specimens out to be drawn.  

This book is a masterpiece.  It is one that I see as a gateway book that may ignite the spark that could set a young person on the road of constant learning in science as well as birding.  I highly recommend this book.

Disclaimer:  This book was supplied to me free of charge by the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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