The manuscript is done! After spending more than a year working full time, I have written an entire book about bird behavior. Yes! I’m very excited about it: The book is wide-ranging, but focuses on ways that birds behave in parallel to humans. We can relate to a lot of the amazing, strange, and crazy things that birds do.
For instance, the fact that parrots can dance to a beat (but other animals, like dogs and cats, can’t) has implications for the evolution of music in people. Hummingbirds give us a warning about our ever-quickening pace of life. Magpies can recognize themselves in a mirror, but does that mean they have self-awareness, like us – and could holding funerals have anything to do with it? Starling flocks can be better described with quantum physics than biology, and good deeds of fairy-wrens might be explained by strategic military theories. And on and on… the ways birds reflect our own lives are endlessly fascinating.
So now I can sit back as the publisher (Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin in New York) works through various rounds of edits, proofs, and designs. I guess I’ll be assigned a publicist sometime soon. This process is sort of mystifying to me, as this is my first book with a major publisher.
The book, called “Bird World,” will likely be released (in hardcover and e-book first) sometime in early 2014.
Meanwhile, I’ve been pretty quiet around here lately. But you can check out a couple of my recent posts over on the American Birding Association’s blog:
Loneliness of the Antarctic Birder, about the people I met in Antarctica this year.
A Different Kind of Wildlife Photography, with some amazing recent photos from my trail cameras.