The Ultimate Bird Lover: Stories and Advice on Our Feathered Friends at Home and in the Wild

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9780757314384: The Ultimate Bird Lover: Stories and Advice on Our Feathered Friends at Home and in the Wild

Crazy for Canaries? Wild for Woodpeckers?

Whether your passion is for birds of prey or companions that play, you'll delight in these extraordinary stories about birds of all kinds. Seekers of avian encounters in the wild and infatuated pet owners celebrate the magic of these winged beauties through heartfelt stories, spectacular photos, and expert advice.

With illustrative tales as their backdrop, experts in health, grooming, training, nutrition, and environmental issues offer their must-know advice on subjects near and dear to a bird lover's heart―from the pros and cons of clipping a companion bird's wings to the best methods for introducing children to bird watching. More than sixty stunning photos will dazzle you and remind you again why your love affair with birds goes on and on.

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About the Author:

Marty Becker, D.V.M., is the regularly featured veterinarian on ABC-TV's Good Morning America, resident veteran on The Dr. Oz Show, contributing pet-care writer for Parade magazine, and the host of The Pet Doctor on PBS. He also coauthors PetConnection, the award-winning weekly column on pets and their care which appears in newspapers across the United States and Canada through the Universal Press Syndicate.

Gina Spadafori coauthors PetConnection, an award-winning, nationally syndicated weekly column on pets and their care and is a contributing pet-care writer for Parade magazine. She is a bestselling author of several pet books including the New York Times bestseller Why Do Dogs Drink Out of the Toilet? and Birds for Dummies.

 



Mikkel Becker Shannon has been a contributing author to Knight Ridder newspapers and has written for Cat Fancy Magazine and several Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She is the children's education coordinator for the Whitman County Humane Society in Washington State.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Introduction

Of all the creatures who have shared our lives and our world since before the beginning of recorded time, birds are the ones we most admire for a trait we can only dream about: flight. Their world is one we cannot know, one where the unfolding of wings and a few strong strokes mean looking down on us and the rest of the world below.

We cannot know the world of the hummingbird, a miracle of wings beating so quickly that our own poor eyes can barely see them, our rich minds scarcely able to imagine the up to twenty beats per second of the hovering gem's tiny heart. We cannot know the world of the eagle, the falcon, or the hawk, carried aloft on strong wings to soar on the air currents above us, their extraordinary vision scanning for the movement that betrays the vulnerable prey below. These raptors fall to earth at speeds we cannot fathom, striking their prey with a deadly grab and then heading aloft again. We cannot even know the world of the birds we see so often we don't really see them at all. We note them as occasional or persistent nuisances: the pigeons of the plaza, the starlings that swarm our trees, the nondescript little birds that are always hunting for food and hopping out of our way as we go about our lives.

But what about the birds we do know, or think we do: our pets?
We admire birds for their intelligence, their beauty, and their ability to fly, so we have clipped their wings, put them in cages to better see them, and, too often, ignored their intelligence. We have promised them trade-offs―food, training, and companionship―and for many, their long, healthy, and happy lives are a testament to the fact that the trade-offs are good ones. The best-loved birds form bonds so tight with their owners that they are strong, pure, and life-enhancing for both.
But what goes on in their 'bird brains'? We have barely started to know, much less help them thrive as the intelligent beings they are. Sometimes the best we can do for them is what we do for the wild ones: admire them, learn from them, and protect them.

Those of us whose hearts are in this book are unabashed bird lovers. Our pets and the birds of the wild are our lives and the work we have chosen―whether as avian experts, writers, or photo­graphers―and we cannot imagine living without them or without being among them. We love birds, both the wild and the wild at heart.

We know we are not alone in our appreciation of all things avian.

Whether wild or tame, birds teach us, heal us, make us laugh, and break our hearts. Our lives are about helping others to appreciate wild birds and live better lives with the tame ones. The strength of the human-animal bond is why we wanted to do this book. We have cared for and about the birds around us all our adult lives, and loved them from the time we first drew breath.

The very best experts were tapped to provide expertise on all manner of avian topics for this book, but we wanted much more. We knew bird lovers had stories of love, loyalty, laughter, rescue, and courage, and we knew we wanted to share them, along with pictures that were each worth more than a thousand words. From thousands of submissions of stories and photographs, we have chosen the very best. The ones we loved, and the ones you'll love, too.

Celebrate the bird with us. Turn the page, and enjoy.



©2010.
All rights reserved. Reprinted from The Ultimate Bird Lover by Gina Spadafori, Marty Becker D.V.M., Mikkel Becker Shannon. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street , Deerfield Beach , FL 33442.

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