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What an owl knows : the new science of the world's most enigmatic birds  Cover Image Book Book

What an owl knows : the new science of the world's most enigmatic birds

Summary: "From the New York Times bestselling author of The Genius of Birds and The Bird Way, a brilliant scientific exploration of owls, the most elusive group of birds, and an investigation into why these remarkable and yet mysterious animals exert such a hold on human imagination. For centuries, owls have captivated and intrigued us. Our fascination with these mysterious birds was first documented over 30,000 years ago, in the Chauvet cave paintings in southern France, and our enduring awareness and curiosity of their forward gaze and nearly silent flight has cemented the owl as a symbol of wisdom and knowledge, foresight and intuition. But what, really, does an owl know? Though our infatuation goes back centuries, scientists have only recently begun to study these birds in great detail. While more than 270 species exist today, and reside on every continent except Antarctica, owls are far more difficult to find and study than other birds - because while not only cryptic and perfectly camouflaged, owls are most active in the dark of night. Joining scientists on this maddening and elusive treasure hunt, Jennifer Ackerman brings alive the rich biological history of these animals and reveals the remarkable scientific discoveries into their brains and behavior. She explores how, with the modern technology and tools, researchers now know that owls talk all night long - without opening their bills. That that their hoots follow a series of complex rules, allowing them to express needs and desires. That owls duet. They migrate. They use tools. They hoard their prey. Some live in underground burrows, some dine on scorpions. Ackerman brings this research alive with her own personal field observations about owls, and dives deep too into why this bird endlessly inspires and beguiles us. What an Owl Knows is an awe-inspiring and spellbinding journey across the globe and through human history, and a dazzling account of the astonishing health, hunting skills, communication, and sensory prowess that distinguishes the owl from nearly all other birds. An extraordinary glimpse into the mind of these brilliant animals, What an Owl Knows pulls back the curtain on the hidden and still undiscovered realities of our shared world"--

Item details

  • ISBN: 9780593298886
  • ISBN: 0593298888
  • ISBN: 9780593298893
  • Physical Description: print
    xvi, 333 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
  • Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2023.

Contents / Notes

Bibliography, etc. Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note: Preface: Who knew -- Making sense of owls : unpacking the mysteries -- What's it like to be an owl : indigenous adaptations -- Owling : studying the world's most enigmatic birds -- Who gives a hoot : owl talk -- What it takes to make an owl : courting and breeding -- To stay or to go : roosting and migrating -- An owl in the hand : learning from captive birds -- Half bird, half spirit : owls and the human imagination -- What an owl knows : how wise are owls? -- Afterword: Saving owls : protecting what we love.
Subject: Owls Popular works
Owls Behavior
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Zoology / General
Genre: Popular works.
Informational works.

Currently available copies

  • 31 out of 41 copies are currently available at PINES. (Show)
  • 2 out of 2 copies are currently available at Athens Regional Library System.


  • 3 current holds on 41 total copies.
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Library System: Library Branch Name
Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status  
Athens Regional Library System:
      Watkinsville/Oconee County Library
NONFIC 598.97 ACKERMAN ( Send Text)
31001006154786 NONFICTION Available
Athens Regional Library System:
      Winterville Library
NONFIC 598.97 ACKERMAN ( Send Text)
31001006166335 NONFICTION Available

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