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The humble pigeon is anything but "common" to those who know the true nature of these birds. This bird is so enamored by some that, for over six thousand years, people have devoted themselves to the art of pigeon flying and pigeon breeding. Across the world, from the cities of America to China, enthusiasts have lovingly nurtured their flocks, creating thousands of breeds from small to large, and admired their beauty in every shape and size: pigeons with crests and frills, those who fly and those who can't.Stephen Bodio draws readers in with resounding prose and a captivating portrayal of one of the most overlooked birds in the world. Aloft stunningly brings to light the incredible feats accomplished by homing pigeons, capable of flying thousands of miles back home, often twenty-four hours at a time, as well as the innate natural beauty and grace that each breed has in its own right.Aloft reveals fascinating insight that will ensure no one will look upon the "common pigeon" the same way again.
Meet the ladies: a flock of smart, affectionate, highly individualistic chickens who visit their favorite neighbors, devise different ways to hide from foxes, and mob the author like she's a rock star. In these pages you'll also meet Maya and Zuni, two orphaned baby hummingbirds who hatched from eggs the size of navy beans, and who are little more than air bubbles fringed with feathers. Their lives hang precariously in the balance--but with human help, they may one day conquer the sky. Snowball is a cockatoo whose dance video went viral on YouTube and who's now teaching schoolchildren how to dance. You'll meet Harris's hawks named Fire and Smoke. And you'll come to know and love a host of other avian characters who will change your mind forever about who birds really are. Each of these birds shows a different and utterly surprising aspect of what makes a bird a bird--and these are the lessons ofBirdology: that birds are far stranger, more wondrous, and at the same time more like us than we might have dared to imagine. InBirdology,beloved author ofThe Good Good PigSy Montgomery explores the essence of the otherworldly creatures we see every day. By way of her adventures with seven birds--wild, tame, exotic, and common--she weaves new scientific insights and narrative to reveal seven kernels of bird wisdom. The first lesson ofBirdologyis that, no matter how common they are, Birds Are Individuals, as each of Montgomery's distinctive Ladies clearly shows. In the leech-infested rain forest of Queensland, you'll come face to face with a cassowary--a 150-pound, man-tall, flightless bird with a helmet of bone on its head and a slashing razor-like toenail with which it (occasionally) eviscerates people--proof that Birds Are Dinosaurs. You'll learn from hawks that Birds Are Fierce; from pigeons, how Birds Find Their Way Home; from parrots, what it means that Birds Can Talk; and from 50,000 crows who moved into a small city's downtown, that Birds Are Everywhere. They are the winged aliens who surround us. Birdologyexplains just how very "other" birds are: Their hearts look like those of crocodiles. They are covered with modified scales, which are called feathers. Their bones are hollow. Their bodies are permeated with extensive air sacs. They have no hands. They give birth to eggs. Yet despite birds' and humans' disparate evolutionary paths, we share emotional and intellectual abilities that allow us to communicate and even form deep bonds. When we begin to comprehend who birds really are, we deepen our capacity to approach, understand, and love these otherworldly creatures. And this, ultimately, is the priceless lesson ofBirdology: it communicates a heartfelt fascination and awe for birds and restores our connection to these complex, mysterious fellow creatures.
Welcome to a forest filled with water. In the wet season, the swollen Amazon becomes a looking glass into another world, where pink dolphins swim like something from a dream. In Peru they are called bufeo colorado-the ruddy dolphin. Their color ranges from white to gray to a vivid pink. These astonishing mammals, actually river-dwelling whales, easily navigate their way through the complex, hazardous world of the Amazon rain forest. Encantado invites readers on the adventure of a lifetime as we travel into one of the world's most lush and beautiful jungles in search of these magical creatures. Our guides include scientists and researchers as well as the local people, who have lived with the encantados-the enchanted ones-literally at their doorsteps for centuries. Our main guides are the dolphins themselves. They lead us into myth. They take us back in time to a prehistoric era. They alone can show us the depth of the Amazon's beauty, diversity, and magic-and help us to keep our planet rich and whole.
A naturalist who spent months at a time living on her own among wild creatures in remote jungles, Sy Montgomery had always felt more comfortable with animals than with people. So she gladly opened her heart to a sick piglet who had been crowded away from nourishing meals by his stronger siblings. Yet Sy had no inkling that this piglet, later named Christopher Hogwood, would not only survive but flourishacirc;euro;"and she soon found herself engaged with her small-town community in ways she had never dreamed possible. The Good Good Pig celebrates Christopher Hogwood in all his glory, from his inauspicious infancy to hog heaven in rural New Hampshire, where his boundless zest for life and his large, loving heart made him absolute monarch over a (mostly) peaceable kingdom. But as this enchanting book describes, Christopher Hogwood's influence extended far beyond celebrity; for he was, as a friend said, a great big Buddha master. Sy reveals what she and others learned from this generous soul who just so happened to be a pigacirc;euro;"lessons about self-acceptance, the value of community, and the pleasures of the sweet green Earth. The Good Good Pig provides proof that with love, almost anything is possible.
"Christopher Hogwood came home on my lap in a shoebox. He was a creature who would prove in many ways to be more human than I am."-from The Good Good PigA naturalist who spent months at a time living on her own among wild creatures in remote jungles, Sy Montgomery had always felt more comfortable with animals than with people. So she gladly opened her heart to a sick piglet who had been crowded away from nourishing meals by his stronger siblings. Yet Sy had no inkling that this piglet, later named Christopher Hogwood, would not only survive but flourish-and she soon found herself engaged with her small-town community in ways she had never dreamed possible. Unexpectedly, Christopher provided this peripatetic traveler with something she had sought all her life: an anchor (eventually weighing 750 pounds) to family and home.The Good Good Pig celebrates Christopher Hogwood in all his glory, from his inauspicious infancy to hog heaven in rural New Hampshire, where his boundless zest for life and his large, loving heart made him absolute monarch over a (mostly) peaceable kingdom. At first, his domain included only Sy's cosseted hens and her beautiful border collie, Tess. Then the neighbors began fetching Christopher home from his unauthorized jaunts, the little girls next door started giving him warm, soapy baths, and the villagers brought him delicious leftovers. His intelligence and fame increased along with his girth. He was featured in USA Today and on several National Public Radio environmental programs. On election day, some voters even wrote in Christopher's name on their ballots.But as this enchanting book describes, Christopher Hogwood's influence extended far beyond celebrity; for he was, as a friend said, a great big Buddha master. Sy reveals what she and others learned from this generous soul who just so happened to be a pig-lessons about self-acceptance, the meaning of family, the value of community, and the pleasures of the sweet green Earth. The Good Good Pig provides proof that with love, almost anything is possible.From the Hardcover edition.
Jon Scieszka's Guys Read anthology series for tweens turns to nonfiction in its fifth volume, True Stories. The fifth installment in the Guys Read Library of Great Reading features ten stories that are 100% amazing, 100% adventurous, 100% unbelievable--and 100% true. A star-studded group of award-winning nonfiction authors and journalists provides something for every reader, all aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Compiled and edited by real-life literature legend Jon Scieszka, Guys Read: True Stories is a mind-blowing collection of essays, biographies, how-to guides, and more, all proving that the truth is most definitely out there.Supports the Common Core State Standards
When Sy Montgomery ventured into the Amazon to unlock the mysteries of the little known pink dolphins, she found ancient whales that plied the Amazon River at dawn and dusk, swam through treetops in flooded forests, and performed underwater ballets with their flexible bodies. But she soon found out that to know the botos, as the dolphins are locally called, you must also know the people who live among them. And so in "Journey of the Pink Dolphins," Montgomery-part naturalist, part poet, part Indiana Jones-winds her way through watery tributaries and riverside villages, searching for botos and hearing the tales of locals who believe these ethereal dolphins are shape-shifters-creatures that emerge from the water as splendidly dressed men or women only to enchant their human onlookers, capture their souls, and then carry them away to the Encante, an underwater world. Montgomery takes readers on four separate journeys, exploring the river-dwelling dolphins' natural history, chronicling their conservation pressures, unraveling their prehistoric roots, and visiting with shamans who delve into the Encante.
On remote Codfish Island off the southern coast of New Zealand live the last ninety-one kakapo parrots on earth. These trusting, flightless, and beautiful birds--the largest and most unusual parrots on earth--have suffered devastating population loss. As their habitat became invaded by predators introduced by humans, the kakapo population on mainland New Zealand decreased from uncounted millions in the mid-nineteenth century to near extinction by 1950. Now, isolated on an island refuge with the last of the species, New Zealand's National Kakapo Recovery Team is working to restore the kakapo population and protect it from exposure to anything that might threaten its fragile balance. No humans can visit the habitat on Codfish without first disinfecting all of their belongings and then flying across stormy seas to land on a tiny beach. On the island, there is plenty of hard work for everyone and every bird: special food to prepare and deliver, radio-wave tracking devices to install, live video to monitor, and, of course, precious baby kakapo to hatch and feed. With the help of fourteen humans who share a single hut and a passion for saving these odd ground dwelling birds, the kakapo are making a comeback in New Zealand. Follow intrepid animal lovers Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop on a ten-day excursion to witness the exciting events in the life of the kakapo. By turns emotional, fascinating, dangerous, and hilarious, Montgomery and Bishop's sensitive and scientific chronicle explores all there is to know about these "winged weirdos."
With three hearts and blue blood, its gelatinous body unconstrained by jointed limbs or gravity, the octopus seems to be an alien, an inhabitant of another world. It's baggy, boneless body sprouts eight arms covered with thousands of suckers--suckers that can taste as well as feel. The octopus also has the powers of a superhero: it can shape-shift, change color, squirt ink, pour itself through the tiniest of openings, or jet away through the sea faster than a swimmer can follow. But most intriguing of all, octopuses--classed as mollusks, like clams--are remarkably intelligent with quirky personalities. This book, an inquiry into the mind of an intelligent invertebrate, is also a foray into our own unexplored planet. These thinking, feeling creatures can help readers experience and understand our world (and perhaps even life itself) in a new way.
It looks like a bear, but isn't one. It climbs trees as easily as a monkey- but isn't a monkey, either. It has a belly pocket like a kangaroo, but what's a kangaroo doing up a tree? Meet the amazing Matschie's tree kangaroo, who makes its home in the ancient trees of Papua New Guinea's cloud forest. And meet the amazing scientists who track these elusive animals. [This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 4-5 at http://www.corestandards.org.]
Sy Montgomery has already shared with readers her amazing encounters with great apes, man-eating tigers, and pink river dolphins, but her latest muse is an animal whose name and appearance evoke another world altogether. Southeast Asia's golden moon bear, with its luminous coat, lionlike mane, and Mickey Mouse ears, was unknown to science-until Montgomery and her colleagues got on the trail at the dawn of the new millennium. "Search for the Golden Moon Bear" recounts Montgomery's quest-fraught with danger and mayhem-to reconstruct an evolutionary record and piece together a living portrait of her littleknown subject. This beautiful animal is not just a scientific eureka! It is also a powerful symbol of conservation. "Search for the Golden Moon Bear" is a field report from the frontiers of science and the ends of the earth, seamlessly weaving together folklore, natural history, and contemporary research into fantastic travelogue.
Discusses the work of Bob Mason and his efforts to study and protect snakes, particularly red-sided garter snakes. For children.
In 2011 Sy Montgomery wrote a feature for Orion magazine entitled 'Deep Intellect' about her friendship with a sensitive, sweet-natured octopus named Athena and the grief she felt at her death. It went viral, indicating the widespread fascination with these mysterious, almost alien-like creatures. Since then Sy has practised true immersion journalism, from New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, pursuing these wild, solitary shape-shifters. Octopuses have varied personalities and intelligence they show in myriad ways: endless trickery to escape enclosures and get food; jetting water playfully to bounce objects like balls; and evading caretakers by using a scoop net as a trampoline and running around the floor on eight arms. But with a beak like a parrot, venom like a snake, and a tongue covered with teeth, how can such a being know anything? And what sort of thoughts could it think? The intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees was only recently accepted by scientists, who now are establishing the intelligence of the octopus, watching them solve problems and deciphering the meaning of their colour-changing camouflage techniques. Montgomery chronicles this growing appreciation of the octopus, but also tells a love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about consciousness and the meeting of two very different minds.
A book that earned Sy Montgomery her status as one of the most celebrated wildlife writers of our time, "Spell of the Tiger" brings readers to the Sundarbans, a vast tangle of mangrove swamp and tidal delta that lies between India and Bangladesh. It is the only spot on earth where tigers routinely eat people-swimming silently behind small boats at night to drag away fishermen, snatching honey collectors and woodcutters from the forest. But, unlike in other parts of Asia where tigers are rapidly being hunted to extinction, tigers in the Sundarbans are revered. With the skill of a naturalist and the spirit of a mystic, Montgomery reveals the delicate balance of Sundarbans life, explores the mix of worship and fear that offers tigers unique protection there, and unlocks some surprising answers about why people at risk of becoming prey might consider their predator a god.
A Sibert Honor Book An ALA Notable Book A John Burroughs Nature Book for Young Readers A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year A 2005 Outstanding Science Trade Book for K-12 A Kirkus Reviews Editor's Choice List * "Superb color photos abound in this spectacular series addition. . . . This is a vivid look at an enthusiastic scientist energetically and happily at work. . . . A treat, even for arachnophobes."-School Library Journal, starred review
When Temple Grandin was born, her parents knew that she was different. Years later she was diagnosed with autism. While Temple's doctor recommended a hospital, her mother believed in her. Temple went to school instead. Today, Dr. Temple Grandin is a scientist and professor of animal science at Colorado State University. Her world-changing career revolutionized the livestock industry. As an advocate for autism, Temple uses her experience as an example of the unique contributions that autistic people can make. This compelling biography complete with Temple's personal photos takes us inside her extraordinary mind and opens the door to a broader understanding of autism.
Three astounding women scientists have in recent years penetrated the jungles of Africa and Borneo to observe, nurture, and defend humanity's closest cousins. Jane Goodall has worked with the chimpanzees of Gombe for nearly 50 years; Dian Fossey died in 1985 defending the mountain gorillas of Rwanda; and Biruteacute; Galdikas lives in intimate proximity to the orangutans of Borneo. All three began their work as proteacute;geacute;es of the great Anglo-African archeologist Louis Leakey, and each spent years in the field, allowing the apes to become their familiars-and ultimately waging battles to save them from extinction in the wild. Their combined accomplishments have been mind-blowing, as Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas forever changed how we think of our closest evolutionary relatives, of ourselves, and of how to conduct good science. From the personal to the primate, Sy Montgomery explores the science, wisdom, and living experience of three of the greatest scientists of the twentieth century.