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VIRTUAL EVENT: Jennifer Ackerman, The Bird Way
June 30, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm PDT
Bookshop Santa Cruz, in partnership with Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, is delighted to welcome bestselling author Jennifer Ackerman (The Genius of Birds) for an online event celebrating her new book, The Bird Way, a radical investigation into the bird way of being, and the recent scientific research that is dramatically shifting our understanding of birds—how they live and how they think. This virtual event will include a beautiful 30-minute presentation by Ackerman, as well as a Q&A with the audience.
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“There is the mammal way and there is the bird way.” This is one scientist’s pithy distinction between mammal brains and bird brains: two ways to make a highly intelligent mind. But the bird way is much more than a unique pattern of brain wiring, and lately, scientists have taken a new look at bird behaviors they have, for years, dismissed as anomalies or mysteries. What they are finding is upending the traditional view of how birds conduct their lives. They’re also revealing the remarkable intelligence underlying these activities, abilities we once considered uniquely our own—deception, manipulation, cheating, kidnapping, infanticide, but also, ingenious communication between species, cooperation, collaboration, altruism, culture, and play. In THE BIRD WAY, Ackerman shows us extraordinary behaviors, including birds that dance or drum, that paint their creations or paint themselves, birds that build walls of sound to keep out intruders and birds that summon playmates with a special call—and may hold the secret to our own penchant for playfulness and the evolution of laughter. Drawing on personal observations, the latest science, and her bird-related travel around the world, Ackerman shows there is clearly no single bird way of being.
Jennifer Ackerman has been writing about science and nature for three decades. She is the author of eight books, including The Genius of Birds, which has been translated into twenty languages and the forthcoming The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think. Her articles and essays have appeared in Scientific American, National Geographic, The New York Times, and many other publications, Ackerman is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Nonfiction, a Bunting Fellowship, and a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.