+612 9045 4394
 
Where Song Began  : Australia's Birds and How They Changed the World - Tim Low

Where Song Began

Australia's Birds and How They Changed the World

By: Tim Low

Paperback

Published: 25th June 2014
In Stock. Usually ships in 1-2 business days
RRP $32.99
$25.50
23%
OFF

eBook View Product

Published: 25th June 2014
Format: ePUB
$16.99

Tim Low, award-winning author of Feral Future, in an eye-opening book on the unique nature of Australian birds and their role in ecology and global evolution.

Renowned for its unusual mammals, Australia is a land of birds that are just as unusual, just as striking, a result of the continent's tens of millions of years of isolation. Compared with birds elsewhere, ours are more likely to be intelligent, aggressive and loud, to live in complex societies, and are long-lived. They're also ecologically more powerful, exerting more influences on forests than other birds.

But unlike the mammals, the birds did not keep to Australia; they spread around the globe. Australia provided the world with its songbirds and parrots, the most intelligent of all bird groups. It was thought in Darwin's time that species generated in the Southern Hemisphere could not succeed in the Northern, an idea that was proven wrong in respect of birds in the 1980s but not properly accepted by the world's scientists until 2004 – because, says Tim Low, most ornithologists live in the Northern Hemisphere. As a result, few Australians are aware of the ramifications, something which prompted the writing of this book.

Tim Low has a rare gift for illuminating complex ideas in highly readable prose, and making of the whole a dynamic story. Here he brilliantly explains how our birds came to be so extraordinary, including the large role played by the foods they consume (birds, too, are what they eat), and by our climate, soil, fire, and Australia's legacy as a part of Gondwana. The story of its birds, it turns out, is inseparable from the story of Australia itself, and one that continues to unfold, so much having changed in the last decade about what we know of our ancient past. Where Song Began also shines a light on New Guinea as a biological region of Australia, as much a part of the continent as Tasmania. This is a work that goes far beyond the birds themselves to explore the relationships between Australia's birds and its people, and the ways in which scientific prejudice have hindered our understanding.

Read Caroline Baum's Review

You don't have to be a twitcher to enjoy this book which opens with a fascinating theory: Australian birds sound different because of what they eat! Apparently they are on a sugar high, because there is more nectar available to them from native flora than to other birds elsewhere. While our marsupials continue to capture the world's attention (Prince George and the Bilby, Gary Shteyngart's urgent desire to pat a wombat on his recent author tour), our birds are every bit as unique and get far less attention than they deserve. Many smaller species are threatened as suburbia encroaches on habitat. This accessible, entertaining and compelling portrait of our avian ecosystem makes for essential reading for bushwalkers, gardeners, and nature lovers.

About the Author

Tim Low is highly regarded as a biologist and writer. He is the prize-winning author of Feral Future, The New Nature, and Wild Food Plants of Australia.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
 
4.6

(based on 7 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Informative (7)
  • Deserves multiple readings (6)
  • Well written (6)
  • Easy to read (5)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Gift (5)
  • Reference (5)
  • Older readers (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Everyday reader (3)

Reviewed by 7 customers

Displaying reviews 1-7

Back to top

 
5.0

Not just for bird lovers

By 

from Burragate

About Me Bookworm

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Easy To Read
  • Informative
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Older Readers
    • Reference
    • Special Needs
    • Travel Reading
    • Younger Readers

    The breadth of this work is matched by the knowledge of its author and his expertise. For lovers of natural history and the relationship birds have with our unique environment

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

     
    4.0

    A great book

    By 

    from brisbane qld

    About Me Everyday Reader

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Deserves Multiple Readings
    • Easy To Read
    • Informative
    • Well Written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Older Readers

      Used for anthropology research and for a better understanding our local bird environment

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      5.0

      Outstanding Read

      By 

      from Melbourne

      About Me Everyday Reader

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Deserves Multiple Readings
      • Easy To Read
      • Informative
      • Page-Turner
      • Well Written
      • Written With Great Author

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Gift
        • Reference

        Written with great authority
        Excellent index
        Can be put down and picked up anywhere
        Very readable as a reference book

        Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

         
        4.0

        A Word For Our Birds.

        By 

        from N.S.W.

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Deserves Multiple Readings
        • Easy To Read
        • Extremely Interesting
        • Informative
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Reference

          Prompt service but I dislike the oversized (for many books) stiff, awkward to hold and open packaging. I enjoy the ease of shopping.

          Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

           
          4.0

          Storyteller's guide to Aussie birds

          By 

          from Country N.S.W.

          About Me Bookworm

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Engaging characters
          • Informative
          • So Much Fascinating Info

          Cons

          • Needs A Good Edit

          Best Uses

          • Aust West Papua Png
          • Gift
          • Travel Reading

          It is the sort of book to be read slowly and absorbed. You can then share the bits of information that your have gleaned in a format that is easily remembered. Many of the insights are astounding and based on recent research especially DNA analysis.

          Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

           
          5.0

          A Seminal Bokk About Birds

          By 

          from Brisbane, AU

          About Me Everyday Reader

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Deserves Multiple Readings
          • Easy To Read
          • Informative
          • Well Written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Gift
            • Older Readers
            • Reference

            Enlightening the way the author puts birds in their total context of evolutionary origin, world expansion and geographical range, relationship with flora and other fauna, use of colour, and development and use of song.
            Not a 'bird book' of the 'what's that bird' genre.

            Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

             
            5.0

            Great reference book!

            By 

            from Sunshine Coast, Queensland

            About Me Casual Reader

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Definitive Work
            • Deserves Multiple Readings
            • Informative
            • Well Written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Gift
              • Older Readers
              • Reference

              Great reference book about little known aspects of our avian fauna. Particularly like the explanation of how bell birds (bell miners) with their delightful innocent tinkling are actually destroying eucalypt forests significantly. I have tried to explain this to people to no avail - I can now point to a reference on the topic!

              Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

              Displaying reviews 1-7

              Back to top

              ISBN: 9780670077960
              ISBN-10: 0670077968
              Audience: General
              Format: Paperback
              Language: English
              Number Of Pages: 280
              Published: 25th June 2014
              Country of Publication: AU
              Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.4  x 3.1
              Weight (kg): 23.4