Front cover image for A most remarkable creature : the hidden life and epic journey of the world's smartest birds of prey

A most remarkable creature : the hidden life and epic journey of the world's smartest birds of prey

Jonathan Meiburg (Author)
"An enthralling account of a modern voyage of discovery as we meet a rare and mysterious bird of prey--the caracara--that puzzled Darwin, fascinates modern-day falconers, and carries secrets of our planet's deep past in its family history. In 1833, Charles Darwin was astonished by an animal he met in the Falkland Islands: handsome, social, and oddly crow-like falcons that were "tame and inquisitive ... quarrelsome and passionate," and so insatiably curious that they stole hats, compasses, and other valuables from the crew of the Beagle. Darwin wondered why these birds were confined to remote islands at the tip of South America, sensing a larger story, but he set this mystery aside and never returned to it. Almost two hundred years later, Jonathan Meiburg takes up this chase. He takes us through South America, from the fog-bound coasts of Tierra del Fuego to the tropical forests of Guyana, in search of these birds: striated caracaras, which still exist, though they're very rare. He reveals the wild, fascinating story of their history, origins, and possible futures. And along the way, he draws us into the life and work of William Henry Hudson, the Victorian writer and naturalist who championed caracaras as an unsung wonder of the natural world, and to falconry parks in the English countryside, where captive caracaras perform incredible feats of memory and problem-solving. A Most Remarkable Creature is a hybrid of science writing, travelogue, and biography, as generous and accessible as it is sophisticated, and absolutely riveting"--Provided by publisher
Print Book, English, 2021
First edition View all formats and editions
Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2021
Birds Animals Nature
x, 366 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color), maps ; 25 cm
9781101875704, 9781101911549, 1101875704, 1101911549
Flying Monkeys. An unanswered question
Johnny Rooks
A half-tamed hawk
The birth of a naturalist
The most intelligent bird in the world
The court of the Penguin King
Far Away and Long Ago. In the wake of the dinosaurs
A family secret
The curious case of the missing crows
The island of giants
Green Mansions. Bush Auntie-Man
Hymenopteran dreams
The lost world
Sweet fishes to eat
Above the falls
Between the Sky and the Sea. Last days of the Guadalupe caracara
The mysterious falcon of Manco Cápac
A new career in a new town
Land's end
Epilogue: Return of the Mexican eagle