Bird Sense, By Tim Birkhead


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The Independent Culture

Fans of Birkhead's Wisdom of Birds will love this fascinating coda about avian perception of the world.

Birds can see in ultra-violet, hear with "the auditory equivalent of a slow-motion option", feel with surprising sensitivity (receptors in the duck's mouth enable it to find food in muddy water), respond to major taste categories despite having far fewer taste buds and use "olfactory cues" for mapping.

They also have a magnetic sense that enables the bar-tailed godwit to fly 11,000km non-stop from New Zealand to Alaska.