Nebraska Ornithologists' Union



Date of this Version


Document Type



“Book Review,” from Nebraska Bird Review (June 1984) 52(2).


Copyright 1984 Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union. Used by permission.


How Birds Work: A Guide to Bird Biology, Ron Freethy, 232 pp., 6 x 9¼, Blandford Press, England, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., New York, bibliography, indexed, hardbound $19.95, paperback $8.95.

How Birds Work is a straightforward introduction to the science of ornithology and provides basic information enabling the amateur birdwatcher to understand his ‘quarry’ more easily. As a direct result of reading this book, the behavior of birds will be more readily understood, and in particular the complexities of migration.” Which is a fair summary of the book, although it may over-stress migration. The chapter headings are The Evolution of Birds; The Classification of Birds; The Bird’s Body; Flight; Breathing, Respiration, and the Blood Supply; Feeding; The Nervous System; The Breeding Cycle; Migration; Behaviour; The Distribution of Birds; and Birds and Man. A good background book for any birder, and not difficult reading. There are numerous line drawings and photographs, twelve of the latter in full color. The hardcover edition has been out for a couple of years; the paperback edition is just now available.