Janine Burke: Nest: The Art of Birds

Reviewed by
May 2012, no. 341

Janine Burke: Nest: The Art of Birds

Reviewed by
May 2012, no. 341

Gay Bilson

 

Nest: The Art of Birds
by Janine Burke
Allen & Unwin, $32.99 hb, 182 pp, 9781742378299

 

Fernando Nottebohm has been interested in birdsong since early childhood. By 2001 he had spent thirty years at Rockefeller University in New York studying how birds learn to sing, concentrating on canaries who are capable of learning new songs each year. His interest has been to study birdsong as ‘a model for the brain’. He studied the brains of caged birds and birds in the wild. The birds that needed to forage and escape predators produced more neurons in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is essential to memory.

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