Jennifer Ackerman - What an Owl Knows

Tuesday, June 11, 2024 - 7:00pm

"What an Owl Knows" book cover and color author photo

Jennifer Ackerman

The St. Louis County Library Foundation and Left Bank Book Present
Award-Winning Science Writer Jennifer Ackerman

 
Author of “What an Owl Knows: The New Science of the World’s Most Enigmatic Bird”

 

Presented in partnership with the St. Louis Audubon Society

An instant bestseller and a New York Times Notable Book for 2023, science writer Jennifer Ackerman’s “What an Owl Knows” offers insight into the most elusive of birds–and why they exert such a hold on human imagination. Ackerman illuminates the rich biology and natural history of owls and reveals remarkable new scientific discoveries about their brains and behavior. “What an Owl Knows” is an awe-inspiring exploration of owls across the globe and through human history, and a spellbinding account of their astonishing hunting skills, communication, and sensory prowess. 

 
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Books available from Left Bank Books.

 

Favorite (with a blue quill through the letter O) Author in brown text Series in blue on white

Jennifer Ackerman has been writing about science and nature for more than three decades. Her previous book, The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think, was a finalist for the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Her New York Times bestselling book, The Genius of Birds, has been translated into twenty-five languages and was named one of the best nonfiction books of 2016 by The Wall Street Journal, a Best Science Book by NPR's Science Friday, and a Nature Book of the Year by The Sunday Times. Her other books include Birds by the Shore: Observing the Natural Life of the Atlantic CoastSex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body, and Chance in the House of Fate: A Natural History of Heredity. Ackerman's articles and essays have appeared in National GeographicThe New York Times MagazineScientific American, and many other publications. She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Nonfiction, a Bunting Fellowship, and a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

 

An instant New York Times bestseller!

New York Times Notable Book of 2023

Named a Best Book of 2023 by Publishers Weekly

From the author of The Genius of Birds and The Bird Way, a brilliant scientific investigation into owls--the most elusive of birds--and why they exert such a hold on human imagination

With their forward gaze and quiet flight, owls are often a symbol of wisdom, knowledge, and foresight. But what does an owl really know? And what do we really know about owls? Some two hundred sixty species of owls exist today, and they reside on every continent except Antarctica, but they are far more difficult to find and study than other birds because they are cryptic, camouflaged, and mostly active at night. Though human fascination with owls goes back centuries, scientists have only recently begun to understand the complex nature of these extraordinary birds.

In What an Owl Knows, Jennifer Ackerman joins scientists in the field and explores how researchers are using modern technology and tools to learn how owls communicate, hunt, court, mate, raise their young, and move about from season to season. Ackerman brings this research alive with her own personal field observations; the result is an awe-inspiring exploration of owls across the globe and through human history, and a spellbinding account of the world's most enigmatic group of birds.

 

Review Quotes:
"Few books can pull together academic summaries with the joy of seeing owls . . . Ackerman has been able to bring together the expertise of everyone interested in owls, from hobbyist, rehabilitators, veterinarians, photographers, owl-alcoholics, and researchers. She weaves together an enormous amount of information from an enormous number of people, to give us perhaps the best popular and fact-filled informational book on owls to date." --Denver Holt, founder, Owl Research Institute

"Ackerman is a warm and companionable guide, so enthusiastic about her subject that I suspect even the avian-indifferent will be charmed by her encounters with owls and the dedicated people who study them." -- The New York Times

"A must-read for all bird lovers, Ackerman's latest engaging work contains a feast of revelations about creatures that have fascinated us throughout human history. We learn that owlets begin making vocal sounds in the egg and that adult owls use sophisticated communication calls conveying their weight, sex, size and state of mind. Ackerman describes the strong maternal instincts owls display and outlines the environmental threats to these entrancing birds." --The Guardian

"[Ackerman] offers an absorbing ear-tuft-to-tail appreciation of the raptor that Mary Oliver, a poet, called a 'god of plunge and blood.' Owls, it seems, know a lot. Ms. Ackerman draws on recent research to explain what and how." --The Economist

"Ackerman is an excellent writer on the natural world, and in this wise and thoroughly researched book, her chapter on human-owl relations is especially fascinating." --New Statesman

"A fascinating read on how scientists are beginning to better understand the lives and ecology of these secretive and rarely visible birds." -- Science

"A gripping history . . . What An Owl Knows is a treat." --Financial Times

"An enchanting guide." -- People

Event address: 
St. Louis County Library - Clark Family Branch
1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.
Saint Louis, MO 63131
Books: 
What an Owl Knows: The New Science of the World's Most Enigmatic Birds By Jennifer Ackerman Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9780593298909
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Penguin Books - June 4th, 2024

The Genius of Birds By Jennifer Ackerman Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780399563126
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Penguin Books - April 11th, 2017

The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think By Jennifer Ackerman Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780735223035
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Penguin Books - May 4th, 2021

Birds by the Shore: Observing the Natural Life of the Atlantic Coast By Jennifer Ackerman Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143134183
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Penguin Books - May 7th, 2019

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