“Completely fascinating and fantastically written, this guide is a massively entertaining and enlightening exploration of a chicken so wickedly sensible, curious, and social, it boggles the thoughts.” (Jennifer Ackerman, writer of The Fowl Method)“An enchanting, entertaining, and completely engrossing story.” (David Sibley, writer of What It is Wish to Be a Fowl)An enthralling account of a contemporary voyage of discovery as we meet the intelligent, social birds of prey known as caracaras, which puzzled Darwin, fascinate modern-day falconers, and carry secrets and techniques of our planet’s deep previous of their household historical past.“As curious, wide-ranging, gregarious, and clever as its topic.” (Charles C. Mann, writer of 1491)In 1833, Charles Darwin was astonished by an animal he met within the Falkland Islands: good-looking, social, and oddly crow-like falcons that had been “tame and inquisitive…quarrelsome and passionate”, and so insatiably curious that they stole hats, compasses, and different valuables from the crew of the Beagle. Darwin puzzled why these birds had been confined to distant islands on the tip of South America, sensing a bigger story, however he set this thriller apart and by no means returned to it.Nearly 2 hundred years later, Jonathan Meiburg takes up this chase. He takes us by way of South America, from the fog-bound coasts of Tierra del Fuego to the tropical forests of Guyana, in quest of these birds: striated caracaras, which nonetheless exist, although they’re very uncommon. He reveals the wild, fascinating story of their historical past, origins, and doable futures. And alongside the best way, he attracts us into the life and work of William Henry Hudson, the Victorian author and naturalist who championed caracaras as an unsung marvel of the pure world, and to falconry parks within the English countryside, the place captive caracaras carry out unbelievable feats of reminiscence and problem-solving. A Most Outstanding Creature is a hybrid of science writing, travelogue, and biography, as beneficiant and accessible as it’s refined, and completely riveting.
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