A Most Remarkable Creature

In 1833, a young Charles Darwin was astonished by a strange animal he met in the Falkland Islands: a set of handsome, social, and oddly crow-like falcons that were ‘tame and inquisitive,’ ‘quarrelsome and passionate,’ and so insatiably curious that they stole hats, compasses, and other valuables from the crew of the Beagle. Darwin met many unusual creatures in his five-year voyage, but no others showed an interest in studying him, and he wondered why these birds were confined to remote islands at the tip of South America, sensing a larger story. These birds – now called striated caracaras – still exist, though they’re very rare; and this book reveals the wild and fascinating story of their history, origins, and possible futures in a series of travels throughout South America, from the fog-bound coasts of Tierra del Fuego to the tropical forests of Guyana.

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An enthralling voyage of discovery to meet a rare and mysterious bird of prey that puzzled Darwin, fascinates modern-day falconers, and carries secrets of our planet's deep past in its family history.

In 1833, Charles Darwin was astonished by a 'mischievous' animal he met in the Falklands: rare, crow-like falcons known today as striated caracaras. These clever, fearless birds of prey stole hats and valuables from the crew of the Beagle, and they seemed unusually interested in humans. Darwin couldn't understand why they were confined to a set of remote islands; but he set this mystery aside, and never returned to it.

Almost two centuries later, Jonathan Meiburg takes up the chase. He travels through South America in search of striated caracaras and their close relatives, from the fog-bound coasts of Tierra del Fuego to the tropical forests of the Guiana Shield, and reveals the wild and surprising story of their origins, their keen and flexible minds, and their possible futures.

'Fascinating' Margaret Atwood, West End Phoenix

'Hugely entertaining and enlightening' Jennifer Ackerman, author of The Genius of Birds

Additional information

Weight 331 g
Dimensions 331 × 130 × 25 mm
Author

Publisher

Vintage

Imprint

Vintage

Cover

Paperback

Pages

400

Language

English

Edition
Dewey

598.96 (edition:23)

Readership

General – Trade / Code: K