Book review: ‘Birdsong in a Time of Silence’ by Steven Lovatt

‘Birdsong in a Time of Silence’ by Steven Lovatt

This enjoyable book is a celebration of the common or garden (or supermarket car park) birds we encounter in our daily lives, paying specially attention to their songs. It also describes how, as for many other people, Lovatt’s interest in birds was rekindled during the regulated confinement of the 2020 coronavirus lockdown.

Lovatt considers the different types of calls made by many familiar birds, wisely steering clear of trying to transcribe their precise sounds. He also hypothesises about what some of the calls mean to the birds themselves. I took some of these suggestions with a pinch of salt, but everyone is entitled to hypothesise about birds now and again.

A pleasant book.

Pedantic aside: This book repeats one common misunderstanding which the science groupie in me feels compelled to point out: the June solstice is not the day on which the earth passes closest to the sun. That day, the earth’s perihelion, falls in early January each year. The June solstice occurs when the northern hemisphere tilts directly towards the sun, meaning the sun appears directly overhead at its northernmost point, above the Tropic of Cancer.

Note: I will receive a small referral fee if you buy this book via one of the above links.

Richard Carter

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. He is currently working on a book about looking at the world through Darwin’s eyes.Website · Newsletter · Mastodon · Facebook

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