Sunday book review – Ten Birds that Changed the World by Stephen Moss

I have reviewed several of Stephen Moss’s books here (Tweet of the Day (with Brett Westwood) 2014; Natural Histories (with Brett Westwood) 2015; Wild Kingdom, 2016; The Twelve Birds of Christmas, 2019; The Accidental Countryside, 2020; The Swallow, 2021; Skylarks with Rosie, 2021) and enjoyed them all. They vary in depth and scope but are consistently well-written and provide reliable good reads. This latest book is, arguably, and that is what I would argue, the best of the lot.

Moss takes 10 bird species and uses them as jumping off points to talk about people, places and issues. You can see five of them on the book’s front cover (above) – what do you think the other five are on the back cover? And where do you think you will be taken by that cormorant or shag? Peru will be one of your calling points (some might have guessed that) but how about a National Trust property in north Somerset? Or a wildlife-depleted field near you?

The 10 species are chosen to be vehicles for good stories, told typically well by the author, but also, and importantly, to highlight important aspects of our lives, as the rather portentous title suggests.

Quite honestly, I loved it.

The cover?  Well, it’s OK, I guess. I’d give it 6/10.

Ten Birds that Changed the World by Stephen Moss is published by Guardian Faber



My forthcoming book, Reflections, will be published on 4 July and already can be ordered.

Details – click here.


1 Reply to “Sunday book review – Ten Birds that Changed the World by Stephen Moss”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.