Thursday, January 14, 2016
1) Lack, David. The Life of the Robin. 1965 (2015). Pallas Athene. Paperback: 283 pages. Price: £9.99 (about $14.39 U.S.).
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: The Robin has now been voted Britain's favourite bird – a friendly presence in thousands of gardens, year round. Its life was hardly understood when David Lack – who has been called Britain's most influential ornithologist – started his scientific observations of robins while a schoolteacher at Dartington.
It was Lack who established that robins sing to defend their territory; that males will fight to the death but will also feed injured opponents; that couples will court and mate but then ignore each other; that most robins will die in any given year.
The Life of the Robin has become a landmark in natural history, not just for discoveries that changed ornithology, but because of the approachable style, sharpened with an acute wit. It reads as freshly, and as fascinatingly, today, as when it was written. No one who has ever enjoyed the company of a robin in their garden or on a walk will want to be without this book.
Unavailable for many years, this classic work includes postscripts by the doyen of robin studies today, David Harper and by the author's son, Peter Lack, who explains the genesis of The Life of the Robin, and its place in the hugely important lifetime's work carried out by his father.
RECOMMENDATION: A MUST have for anyone with an interest in the European Robin or the works of David Lack.