Birdsong in a Time of Silence

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What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

Birdsong in a Time of Silence is the story of a man rediscovering his passion for birdsong and nature. Narrated against the backdrop of the current pandemic, the book opens by acknowledging the new awareness of birds and birdsong that was made possible by the coincidence of spring and the experience of lockdown. Starting with a portrait of the blackbird – most prominent and articulate of the early spring singers – the book proceeds through ten chapters to explore how birds sing, the variety of singing birds (including the arrival of summer migrants), the science behind their choice of song and nest-sites, and the varied meanings that people have brought to and taken from birdsong – ultimately demonstrating that natural history and human history cannot be separated. In closing, the book reflects on the collective reawakening brought on by this strangest of springs.

© Steven Lovatt 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Critics Review

  • A delightful meditation on the wonder of birdsong, and how it helped us at a moment of crisis

    Stephen Moss
  • This is a joyous and profound meditation on birdsong and what it means to us, a book that brings to life an essential part of the natural world that most of us take so much for granted that we scarcely notice it

    Guardian (Book of the Day)
  • Lovatt’s approach is fresh, joyful and uncomplicated. Birdsong in a Time of Silence recalls a spring we will never forget but also reminds us that the pandemic grew out of our disregard for nature, and could presage ecological disaster

    Financial Times
  • This is a lyrical, exhilarating work of utter loveliness

  • Beautifully observed… exhilaratingly original… [Written with] exquisite prose that soars as high as his beloved birds

    Daily Mail

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