How Birds Live

How Birds Live, Claude R HillHow Birds Live, by Claude R. Hill, 1940 revised printing by American Education Press Inc., is a charming 36-page overview on the workings of the bird world, with pen-and-ink illustrations.

Mr. Hill reprints an interesting technique for sketching birdsong with dashes and curves, the results akin to an avian morse code.  Hill attributes the idea to wildlife artist R. Bruce Horsfall, but, sadly, little can be found online regarding his contributions to song sketching.


How Birds Live - CR Hill How Birds Live - CR Hill

How Birds Live is an endearing and succinct introduction to bird biology and behaviour, and should engage any young naturalist.  Hill illustrates some of the ways birds benefit people, e.g by eating mosquitoes and crop-damaging insects and rodents – one pair of barn owls ate more than 2,000 mice in a summer.  He also explains how birds evolve to suit their métier: by having webbed feet or hunting talons, and downy feathers for warmth and stealth or strong, sleek feathers for flight.

How Birds Live - CR Hill