The Wisdom, Insight, And Wit of Birds with Sy Montgomery

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Sy Montgomery apprenticed herself to seven different species of birds. What she learned brings us a new understanding of who animals of all species are, and what they're capable of. She met a bird who screeches just like a dinosaur, discovered another who uses automobiles as giant nutcrackers, and even, with the help of a falcon, expanded her vegetarian perspective on what it means to be a hunter. Most of all she was reminded that all other species have volumes to teach ours - if only we're willing to listen. She explains, "All animals are gifted with extensions of the senses, that we've lost or never attained. You know your dog is hearing things you can't hear. You know birds are seeing things in far greater detail. You know even spiders and ants are experiencing the world in a different way. When you're around any creature you're expanding your world by being part of the whole sensory experience they're having that's slightly different from ours." Join us for this magical conversation, and realize how easily you, too, can be mentored by the teachers right outside your door. (hosted by Michael Toms)


Sy Montgomery is a naturalist, author, documentary scriptwriter, and broadcast journalist, and holds an honorary doctorate from the University System of New Hampshire.

Her fifteen books have garnered numerous awards, and include:

To learn more about the work of Sy Montgomery go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How a bird can teach you humility
  • Which bird can fly faster than the space shuttle
  • What is so different about raptors
  • Which birds travel regularly to visit their aunts and uncles
  • Why birds dance to the beat of the music
Host: Michael Toms     Interview Date: 5/8/2010     Program Number: 3355