How do birds smell? A new book says very well, and sometimes very good
Until recently many biologists thought that birds had little or no sense of smell. But researchers like Danielle Whittaker have changed that misconception, with work that’s given deep insight into the rich olfactory avian world. Whittaker speaks with Bob McDonald about her work and her new book, The Secret Perfume of Birds: Uncovering the Science of Avian Scent. In it, she describes how she and other researchers followed their noses to investigate the role scent plays in the lives of birds, from predator detection to mate choice.