Feathered Entanglements

Human-Bird Relations in the Anthropocene

Edited by Scott Simon & Frédéric Laugrand
Categories: Applied ecology, The environment, Earth Sciences, Geography, Environment, Planning
Publisher: UBC Press
Hardcover : 9780774870009, 340 pages, October 2024

Table of contents


Introduction: Humans and Birds in the Anthropocene / Frédéric Laugrand and Scott E. Simon

Part 1: Birds Are Good to Be With (Birds as Partners)

1 Multiple Joining Methods among Cormorants, Fishers and Fishing Techniques: A Case Study of Regional Similarities and Differences in Cormorant Fishing in China / Shuhei Uda

2 Bird Singing Contests Rules and Communication Frames for Animals and Men: Sonorous Ethnography with the Bulbul Breeders of Southern Thailand / Etienne Dalemans

3 The Rooftop of the City: Pigeon-Keeping Practices and the Construction of Masculinities in Amman / Perrine Lachenal

4 From the Ground to the Canopy: Introduction to the Tarkine Forest through its Birds / Aïko Cappe and Colin Schildhauer

5 Entangled Lives: Toward a Phenomenology of Amateur Birding in Modern Japan / Scott E. Simon

Part 2: Birds Are Good to Think With (Birds in Symbolic Systems)

6 Three Birds and the Emotions in the Central Himalayas / John Leavitt

7 Time and Space in Birdlore among the Ibaloy of the Philippines Cordillera / Frédéric Laugrand, Antoine Laugrand, Jazil Tamang, and Gliseria Magapin

8 Birds as Metaphors and Much Else in a Changing Indonesian Community / Gregory Forth

Part 3: Birds Are Good to Craft With (Birds in Material Culture)

9 "Good to Eat" or "Good to Make": Ethnographical Archaeology on Changes in the Representation of Birds / Atsushi Nobayashi

10 Birds as Figurative Patterns and Artefacts as Efficient Agents: Agency and Ritual Behaviour among the Mentawai of Bat Rereiket (Siberut, Indonesia) / Lionel Simon and Syarul Sakaliou

11 Environmental Shift in the Entangled Anthropocene: Use and Abuse of Birds in Amis Ritual Practices of Taiwan / Yi-tze Lee

12 Epilogue: The Emergence of Ethno-Ornithology / Andrew G. Gosler



As they migrated across great distances, ancient humans may have used birdsong and bird sightings to find food and water in unseen territory. Today, attending to birds helps scientists track not only avian migration but also environmental change. Birds remain our sentinels.

Feathered Entanglements offers a rich tapestry of human–bird relations across the Indo-Pacific. In this era of uncontrolled industrialization, we have grown increasingly disconnected from the natural world. The ways in which birds feature in the daily life, symbolic systems, and material culture of humans, from pigeon keeping on the rooftops of Amman to the rituals of Indigenous peoples in Taiwan, can teach us how to live with other species amid the challenges of the Anthropocene.

In a time of intensifying ecological crisis, we need, more than ever, to protect and appreciate nonhuman lives. Feathered Entanglements embraces the connection between humans, birds, and our shared world.