This edited collection explores our often-surprising modes of co-inhabiting the cultural and aerial worlds of birds. It focuses on our encounters with non-captive birds and the cultural geographies of feathered flight.

This book offers a timely contribution to the more-than-human geographies of flight, space and territory. Chapters support an ethics of attention as a new basis for the conservation and cultivation of aerial habitats. Contributions adopt an interdisciplinary approach to the patterns of intrusion and escape that shape our encounters with birds and unsettle our traditionally terrestrial concepts of space. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of our shared lives with birds, ranging from scientific observation to the social media enabled spectacle of co-habitation and spatial competition.

Written in a thought-provoking style, this book seeks to address a dearth of critical perspectives on the cultural geographies of flight and its implications for the ways in which we understand common spaces around and above us in the context of any effort at conservation.

Learning to Live in Winged Worlds: Introduction

Olga Petri

Part I Out of Sight, Out of Mind, and Out of Place

  1. Displaying displacement: exhibiting extinct birds in natural history museums

Dolly Jørgensen

2. Pigeons and other strangers in post-war Britain

Philip Howell

3. Migration at the limit: More-than-human creativity and catastrophe

Andrew J. Whitehouse

4. Humans and birds on British farms, 1950–2000

Paul Merchant

Part II Making Sense of Shared Space

5. Airborne: Experience and Atmospheric Movements in Falconry Practice

Sara Asu Schroer

6. Sonic Habitats – Aerial Nomadism and the Sound of Birds

Patricia Jäggi

7. The changing geographies of human-starling relations in the shared spaces of the Anthropocene.

Andy Morris

8. The public lives of pigeon passengers: how pigeons and humans share space on a train

Shawn Bodden

Part III Flights of Fancy

9. Birds as winged words: a reading of Aristophanes, The Birds

Jeremy Mynott

10. Birds and Christian imagery

Roger S Wotton

11. Toucans in space and imagination in the early modern transatlantic world

Alex Lawrence

12. Peregrine flights: The emergence of digital winged geographies

William M. Adams, Adam Searle, and Jonathon Turnbull