An overview of the latest scientific research on bird evolution and behavior. Delve deep into the evolutionary history of charismatic bird species, from the largest ratites to the smallest hummingbirds. Illustrated with maps, diagrams and color plates. When and where did the ancestors of modern birds evolve? What enabled them to survive the meteoric impact that wiped out the dinosaurs? How did these early birds spread across the globe and give rise to the 10,500-plus species we recognise today - from the largest ratites to the smallest hummingbirds? Based on the latest scientific discoveries and enriched by personal observations, The Ascent of Birds sets out to answer these fundamental questions.