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What makes the spots on a butterfly’s wings? Should chimpanzees be considered people in the eyes of the law? What is the meaning of wildness in a crowded, urbanized world?

An elegant, thoughtful tour of nature in the 21st century, The Eye of the Sandpiper continues in the tradition of Lewis Thomas, Stephen Jay Gould and David Quammen, reporting from scientific frontiers while celebrating nature's wonders and posing new questions about our relationship to Earth's nonhuman life.

In its pages you’ll find stories of evolutionary thermodynamics and lampreys bringing rivers to life, empathic rats and emotional honeybees, of people exploring vacant lots and nursing pigeons to health. The stories illuminate and challenge. Reading them will make your everyday world a richer place.

“Brandon Keim's essays beautifully stir the mind and heart. This book is a joy!”—Barbara J. King, author of How Animals Grieve

"I wanted to speed through this book, but I kept slowing down because it was too engaging to rush. The knowledgeable Brandon Keim is as much a thinker as he is a reporter."—Carl Safina, author of Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel

"Brandon Keim is one of our finest chroniclers of nature. His beautiful writing radiates with his deep love for the world around us and the creatures we share it with." —Ed Yong, The Atlantic