Advanced Search Module


Close Search

A Short Philosophy of Birds (Petite philosophie des oiseaux)



Original Language: French | 160 pp. | September 2018

2 Seas Represents: World Excl. French

Rights sold: Germany (Droemer Knaur, in a pre-empt), UK (Ebury, WEL, in a pre-empt), USA (Dey Street Books/HarperCollins US), Korea (Darun, at auction), the Netherlands (Kosmos, in a pre-empt), Spain (Grijalbo, at auction), Italy (Solferino, at auction), Turkey (Domingo), Greece (Dioptra, at auction), Catalan (Angle), Hungary (Park, at auction), Serbia (Prometej), Croatia (Planetopija), Taiwan (Chi Ming, at auction), Russia (Eksmo)


Brilliant, magical and engrossing – I will never see birds the same way again. — Peter Wohlleben, bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Trees

A little gem. So much wisdom to be drawn from the feathered world of birds. — Raynor Winn, bestselling author of The Salt Path

A charming, witty and thought-provoking look at the way bird behaviour can both reflect and influence the way we live our lives. — Stephen Moss, Naturalist and author

This book is a pure marvel. – Open Mind, March- April 2019

This exciting bestseller reveal to us that birds have much to teach us if we take the time to observe them. – Version Femina, 18-24 March 2019

These wisdom stories carry strong messages and invite us to reconnect with our authenticity. A favorite book! – Open Mind, January/ February 2019

We (re)discover through 22 interesting and enlightening short life lessons that nature has a lot to offer us. – Prima, February 2019

Philippe J. Dubois and Elise Rousseau encourage us to be inspired by turtle doves, finches or chickens, to live better, simply and in harmony with nature. – Pyschologies, March 2019

There is a lot we can learn from birds. Through twenty-two little lessons of wisdom, inspired from how birds live, this book invites us to re-center our lives and pay closer attention to our natural inner needs.

We often need the help from those smaller than us. That is the secret this book shares with us, proving that help sometimes comes from the most unlikely of sources, and reminding us to open our eyes and listen to the lessons of wisdom found in nature. What could be better than putting our busy lives on pause and listening to what the birds have to tell us? Through the way they live and interact with the world around them, these little philosophers can teach us an approach to life that is more profound and respectful of our true needs.

This book gives us twenty-two pearls of wisdom, short and sweet, to help us get reacquainted with our natural inner selves, hidden away somewhere inside us all.


The duck’s eclipse plumage: a much-needed break. A duck moulting his feathers for a more beautiful plumage is rather like learning to change every year, even if it means going through a difficult time to get there (…) You need to learn how to let part of you die so that it can be reborn. (…) For birds, the moulting season is a time of vulnerability. Sometimes they are unable to fly for a while, which is what happens to some types of duck. Their temporary plumage is called ‘eclipse plumage’. A nice way to refer to this time when he takes a bit of a break, waiting for some of the feathers that have been shed to grow back. He knows he is fragile and maintains a low profile, not doing anything important. He waits for the regrowth and renewal to occur, when he will regain his strength and beauty. As we all should, sometimes. In a society that forces us to be ‘on’ at all times, we no longer know how to take a break and claim the time we need during times of fragility to recover and recharge.

Other lessons:

– Where is true courage located? The eagle and the robin.

– The value of habits: the art of living a happy life.

– What happened to our sense of direction? The Mongolians, the godwit and the cuckoo

– Passion or reason: what is the best strategy in love ? The mallard and the penguin

– Why do we travel? The arctic tern


  • 22 short chapters each relaying a piece of wisdom learned from observing nature, and birds in particular.
  • A book of wisdom to rediscover how to enjoy life’s simple, authentic moments, removed from our crazy modern lives.
  • Reminiscent of the bestselling The Hidden Life of Trees: What they Feel, How they Communicate by Peter Wohlleben

Philippe J. Dubois is an ornithologist and writer. He has been passionate about birds since he was a child. He has travelled the world birdwatching. He is the author of a number of works on climate change and biodiversity and was the head of Delachaux and Niestlé, the oldest nature books publishing house.

Élise Rousseau, has a Masters degree in Literature and a degree in Philosophy, she is a journalist and author of several works on nature and animals. She has spent several years working to protect animals.


Italy (Solferino), The Netherlands (Kosmos), Catalonia (Angle Editorial), Hungary (Park), Greece (Dioptra), Germany (Droemer Knaur), Spain (Grijalbo)