Showing 1–12 of 35 results
Songs of Love and War: The Dark Heart of Bird BehaviourArtist/Author: Couzens, Dominic
The dawn chorus: a single voice cutting through the darkness heralds a breaking wave of sound at the very beginning of the day. It is an iconic natural phenomenon with many familiar performers, yet it is a mysterious event for which there is no complete explanation.
A mass of starlings gathers at the end of a midwinter day. As the sun sets, wave upon wave of bodies rolls in, embarking upon another of nature’s great attempts to show off. The murmuration is another much admired spectacle, but again its purpose is obscure and defies our understanding.
From dawn until dusk, birds do things that that are surprising and mystifying. Songs of Love & War delves into bird behaviour and uncovers its purpose and meaning.
More than just an inside look at how songbirds behave, this book also represents a personal journey of discovery. What starts as a desire to learn more about the birds encountered on a regular father-and-son walk through the woods leads to a realisation that a bird’s life is very far from the idyllic scene that can often be glimpsed by the casual birdwatcher. A bird’s life is often unusual and surprising but above all it is brief and much darker than you might think.
Flight Lines: Across the Globe on a Journey with the Astonishing Ultramarathon BirdsArtist/Author: Darby, Andrew
As the sun lowered and turned Gulf St Vincent fiery, they each called a high-pitched ‘peeooowiii!’, flashed their black wing-pits, spread their tail skirts and took flight.
Andrew Darby follows the odysseys of two Grey Plovers, little-known migratory shorebirds, as they take previously uncharted ultra-marathon flights from the southern coast of Australia to Arctic breeding grounds. On these extraordinary flights they chance predators, typhoon weather and exhaustion before they can breed, and maybe return to familiar southern feeding grounds. But the greatest threat to these, and other long-distance migrants on the flyway, is China’s dragon economy, engulfing their vital Yellow Sea staging spots.
The author meets the dedicated people working to save these intrepid birds, from Russia to Alaska, and the rim of the Arctic Sea to the coasts of the Southern Ocean. Out of their hard-won science he finds hope for the birds – a bright light for our times.
A Short Philosophy of BirdsArtist/Author: Dubois, Philippe J, Elise Rousseau
The greatest wisdom comes from the smallest creatures
There is so much we can learn from birds. Through twenty-two little lessons of wisdom inspired by how birds live, this charming French book will help you spread your wings and soar.
We often need the help from those smaller than us. Having spent a lifetime watching birds, Philippe and Élise – a French ornithologist and a philosopher – draw out the secret lessons that birds can teach us about how to live, and the wisdom of the natural world. Along the way you’ll discover why the robin is braver than the eagle, what the Arctic tern can teach us about the joy of travel, and whether the head or the heart is the best route to love (as shown by the mallard and the penguin). By the end you will feel more in touch with the rhythms of nature and have a fresh perspective on how to live the fullest life you can.
The Peregrine Returns: The Art and Architecture of an Urban RaptorArtist/Author: Hennen, Mary (Author), Peggy Macnamara (Illustrator), Stephanie Ware (Illustrator), John Bates (Foreword By)
Peregrine falcons have their share of claims to fame. With a diving speed of over two hundred miles per hour, these birds of prey are the fastest animals on earth or in the sky, and they are now well known for adapting from life on rocky cliffs to a different kind of mountain: modern skyscrapers. But adaptability only helps so much. In 1951, there were no peregrines left in Illinois, for instance, and it looked as if the species would be wiped out entirely in North America. Today, however, peregrines are flourishing.
In The Peregrine Returns, Mary Hennen gives wings to this extraordinary conservation success story. Drawing on the beautiful watercolours of Field Museum artist-in-residence Peggy Macnamara and photos by Field Museum research assistant Stephanie Ware, as well as her own decades of work with peregrines, Hennen uses a program in Chicago as a case study for the peregrines’ journey from their devastating decline to the discovery of its cause (a thinning of eggshells caused by a by-product of DDT), through to recovery, revealing how the urban landscape has played an essential role in enabling falcons to return to the wild – and how people are now learning to live in close proximity to these captivating raptors.
Both a model for conservation programs across the country and an eye-opening look at the many creatures with which we share our homes, this richly illustrated story is an inspiring example of how urban architecture can serve not only our cities’ human inhabitants, but also their wild ones.
Thinking Like a Parrot: Perspectives from the WildArtist/Author: Bond, Alan B, Judy Diamond
People form enduring emotional bonds with other animal species, such as dogs, cats, and horses. For the most part, these are domesticated animals, with one notable exception: Many people form close and supportive relationships with parrots, even though these amusing and curious birds remain thoroughly wild creatures. What enables this unique group of wild animals to form social bonds with people, and what does this mean for their survival?
In Thinking Like a Parrot, Alan Bond and Judy Diamond look beyond much of the standard work on captive parrots to the mischievous, inquisitive, and astonishingly vocal parrots of the wild. Focusing on the psychology and ecology of wild parrots, Bond and Diamond document their distinctive social behaviour, sophisticated cognition, and extraordinary vocal abilities. Also included are short vignettes – field notes of the natural history and behaviour of both rare and widely distributed species, from the neotropical crimson-fronted parakeet to New Zealand’s flightless, ground-dwelling kākāpō. This composite approach makes clear that the behaviour of captive parrots is grounded in the birds’ wild ecology and evolution, revealing that parrots’ ability to bond with people is an evolutionary accident, a byproduct of the intense sociality and flexible behaviour that characterize their lives.
Despite their adaptability and intelligence, however, nearly all large parrot species are rare, threatened, or endangered. To successfully manage and restore these wild populations, Bond and Diamond argue, we must develop a fuller understanding of their biology, of the complex set of ecological and behavioural traits that has led to their vulnerability. Spanning the global distribution of parrot species, Thinking Like a Parrot is rich with surprising insights into parrot intelligence, flexibility, and – even in the face of threats – resilience.
Avian Cognition: Exploring the Intelligence, Behavior, and Individuality of BirdsArtist/Author: Herrmann, Debra
Unlike any other book, Avian Cognition thoroughly examines avian intelligence, behavior, and individuality. Preferences, choices, motivation, and habits of species, flocks, and individual birds are discussed and compared. Avian Cognition investigates who birds are and why they do what they do. Daily, seasonal, and play activities, creativity, reasoning abilities, problem-solving skills, social interaction, life stages, and communication patterns are described, and a distinction is made between vocalizations that are learned and those that are inherited. The behavior and intelligence of both wild and pet birds is compared, and unlike other books, entire chapters are devoted to a single species.
Birds in Winter: Surviving the Most Challenging SeasonArtist/Author: Pasquier, Roger F (Author), Margaret La Farge (Illustrator)
Birds in Winter is the first book devoted to the ecology and behavior of birds during this most challenging season. Birds remaining in regions with cold weather must cope with much shorter days to find food and shelter even as they need to avoid predators and stay warm through the long nights, while migrants to the tropics must fit into very different ecosystems and communities of resident birds. Roger Pasquier explores how winter affects birds’ lives all through the year, starting in late summer, when some begin caching food to retrieve months later and others form social groups lasting into the next spring. During winter some birds are already pairing up for the following breeding season, when health through the winter contributes to nesting success.
Today, rapidly advancing technologies are enabling scientists to track individual birds through their daily and annual movements at home and across oceans and hemispheres, revealing new and unexpected information about their lives and interactions. But, as Birds in Winter shows, much is visible to any interested observer. Pasquier describes the season’s distinct conservation challenges for birds that winter where they have bred and for migrants to distant regions. Finally, global warming is altering the nature of winter itself. Whether birds that over millennia have evolved to survive this season can now adjust to a rapidly changing climate is a problem all people who enjoy watching them must consider.
Filled with elegant line drawings by artist and illustrator Margaret La Farge, Birds in Winter describes how winter influences the lives of birds from the poles to the equator.
How to Know the Birds: The Art & Adventure of BirdingArtist/Author: Floyd, Ted
How to Know the Birds introduces a new, holistic approach to bird-watching, by noting how behaviours, settings, and seasonal cycles connect with shape, song, colour, gender, age distinctions, and other features traditionally used to identify species. Expert author Ted Floyd begins by evoking a typical bird-watching moment, his entry into a thoughtful discussion of the traditions of field guides and bird identification. Then, with short essays on 200 observable species, he guides us through a year of becoming a better birder, each species representing another useful lesson: from explaining scientific nomenclature to noting how plumage changes with age, from chronicling migration patterns to noting hatchling habits. Pen-and-ink illustrations accompany Floyd’s charming prose, making How to Know the Birds a unique blend of narrative and field guide. A pleasure for birders of all ages, this witty book promises solid lessons for the beginner and smiles of recognition for the seasoned nature lover.
Australian Magpie: Biology and Behaviour of an Unusual Songbird (Second Edition)Artist/Author: Kaplan, Gisela
An insight into the cognition, communication and social structure of this iconic Australian bird.
The Australian magpie is one of our nation’s most popular and iconic birds. It is loved for its impressive vocal abilities, propensity to play, excellent parenting and willingness to form enduring friendships with people.
Written by award-winning author Gisela Kaplan, a leading authority on animal behaviour and Australian birds, this second edition of Australian Magpie is a thoroughly updated and substantially expanded account of the behaviour of these birds. With new chapters on classification, cognition and caring for young, it reveals the extraordinary capabilities of the magpie, including its complex social behaviour. The author, who has devoted more than 20 years to studying and interacting with magpies, brings together the latest research on the magpie’s biology and behaviour, along with information on the origin of magpies, their development and health not published previously.
This fascinating book has a wide appeal to bird lovers, amateur ornithologists and naturalists, as well as those with a scientific or professional interest in avian behaviour and ecology and those interested in the importance of native birds to the environment.
Your Backyard Birds: Understanding the Behaviours, Habits and Needs of our Brilliant BirdsArtist/Author: Cleary, Dr Gráinne
The remarkable relationships between our often cheeky birds and humans in Australian backyards all over the country are revealed with humour and charm. An ideal gift for any bird lover. A beautiful, inspiring and heartwarming book about our human relationships with the birds who share our backyards.
‘Do you ever wonder what birds are talking about as they fly by you? The sounds and songs of birds constantly surround us as we go about our lives. But what are they talking about? Or are they even talking or just mindlessly squawking and chirping? Why are so many urban birds so loud? Is there a message in what the birds are telling each other?’
Observing and interacting with all the different birds who visit Australian backyards leads naturally to questions about their behaviours, habits and needs. Why are they visiting? What do they want from us?
For a bird, life in Australia means having mates: others who you can trust and work with to locate food and water, which can disappear as suddenly as it appears. As the humans who plant the gardens they live in and visit, what can we learn from Australia’s often-cheeky birds?
With a foreword by science journalist and broadcaster Robyn Williams AM, and chapters dedicated to discovering extraordinary information about Australia’s innovative birds, Your Backyard Birds is a delightful and compelling read. With real stories from bird-loving citizen scientists, this fascinating book features new insights about the lives of our avian friends.
Your Backyard Birds, written by a wildlife ecologist who is passionate about the vital role of citizen scientists, provides a fresh and lively perspective on human interaction with birds.
Beaks, Bones, and Bird Songs: How the Struggle for Survival Has Shaped Birds and Their BehaviorArtist/Author: Lederer, Roger
When we see a bird flying from branch to branch happily chirping, it is easy to imagine they lead a simple life of freedom, flight, and feathers. What we don’t see is the arduous, life-threatening challenges they face at every moment.
In Beaks, Bones, and Bird Songs ornithologist Roger Lederer guides the reader through the myriad, and often almost miraculous, things that birds do every day to merely stay alive. Like the goldfinch, who manages extreme weather changes by doubling the density of their plumage in winter. Or urban birds who navigate traffic through a keen understanding of posted speed limits. In engaging and accessible prose, Lederer shares how and why birds use their sensory abilities to see ultraviolet, find food without seeing it, fly thousands of miles without stopping, change their songs in noisy cities, navigate by smell, and much more.
Roger Lederer has studied bird behavior for more than thirty years. In Beaks, Bones, and Bird Songs he shares this knowledge in an entertaining and eye-opening way that will be widely embraced by birders and nature lovers.
Ornithology: Foundation, Analysis, and ApplicationArtist/Author: Morrison, Michael L, Amanda D Rodewald, Gary Voelker, Melanie R Colón, Jonathan F Prather (Editors)
Aves, the birds, is the wildlife group that people most frequently encounter. With over 10,000 species worldwide, these animals are part of our everyday experience. They are also the focus of intense research, and their management and conservation is a subject of considerable effort throughout the world. But what are the defining attributes that make a bird a bird?
Aimed at undergraduate and graduate students, Ornithology provides a solid modern foundation for understanding the life and development of birds. Written by renowned experts from around the globe, this comprehensive textbook draws on the latest research to create an innovative learning experience. Moving beyond bones, muscle, and feathers, it provides the core information needed to “build” the bird, linking anatomy and physiology with ecology and behaviour.
As it reviews the major orders of birds, Ornithology: Foundation, Analysis, and Application highlights their wide diversity and critically evaluates ornithological concepts and theories. Incorporating brief biographies of leaders in the field, the text describes their contributions in the context of key historical events in bird science. Each chapter ends with a summary of the material covered, a discussion of potential management and conservation applications, and suggested study questions that will stimulate thought and discussion.