Showing 1–12 of 35 results
Grasswrens: Australian Outback IdentitiesArtist/Author: Black, Andrew and Peter Gower.
Provides a natural history of grasswrens in Australia followed by details of each species.
Finch trapping in the Kimberley: a history of commercial finch trapping in the Kimberley division of Western Australia.Artist/Author: Coate, Kevin and Lance Merritt.
This book provides a rare insight into the far north of Western Australia, the capture of over one million wild finches, their marketing and their distribution around the world. It is the first complete analysis of lawful, and sometimes questionable, trapping and trading of Australian wild birds, and the operations of authorities who allowed the industry to linger in Western Australia between 1897 and 1986.
The work redresses the void of published information relating to the capture of wild finch species found in the Kimberley District of Western Australia, the trappers themselves and their methods, those trading in finches and some statistical data. The Red-eared Firetail, an Estrildid finch endemic to the South West of Western Australia, is also included in this work. The book reflects the pioneering spirit of early settlers, explorers, scientific specimen collectors, and adventure seekers who visited or resided in the remote north of Australia. All were bushmen with exciting tales of hardship and observations that enthralled urban dwellers.
Initial trapping supplied European markets, which gave way to domestic markets after the Second World War. In Australia finch trapping and commercial avicultural trading peaked in the late-1950s, remained strong until the late-1990s and then waned. It has detailed coverage of the birds affected, individual stories of over 150 men and women touched by the trapping industry, the role of Aboriginals and historical aspects of Kimberley life, with over 1,600 source references for researchers.
Robins and Chats.Artist/Author: Clement, Peter and Chris Rose.
This authoritative handbook, part of the Helm Identification Guides series, covers in detail the world’s 175 species of robins and chats. Formerly considered to be part of the thrush family (Turdidae), this large group is now usually treated as separate family, Muscicapidae, together with the Old World flycatchers. The vast majority of species are Eurasian or African, with only a handful of species straying into the New World or Australasia. The Australian Robins, although superficially similar, have long been regarded as a separate family and are therefore not included in this monograph. Robins and chats are a diverse family comprising both highly colourful and visible species, such as the robin-chats of Africa, as well as some of the most skulking and elusive birds, such as the shortwings of Asia. Many chats, such as the well-known Nightingale, are renowned songsters, and a good number are highly sought-after by world listers for their extreme rarity or simply because they are hard to see.
This book discusses the identification and habits of these birds on a species-by-species basis, bringing together the very latest research with accurate range maps, more than 600 stunning colour photographs that illustrate age and racial plumage differences, and 64 superb colour plates by the internationally renowned artist, Chris Rose. This authoritative and sumptuous book will be an essential purchase for all chat enthusiasts, and will become the standard reference on the subject for many years to come.
The red canary: the story of the first genetically engineered animal.Artist/Author: Birkhead, Tim.
The creation of Dolly the sheep in the 1990s was for many people the start of a new era: the age of genetically modified animals. However, the idea was not new for in the 1920s an amateur scientist, Hans Duncker, decided to genetically engineer a red canary. Though his experiments failed, they paved the way for others to succeed when it was recognised that the canary needed to be both a product of nature and nurture. This highly original narrative, of huge contemporary relevance, reveals how the obsession with turning the wild canary from green to red heralded the exciting but controversial developments in genetic manipulation.
Dog days, raven nights.Artist/Author: Marzluff, John M. and Colleen Marzluff.
Twenty years ago, fresh out of graduate school and recently married, John and Colleen Marzluff left Arizona for a small cabin in the mountains of western Maine. Their mission: to conduct the first-ever extensive study of the winter ecology of the Common raven under the tutelage of biologist Bernd Heinrich. Drawing on field notes and personal diaries, they vividly and eloquently chronicle their three-year endeavour to research a mysterious and often misunderstood bird – assembling a gigantic aviary, climbing sentry trees, building bird blinds in the forest, capturing and sustaining 300 ravens as study subjects, and enduring harsh Maine winters in pursuit of their goal. They also share the unique challenges and joys of raising, training, and racing the sled dogs that assisted them in their work. Accompanied by Evon Zerbetz’s lovely linocut illustrations, this is a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at the adventures of field science and an insightful exploration of the nature of relationships, both animal and human. Also available in hardcover [stock id 35410].
Crow planet: essential wisdom from the urban wilderness.Artist/Author: Haupt, Lyanda Lynn.
With more crows now than ever before, this abundance is both an indicator of ecological imbalance and a generous opportunity to connect with the animal world. This book reminds us that we do not need to head to faraway places to encounter ‘nature’. Rather, even in the suburbs and cities where we live we are surrounded by wild life such as crows, and through observing them we can enhance our appreciation of the world’s natural order. This book richly weaves Haupt’s own ‘crow stories’ as well as scientific and scholarly research and the history and mythology of crows, culminating in a book that is sure to make readers see the world around them in a very different way.
Crows and jays: a guide to the crows, jays and magpies of the world.Artist/Author: Madge, Steve and Hilary Burn.
There are 120 species of crows, jays and their allies in the world today. Many are exceedingly beautiful in colour, grace and form, whereas others are black and somewhat sinister in appearance. In no other group of perching birds has evolution produced such a degree of variation, from the tiny Hume’s Ground-Jay of the steppe-highlands of Tibet to the huge Thick-billed Raven of the mountains of Ethiopia. The 30 superb colour plates by Hilary Burn in this book depict them all; each plate is accompanied by an informative caption page summarising the criteria required to identify the species, alongside colour world distribution maps. Some of these birds, bearing such evocative names as the Banggai Crow, Mesopotamian Crow and Flores Crow, have never been illustrated before. The authoritative text by Steve Madge treats each species in depth, summarising identification techniques and concisely reviewing all aspects of corvid behaviour, distribution, population and taxonomy. The author has had first-hand experience of most of the species during his travels throughout the world, travels in which he gradually became fascinated by this very special, but somewhat ignored, group of birds.
Birds of paradise: revealing the world’s most extraordinary birds.Artist/Author: Laman, Tim and Edwin Scholes.
Photographer Tim Laman is the first person to photograph all bird of paradise species and probably also the first person to see all species in the wild. Legendary naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace once observed, “The bird of paradise really deserves its name and must be ranked as one of the most beautiful and most wonderful of living things.” In this dazzling photographic essay, Tim Laman and Edwin Scholes explain why, presenting gorgeous full-colour photographs of all 39 species of the Birds of paradise that highlight their unique and extraordinary plumage and mating behaviour. The authors take you into the depths of the remote New Guinea rainforest to find each of these birds, some of which have never before been photographed. In pursuit, the authors pose answers to questions raised by eminent evolutionary biologists such as Ernst Mayr: “How can natural selection favour, one might almost say permit, the evolution of such conspicuously bizarre plumes and displays? How can it permit such ‘absurd exaggerations’, as one is almost tempted to call them? How can it happen that apparently closely related species and genera differ so drastically in their habits and colorations?” Field notes, conservation success stories, and observations of native peoples’ interactions with these magnificent birds provide a rich feast for birders, naturalists, and any one who is seduced by the power and majesty of the natural world.
Mind of the raven: investigations and adventures with wolf-birds.Artist/Author: Heinrich, Bernd.
Heinrich involves us in his quest to get inside the mind of the raven. But as animals can only be spied on by getting quite close, Heinrich adopts ravens, thereby becoming a “raven father,” as well as observing them in their natural habitat. He studies their daily routines, and in the process, paints a vivid picture of the ravens’ world. At the heart of this book are Heinrich’s love and respect for these complex and engaging creatures, and through his keen observation and analysis, we become their intimates too.
Heinrich’s passion for ravens has led him around the world in his research. “Mind of the Raven” follows an exotic journey–from New England to Germany, and from Montana to Baffin Island in the high Arctic–offering dazzling accounts of how science works in the field, filtered through the eyes of a passionate observer of nature. Each new discovery and insight into raven behavior is thrilling to read, at once lyrical and scientific.
Finches and sparrows.Artist/Author: Clement, Peter, Alan Harris, and John Davis.
This is a guide to true finches and sparrows illustrating all the species, many races and most sex and age variations, with almost 950 portraits. The maps accompanying the illustrations show breeding and wintering ranges for all species. Although the guide is not primarily intended for cagebird enthusiasts, it will also be useful for those wishing to know more about the species encountered in captivity.
City of ravens: the extraordinary history of London, the Tower and its famous ravens.Artist/Author: Sax, Boria.
Tales tell of how Charles II, fearful of ancient legends that Britain will fall if the ravens at the Tower of London ever leave their abode, ordered that the wings of the six ravens be clipped. But the truth is that the ravens only arrived at the Tower in 1883, when they were brought in as props in tales of Gothic horror that were told to tourists. The legend itself originated from the summer of 1944, when ravens in London were used as unofficial spotters for enemy bombs and planes. Boria Sax gives us the first book to tell the true story of the ravens, which has far more high drama than any of the tales the tourists get to hear. Its heroes are the raven couple Grip and Mable, who eloped from the Tower together after World War II, leaving it empty and prompting fears that the British Empire would end; Jackie, who kept watch at a brewery; McDonald, who was murdered; and Thor, who could not accept his loss of flight. For over a century, the ravens have been symbols of cruelty, avatars of fate – and cuddly national pets. But Sax shows us how the ravens have come to represent British natural heritage, without which any nation would be impoverished.
The true Shrikes (Laniidae) of the world: ecology, behavior and evolution.Artist/Author: Panov, E.N.
This book is the first monograph in English on the 34 shrike species distributed across Africa, Eurasia and North America. These birds have attracted the attention of ornithologists for a long time, mainly because of their predatory nature and the methods which they use to dispatch their prey. In the book, the most important information on shrikes of the World is summarized, much of which has accumulated in the ornithological literature and obtained by the author himself. These voluminous empirical data are also used by the author in an attempt to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the group at different stages of its phylogenesis, from the early origins of the family Laniidae, presumably in Africa, through the secondary expansion of species across Eurasia and into the New World.
Also examined here, all within the framework of an integral system of adaptation, are evolutionary trends affecting changes in body size and plumage coloration, foraging behaviour, breeding dispersion, motor signal behaviour and vocalizations. Special attention is paid to the development of signal and communication behaviour in groups of closely related species at different stages of their divergent evolution. The breakdown of isolating mechanisms, leading to hybridization and a local fusion of closely related species in their secondary contact zones, its causes and dynamics, is another fascinating topic dealt with in the book. The results of recent molecular studies on shrikes are discussed as well.