BTO, Octavo, paperback, colour photographs, maps.
2009 sees the celebration of 100 years of bird ringing in Britain and Ireland, and this guide highlights some of the major achievements of the Scheme over that time.
This guide is an ideal training tool for ringers, explaining how and why we ring birds. It contains numerous examples of how ringing has contributed to conservation science and research, and how it helps us understand population changes by providing information on survival and recruitment. The guide is also a great introduction to bird ringing for non-ringers, not only highlighting the Scheme’s successes, but also explaining why we still need to keep ringing today.
BTO, Octavo, paperback, colour photographs, maps.
This comprehensive appraisal of avian diversity is divided into five sections – Comparative biology of birds; Natural selection and diversity in life-histories; Sexual selection and diversity in mating systems; Birth and death of bird species; and Conclusions.
Renowned for its unusual mammals, Australia is a land of birds that are just as unusual, just as striking, a result of the continent’s tens of millions of years of isolation. Compared with birds elsewhere, ours are more likely to be intelligent, aggressive and loud, to live in complex societies, and are long-lived. They’re also ecologically more powerful, exerting more influences on forests than other birds.
But unlike the mammals, the birds did not keep to Australia; they spread around the globe. Australia provided the world with its songbirds and parrots, the most intelligent of all bird groups. It was thought in Darwin’s time that species generated in the Southern Hemisphere could not succeed in the Northern, an idea that was proven wrong in respect of birds in the 1980s but not properly accepted by the world’s scientists until 2004 – because, says Tim Low, most ornithologists live in the Northern Hemisphere. As a result, few Australians are aware of the ramifications, something which prompted the writing of this book.
Tim Low has a rare gift for illuminating complex ideas in highly readable prose, and making of the whole a dynamic story. Here he brilliantly explains how our birds came to be so extraordinary, including the large role played by the foods they consume (birds, too, are what they eat), and by our climate, soil, fire, and Australia’s legacy as a part of Gondwana. The story of its birds, it turns out, is inseparable from the story of Australia itself, and one that continues to unfold, so much having changed in the last decade about what we know of our ancient past. Where Song Began also shines a light on New Guinea as a biological region of Australia, as much a part of the continent as Tasmania. This is a work that goes far beyond the birds themselves to explore the relationships between Australia’s birds and its people, and the ways in which scientific prejudice have hindered our understanding.
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.
Brings together a global team of leading authorities to provide a comprehensive overview of the fascinating and diverse field of avian incubation. Starting with a new assessment of the evolution of avian reproductive biology in light of recent research, the book goes on to cover four broad areas: the nest, the egg, incubation, and the study of avian reproduction. New research on nest structures, egg traits, and life history is incorporated, whilst contemporary methodologies such as self-contained temperature probes and citizen science are also discussed. Applied chapters describe how biological knowledge can be applied to challenges such as conservation and climate change. The book concludes by suggesting priorities for future research. This book builds upon the foundations laid down by Charles Deeming’s 2001 work Avian Incubation (now freely available for download), much of which remains relevant today.
Read in conjunction with this previous volume, it provides an up to date and thorough review of egg biology, nest function, and incubation behaviour, which will be an essential resource for students of avian biology as well as professional and field ornithologists.