Publisher New Holland, 2018, Hardback 176 pages
Parrots have always captured the imagination of humans. This beautifully illustrated book on the world’s parrots explores all aspects of their lives, as well as the threats facing them. It showcases beautiful photography from around the world and has a chapter on each parrot family, from the huge macaws and cockatoos to the diminutive hanging-parrots and parrotlets.
Publisher New Holland, 2018, Hardback 176 pages
|Dimensions||25 x 22.5 cm|
Reaktion Animal Series. An exploration of the natural and cultural history of the pigeon, and the evolution of its relationship with humanity through the ages. Written out of love and fascination with a humble yet important bird, “Pigeon” relates its cultural significance, as well as its similarities and differences to its close counterpart, the dove. While the dove is seen as a symbol of love, peace, and goodwill, the pigeon is commonly perceived as filthy and ill-mannered, a ‘rat with wings’. To say the least, the pigeon has a bad reputation, but Barbara Allen offers several examples of the bird’s importance – from a source of food and fertilizer, and a bearer of messages during times of war; to a pollution monitor and an aid to Charles Darwin in his pivotal research on evolutionary theory. She goes on to connect pigeons and doves with writers and poets from Shakespeare, Dickens, and Browning, to Beatrix Potter, Proust and I. B. Singer, who she shows have all celebrated the birds’ beauty and attributes.
Readers will find in “Pigeon” an enticing exploration of the historical and contemporary bonds between humans and these two unique and closely-related birds, bonds which have been in existence since their domestication over 3,000 years ago. Allen intends to correct the many stereotypes about pigeons and doves with hopes that the rich history of the relationship and the acknowledgement of what is one of the oldest human-animal partnerships will be both admired and celebrated.
At the start of the nineteenth century, Passenger pigeons were perhaps the most abundant birds on the planet, numbering literally in the billions. The flocks were so large and so dense that they blackened the skies, even blotting out the sun for days at a stretch. Yet by the end of the century, the most common bird in North America had vanished from the wild. In 1914, the last known representative of her species, Martha, died in a cage at the Cincinnati Zoo. This stunningly illustrated book tells the astonishing story of North America’s Passenger pigeon, a bird species that, like the Tyrannosaur, the Mammoth, and the Dodo, has become one of the great icons of extinction. Errol Fuller describes how these fast, agile, and handsomely plumaged birds were immortalized by the ornithologist and painter John James Audubon, and captured the imagination of writers such as James Fenimore Cooper, Henry David Thoreau, and Mark Twain. He shows how widespread deforestation, the demand for cheap and plentiful pigeon meat, and the indiscriminate killing of Passenger Pigeons for sport led to their catastrophic decline. Fuller provides an evocative memorial to a bird species that was once so important to the ecology of North America, and reminds us of just how fragile the natural world can be. Published in the centennial year of Martha’s death, The Passenger Pigeon features rare archival images as well as haunting photos of live birds.
A comprehensive book about these two famously extinct birds. It contains all the known contemporary accounts and illustrations of the dodo and solitaire, covering their history after extinction and discussing their ecology, classification, phylogenetic placement, and evolution. Both birds were large and flightless and lived on inhabited islands some 500 miles east of Madagascar. The first recorded descriptions of the dodo were provided by Dutch sailors who first encountered them in 1598 – within 100 years, the dodo was extinct. So quickly did the bird disappear that there is insufficient evidence to form an entirely accurate picture of its appearance and ecology, and the absence has led to much speculation. The story of the dodo, like that of the solitaire, has been pieced together from fragments, both literary and physical, that have been carefully compiled and examined in this extraordinary volume.
About 43 million years ago, a flock of pigeons from a distant island in the northern Indian Ocean parted company and flew off in different directions. Eventually some of these birds ended up on Mauritius and became known as Dodos, while others flew to the tiny island of Rodrigues and became Solitaires. Although the birds shared a common ancestor and had a similar history and fate, the remoteness of Rodrigues sheltered the Solitaire from the rest of the world, so that, unlike the Dodo, it is largely unknown even today.
A few eyewitness accounts of this elegant bird were recorded and have survived over time, providing us with detailed information about its appearance and behaviour. This book examines these accounts, alongside various other journals, artists’ impressions, rare drawings and scientific research, to paint a comprehensive portrait of the Solitaire.
The story of the Solitaire begins against the backdrop of an idyllic, densely forested and uninhabited island. Many thousands of years later, man’s arrival on the island and its ensuing negative impact contributed, within just 100 years, to the Solitaire’s extinction.
This unique and beautifully illustrated book allows the reader to go back in time to see how the Solitaire lived and died, to trace what happened following its extinction, and to discover how the resulting scientific evidence has enabled a greater understanding of this fascinating bird.