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This book is a totally fresh approach to observing birds in southern Africa. It affords you the opportunity to gather previously inaccessible and indecipherable information in the form of tracks and signs left behind by our avifauna. The book explores the unique details of the spoor, or tracks, of many species of birds. This is done in multiple ways including by observing their droppings, examining their feeding behaviour as well as their general nesting structures.
It’s remarkable how tracks and signs in nature help you to enrich your knowledge of bird species, providing knowledge as straightforward as the shape of the individual nests of our various species of weaver, or the ability to recognise and understand the role of a drum-site in the life of a bearded woodpecker, or even being able to see the subtle signs of a cardinal woodpecker on the various acacia pods which host its larval food.
Louis Liebenberg has generously provided some sketches of spoor he has made for his own publications, making these clear schematics available to assist with identification. Skulls, feathers, beaks and egg shells are also occasionally encountered, and a few examples of these will be included, as they also tell a story of a bird which has passed by. This approach to southern Africa’s birdlife will add tremendously to how we experience our wonderful avifauna.
In this book, Adrian Koopman describes the complex relationship between birds, the Zulu language and Zulu culture. A number of chapters look at the underlying meaning of bird names, and here we will find that the Zulu name of the Goliath Heron means ‘what gives birth to baby crocodiles’, the dikkop (umbangaqhwa) means ‘what causes frost’, and the African Hoopoe is a party-goer who wears a colourful blanket.
The book goes further than just Zulu names, exploring the underlying meanings of bird names from other South African languages and languages from Central and East Africa. Here we find birds with names that translate as ‘cool-porridge’, ‘kiss-banana-flower’ and ‘waiter-at-the-end-of-the furrow’.
A focus on Zulu traditional oral literature details the roles birds have played in Zulu praise poetry (including the praise poems of certain birds themselves) and in proverbs, riddles and children’s games. Also considered is traditional bird lore, examining the role played by various species as omens and portents, as indicators of bad luck and evil, as forecasters of rain and storm, and as harbingers of the seasons. Here we see that the Bateleur Eagle (ingqungqulu) is linked to war, the Southern Ground Hornbill (insingizi) to thunder and heavy rain, the Red-chested Cuckoo (uphezukokhono) to the start of the ploughing season, and the Jacobin Cuckoo (inkanku) to the start of summer.
Zulu Bird Names and Bird Lore discusses the Zulu Bird Name Project, a series of Zulu bird name workshops held between 2013 and 2017 with Zulu-speaking bird guides designed to confirm (or otherwise) all previously recorded Zulu names for birds, while at the same time devising new names for those without previously recorded names. The result has been a list of species-specific names for all birds in the Zulu-speaking region. Finally, the book turns to the role such new bird names can play in conservation education and in avi-tourism.
In Birds, devout birder and ornithologist Roger J. Lederer celebrates the heyday of avian illustration in 40 artists' profiles, beginning with the work of Flemish painter Frans Snyders in the early 1600s and continuing through to contemporary artists like Elizabeth Buttersworth, famed for her portraits of macaws. Stretching its wings across time, taxa, geography, and artistic style - from the celebrated realism of American conservation icon John James Audubon, to Elizabeth Gould's nineteenth-century renderings of museum specimens from the Himalayas, to Swedish artist and ornithologist Lars Jonsson's ethereal watercolours - this book is a cornucopia of art and artists as diverse and beautiful as their subjects.
Amagama Izinyoni: Zulu Names of Birds lists all the bird species found in KwaZulu-Natal and surrounds, gives the proposed standardised Zulu name for each species, and explains the underlying meaning and how the name came into being. All earlier names for these birds, even if no longer in current use, have been recorded here, making this a historical repository of Zulu bird names as well. This book is the result of the six-year Zulu Bird Name Project. Between 2013 and 2018, annual workshops, organised and facilitated by the three authors, brought together a total of eighteen mother-tongue Zulu-speaking bird experts to research the names of bird species present in the Zulu-speaking area of South Africa. At the start of the project, only approximately 40 per cent of the bird species of this area had species-specific Zulu names; by the end of the project all 550 species had unique names. The comprehensive introduction explains the methodology used in the Zulu bird name workshops, providing a template for linguists and ornithologists who might wish to do similar bird-naming exercises in the other African languages of southern Africa. The introduction also provides some linguistic and onomastic insights into bird naming generally and Zulu bird names in particular.
- The first photographic field guide for the birds of Cuba - Includes all 378 recorded species - Updated status and distribution taxonomy Cuba is home to a diverse avifauna, rich with endemic species. The island is also home to a range of regional scarcities and acts as an important stopping point for migrants as they cross the Caribbean. This comprehensive photographic guide provides full coverage of every species on the Cuban list. The images have been carefully selected to show key features, while the concise text is designed to aid field identification, providing essential information on aging and sexing, voice, similar species, habitat, and behavior. Each species account includes a map showing distribution on the island and is accompanied by notes on world range and status in Cuba. Packed with spectacular images, this book is the definitive guide to the avifauna of Cuba and an essential companion for any bird-watcher or naturalist visiting this beautiful and bird-rich island.
The Birds of Ecuador comprehensively treats the nearly 1600 species of birds that can be found in mainland Ecuador. The authors describe Ecuador this way: "One of the wonders of the natural world. Nowhere else is such incredible avian diversity crammed into such a small country.... Birds are, happily, numerous in many parts of Ecuador: even the downtown parks of the big cities such as Quito and Guayaquil host their complement." Volume I, Status, Distribution, and Taxonomy, contains detailed information on the ecology, status, and distribution of all species. Introductory chapters deal with geography, climate, and vegetation; bird migration in Ecuador; Ecuadorian ornithology; endemic bird areas in Ecuador; and conservation. Individual species accounts treat habitat, distribution, and taxonomy. Volume II, Field Guide, contains 96 full-color plates and facing pages of descriptive text, a color map of Ecuador, 2 line drawings of bird anatomy, 115 silhouette outlines, and nearly 1600 distribution maps. All species are illustrated in full color, including migrants and vagrants and visually distinctive subspecies. The text focuses on the field identification aspects of each species, including their behavior, vocalizations, and nest appearance. The two volumes are available separately or may be purchased as a slipcased set.
Every autumn, thousands of migrating Red-tailed Hawks arrive on the southern Great Plains to spend the winter, and Oklahoma is one of the best places to observe this amazing phenomenon. Above the prairie, as Oscar Hammerstein wrote, they make ""lazy circles in the sky,"" but not for entertainment, theirs or ours. Author Jim Lish draws on more than forty years' experience as a professional biologist and ornithologist to present almost two hundred color photographs of Red-tails and relate important lessons in southern Great Plains biodiversity, underscoring the place of the Red-tailed Hawk in Oklahoma's tallgrass prairie ecology. Winter's Hawk introduces the reader to the hawk's biology, social behavior, and useful role in limiting destructive rodent populations. In sharing many anecdotes from his long experience in the field, Lish describes the hunting techniques of Red-tails, their competition with other raptors, and their behavior in the presence of human observers. He describes the subtle differences in plumage, and other characteristics between the various subspecies of Red-tailed Hawks that winter here. His account of their behavior includes intergenerational warfare, in which young Red-tails are frequently the losers. Detailed and scientifically accurate, this informal, jargon-free account will appeal to birders, sportsmen, naturalists, and falconers, as well as biologists. Red-tails can see ultraviolet light, which enables them to easily locate trails left by rodents. Cotton rats are by far their most important winter food, but they also eat carrion, large snakes, medium-sized mammals, and smaller birds. The main motive for the birds' behavior, Lish reminds us, is survival, and he includes birds'-eye views of the hazards Red-tails face: foot injuries, damage to feathers, starvation, electrocution, and illegal shooting. A treasure trove of rich descriptive writing and astonishing photographs, Winter's Hawk inspires readers to help preserve these magnificent birds of prey so that future generations may see a Red-tail standing sentinel over a field or circling above it.
In A Haven in the Sun, nature writer B. C. Robison presents a unique portrayal of birds of the Texas Coast. Through the stories of birds that have a special bond with coastal Texas--Attwater's Prairie Chicken, White-tailed Hawk, Whooping Crane, Redhead, and migratory shorebirds and songbirds--Robison shows not only the importance of the Texas Coast to North American bird life but also the intimate dependence of coastal birds on our use of the land. At the heart of these stories lies the natural landscape and an account of how we have altered it to the benefit or harm of our native birds. The Laguna Madre, the great ranches of South Texas, the marshes of Aransas, the coastal prairie, and the famed migratory sanctuaries of Bolivar Flats and the oak woods of High Island have all played a vital role in our vibrant coastal bird life. Throughout the book, Robison asks several crucial questions: How can there be enough room for birds and people in the crowded world of the Texas Coast? Will we be endowed with this panorama of bird life twenty-five or fifty years from now? What can we do to help preserve this rich natural heritage? More story than polemic and more conversation than taxonomy, A Haven in the Sun will appeal to anyone who cares about bird life and its future on the Texas Coast.
In this unique and unprecedented study of birding in Africa, historian Nancy Jacobs reconstructs the collaborations between well-known ornithologists and the largely forgotten guides, hunters and taxidermists who worked with them. Drawing on ethnography, scientific publications, private archives and interviews, Jacobs asks: How did white ornithologists both depend on and operate distinctively from African birders? What investment did African birders have in collaborating with ornithologists? By distilling the interactions between European science and African vernacular knowledge, this work offers a fascinating examination of the colonial and postcolonial politics of expertise about nature. It is also a riveting history of the discovery of certain bird species.
The beauty and fascination of birds is unrivalled. Every day of the year, immerse yourself in their world with an entry from A Bird of Day, where Dominic Couzens offers an insight into everything from the humble Robin to Emperor Penguins, who are in the midst of Arctic storms protecting their young on 1 July. Or discover the fate of the Passenger Pigeon which became extinct through overhunting on 1 September 2014. If you ever visit the Himalayan uplands, go in late November when you can see a flock of the cobalt blue Grandala birds, which is one of the wonders of the natural world. The author is a world expert on birds and particularly bird behaviour and he reveals endless fascinating stories of birds from all over the globe to give a rich tapestry of avian life with stunning photography, illustration and arresting art. All of bird life is covered, from nesting, migration, and courting to birdsong and curious bird behaviour. From the promiscuous Fairywren of Australia, who gives petals to his mistresses, to the singing instructions of the female Northern Cardinal in North America, this is a delightful dip-in-and-out book for any nature lover.
How can you tell when a Rufous or a Ruby-throated hummingbird will be in your neighborhood? What is the correct sugar-to-water ratio for your visiting hummingbirds? Should you put red dye #2 in the mixture? How do you keep that feisty Rufous from scaring other hummers away? Hummingbird enthusiast Dan True answers these questions and many more in this beautifully illustrated, informative guide to the sixteen species of hummingbirds that breed in the United States and Canada. Available in this handy guide are life-size photos of the male and female of each of the sixteen species, detailed information on each species, maps showing where the species can be spotted, how hummers mate, when and where they migrate to and from, and new banding information. There is also easy-to-follow, step-by-step information on how to photograph hummingbirds in flight. True has spent years talking to other hummer experts and enthusiasts and includes here anecdotes from all over the country that help readers understand why hummingbirds do what they do. An indispensable book for any one with a hummingbird feeder.
The Peregrine, the fastest bird in the world, has made a remarkable recovery over the past 30 years. As the species re-establishes itself around the world it is becoming a familiar sight in towns and cities. This beautifully illustrated book is the first in-depth focus on the lives of Peregrines in towns and cities. In words and stunning photographs, Ed Drewitt reveals the latest information on Peregrine behavior including how they are adapting to, and taking advantage of, the urban environment. The book is also a how-to-guide, with information on finding peregrines, studying their diet, ringing individuals for research, putting up nest boxes and enabling people to learn more about them through public viewing points or web cameras. Ed also discusses what makes a Peregrine urban, their contemporary relationship with people, and helps dispel some myths and reveal some truths about this agile predator.
Sardinia is in the middle of the western Mediterranean between Europe and Africa. Its location on the Mediterranean flyway makes it an important refuelling stop for migrating birds - especially on its extensive wetlands. A popular destination for birders and naturalists, Sardinia has a great diversity of fauna and flora, along with rich cultural and historical attractions. Where to Watch Birds in Sardinia, written by two ornithologists with extensive experience of Sardinian birding, provides detailed information on the 43 key birding sites in Sardinia. For each site the target species are highlighted, along with information on habitat, when to visit, other wildlife, facilities, access, how long you'll need, the photographic opportunities and recommendations for your visit. A map of each site helps with planning and navigation to the site. Often described as a micro-continent for the variety of its ecosystems, Sardinia has mountains, forests, lowlands, gorges, wetlands, long sandy beaches and rocky shores. It is home to around 300 bird species, 41 mammals, 18 reptiles and 8 amphibians as well as a hugely diverse invertebrate fauna. Owing to its geographical isolation, altitudinal variation and limited human presence, Sardinia has retained many habitats that are favourable for the development and preservation of a large number of endemic plants, accounting for 10 per cent of the island's flora and including several orchid species. Sardinia's 'must-see' birds include Greater Flamingo, Eleonora's Falcon, Purple Swamphen, Little Bustard, Audouin's Gull, Marmora's Warbler, Corsican Finch, Griffon Vulture and Barbary Partridge. In spring, April and May are the best months for migration, while for the autumn migration the best period stretches from the end of August to the end of October. Wetlands are the most important sites in springtime, with many species stopping for some days before going north. During the breeding season these areas are very important for Greater Flamingo, Audouin's Gull, Little Tern and several other species of waders, gulls and terns. The breeding season is also a good time to see 'special' resident species like the Little Bustard in display or to hear the flight call of the Corsican Finch. In winter, large concentrations of ducks and gulls are found on the island, with the occasional vagrant from Siberia or North America.
Parrots of the Wild explores recent scientific discoveries and what they reveal about the lives of wild parrots, which are among the most intelligent and rarest of birds. Catherine A. Toft and Tim Wright discuss the evolutionary history of parrots and how this history affects perceptual and cognitive abilities, diet and foraging patterns, and mating and social behavior. The authors also discuss conservation status and the various ways different populations are adapting to a world that is rapidly changing. The book focuses on general patterns across the 350-odd species of parrots, as well as what can be learned from interesting exceptions to these generalities. A synthetic account of the diversity and ecology of wild parrots, this book distills knowledge from the authors' own research and from their review of more than 2,400 published scientific studies. The book is enhanced by an array of illustrations, including nearly ninety color photos of wild parrots represented in their natural habitats. Parrots of the Wild melds scientific exploration with features directed at the parrot enthusiast to inform and delight a broad audience.
Widespread across open lands and cities of Europe, Africa, and Asia, the common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is one of the most abundant and studied birds of prey. This book brings together and synthesises the results of research on kestrels for professional ornithologists and scientists that seek to consolidate a vast body of literature. It is also a reference for those readers who may not have the depth of scientific knowledge to navigate new fields of scientific enquiry. It examines many aspects of the species' biology, from the reproductive strategies to the behavioural and demographic adaptations to changes of environmental conditions. It also discusses the roles of physiology and immunology in mediating the adaptability of kestrels to the ongoing environmental changes with a particular focus on contaminants. This volume presents new and exciting avenues of research on the ecology and behaviour of the common kestrel.
This wonderful book describes the fascinating lives of the two most ubiquitous shorebirds in the world. Between them the Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) and Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia) make use of a large part of the world's terrestrial habitat and they exhibit many of the exciting features of shorebirds. As the birds arrive on the breeding ground, their displays are spectacular and their sounds are an exciting announcement of springtime. Unusually, the Spotted Sandpiper appears to be the only bird where the female is the territory holder, laying successive clutches of eggs for different males to care for, while the male of the Common Sandpiper holds the territory, has one mate, and shares most duties. They stay on the breeding grounds only as long as is essential to reproduce before making a migration southwards to a broad range of non-breeding homes in Central and South America, Africa, India, and eastwards to Australia with vagrants reaching as far as Tristan da Cunha and New Zealand. The Common Sandpiper has also been recorded breeding in East Africa and wintering in Scotland so their flexibility is amazing. The author has spent over 40 years studying the lives of these fantastic birds and provides a wealth of information including their breeding behaviour, migrations, distribution, food sources, habitats and their history from the present back to 36 million years ago. This beautiful book will hopefully stimulate others to watch these worldwide birds more appreciatively and add to our knowledge.
An introduction to France for anyone visiting with birds in mind, from casual birdwatchers checking a bird that flies over the terrace during a family holiday to addict birders who would sell their souls for a dream species or a record-breaking checklist. Some may have just a few spare hours to get their binoculars out between business meetings or museum visits, others will be out in the field for two weeks or more, from sunrise to sunset. The authors wrote this book for all bird lovers, birdwatchers and birders, whatever the duration of their stay, the number of kilometres they are prepared to travel and how they enjoy birds. With over 400 regularly occurring species, of which 357 normally breed or winter, France has one of the most diverse avifaunas of the whole of Europe, spanning an incredible range from colourful Mediterranean flagship species such as roller, bee-eater or black-winged kite to secretive cold-climate or mountain specialists like three-toed woodpecker and Tengmalm's owl. The Birdfinder section provides targeted details for 30 species which often rank in the top wish-list of birders visiting France. Dividing the country into 14 regions, the authors highlight 312 representative sites, chosen for their bird species composition and ease of access. The selected sites enable the reader to see the widest possible species diversity and largest range of local specialities in a reasonable time, while respecting the basic ethical rules obvious to all birdwatchers. Whenever possible, sites are arranged in clusters or itineraries that can be covered in two to three days without hurrying. To supplement the use of the book in the field, all the sites described are geolocated in a file that can be downloaded from the publisher's website and loaded onto any GPS device.
A comprehensive handbook covering all aspects of the conservation of Barn Owls. Written by the Barn Owl Trust, this book includes in-depth information on Barn Owl survey techniques, relevant ecology, Barn Owls and the law, mortality, habitat management, use of nest boxes and barn Owl rehabilitation. Essential reading for ecologists, planners, land managers and ornithologists.
The Red Kite (Milvus milvus) - one of our most elegant and impressive birds of prey - has a varied and dramatic history in Britain. Having been driven perilously close to extinction, it has now made a welcome comeback, in part through one of the most successful reintroduction projects ever undertaken. This beautifully illustrated book follows the birds through the ups and downs of the year, from the rigours of raising young during the warm summer months to the struggle for survival in the depths of winter. Interspersed with the monthly accounts, are chapters on the history of the Red Kite in Britain, the reintroduction programme, the threats it still faces, and its status elsewhere in Europe. Red Kite biology is explored from nest construction, egg laying and nest defence, through to juveniles leaving the nest and learning to live independently. The book concludes with an overview of Red Kite status throughout their range. With a foreword by Mark Avery.
George Murray Levick was the physician on Robert Falcon Scott's tragic Antarctic expedition of 1910. Marooned for an Antarctic winter, Levick passed the time by becoming the first man to study penguins up close. His findings were so shocking to Victorian morals that they were quickly suppressed and seemingly lost to history. A century later, Lloyd Spencer Davis rediscovers Levick and his findings during the course of his own scientific adventures in Antarctica. Levick's long-suppressed manuscript reveals not only an incredible survival story, but one that will change our understanding of an entire species. A Polar Affair reveals the last untold tale from the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. It is perhaps the greatest of all of those stories-but why was it hidden to begin with? The ever-fascinating and charming penguin holds the key. Moving deftly between both Levick's and Davis's explorations, observations and comparisons in biology over the course of a century, A Polar Affair reveals cutting-edge findings about ornithology, in which the sex lives of penguins are the jumping-off point for major new insights into the underpinnings of evolutionary biology itself.
Wind farms are an essential component of global renewable energy policy and the action to limit the effects of climate change. There is, however, considerable concern over the impacts of wind farms on wildlife, leading to a wide range of research and monitoring studies, a growing body of literature and several international conferences on the topic. This unique multi-volume work provides a comprehensive overview of the interactions between wind farms and wildlife. Volume 3 documents the current knowledge of the potential effects upon wildlife during both construction and operation of offshore wind farms. An introductory chapter on the nature of wind farms and the legislation surrounding them is followed by a series of in-depth chapters documenting effects on physical processes, atmosphere and ocean dynamics, seabed communities, fish, marine mammals, migratory birds and bats and seabirds. A synopsis of the known and potential effects of wind farms upon wildlife concludes the volume. The authors have been carefully selected from across the globe from the large number of academics, consultants and practitioners now engaged in wind farm studies, for their influential contribution to the science. Edited by Martin Perrow and with contributions by 30 leading researchers including: Goeran Brostroem, Steven Degraer, Mike Elliot, Andrew Gill, Ommo Huppop, Georg Nehls and Nicolas Vanermen. The authors represent a wide range of organisations and institutions including the Universities of Gothenburg, Hamburg and Hull, Alfred Wegener Institute, Cefas (UK), Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO), Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Vattenfall and several leading consultancies. Each chapter includes informative figures, tables, colour photographs and detailed case studies, including some from invited authors to showcase exciting new research. Other volumes: Volume 1: Onshore: Potential Effects (978-1-78427-119-0) Volume 2: Onshore: Monitoring and Mitigation (978-1-78427-123-7) Volume 4: Offshore: Monitoring and Mitigation (978-1-78427-131-2)
Selected by Forbes.com as one of the 12 best books about birds and birding in 2016 This much-anticipated third edition of the Handbook of Bird Biology is an essential and comprehensive resource for everyone interested in learning more about birds, from casual bird watchers to formal students of ornithology. Wherever you study birds your enjoyment will be enhanced by a better understanding of the incredible diversity of avian lifestyles. Arising from the renowned Cornell Lab of Ornithology and authored by a team of experts from around the world, the Handbook covers all aspects of avian diversity, behaviour, ecology, evolution, physiology, and conservation. Using examples drawn from birds found in every corner of the globe, it explores and distills the many scientific discoveries that have made birds one of our best known - and best loved - parts of the natural world. This edition has been completely revised and is presented with more than 800 full color images. It provides readers with a tool for life-long learning about birds and is suitable for bird watchers and ornithology students, as well as for ecologists, conservationists, and resource managers who work with birds. The Handbook of Bird Biology is the companion volume to the Cornell Lab s renowned distance learning course, Ornithology: Comprehensive Bird Biology.
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