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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 classic field guide to snakes found in the Old Dominion, now available in paperback.
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.
Mama's Last Hug is a whirlwind tour of new ideas and findings about animal emotions, based on Frans de Waal's renowned studies of the social and emotional lives of chimpanzees, bonobos and other primates.
It opens with the moving farewell between Mama, a dying 59-year-old chimpanzee matriarch, and Jan Van Hoof, who was Frans de Waal's mentor and thesis advisor. The filmed event has since gone viral (over 9.5 million views on YouTube).
De Waal discusses facial expressions, animal sentience and consciousness, the emotional side of human politics, and the illusion of free will. He distinguishes between emotions and feelings, all the while emphasizing the continuity between our species and other species. And he makes the radical proposal that emotions are like organs: we haven't a single organ that other animals don't have, and the same is true for our emotions.
Informative, accurate, and easily comprehended by the scientist and the layperson, this book will be a useful tool for anyone interested in northeastern United States fish identification, life history, and distribution. Robert G. Werner presents the most current information available to aid in identifying the most distinguishable characteristics. The guide includes illustrations that accurately depict the morphology and color of fishes in the region. A source of detailed information, the book goes beyond simple identification to include complete species and reference lists.
The chimpanzee is one of our planet's best-loved and most instantly recognisable animals. Splitting from the human lineage between four and six million years ago, it is (along with its cousin, the bonobo) our closest living relative, sharing around 94% of our DNA. First encountered by Westerners in the seventeenth century, virtually nothing was known about chimpanzees in their natural environment until 1960, when Jane Goodall travelled to Gombe to live and work with them. Accessibly written, yet fully referenced and uncompromising in its accuracy and comprehensiveness, this book encapsulates everything we currently know about chimpanzees: from their discovery and why we study them, to their anatomy, physiology, genetics and culture. The text is beautifully illustrated and infused with examples and anecdotes drawn from the author's thirty years of primate observation, making this a perfect resource for students of biological anthropology and primatology as well as non-specialists interested in chimpanzees.
Vertebrate palaeontology is a lively field, with new discoveries reported every week and not only dinosaurs! This new edition reflects the international scope of vertebrate palaeontology, with a special focus on exciting new finds from China. A key aim is to explain the science. Gone are the days of guesswork. Young researchers use impressive new numerical and imaging methods to explore the tree of life, macroevolution, global change, and functional morphology. The fourth edition is completely revised. The cladistic framework is strengthened, and new functional and developmental spreads are added. Study aids include: key questions, research to be done, and recommendations of further reading and web sites. The book is designed for palaeontology courses in biology and geology departments. It is also aimed at enthusiasts who want to experience the flavour of how the research is done. The book is strongly phylogenetic, and this makes it a source of current data on vertebrate evolution.
’n Onontbeerlike gids vir die uitkenning van al die gevaarlike slange en algemene onskadelike slange in Suider-Afrika, sowel as belangrike en praktiese kitsinligting oor noodhulp ingeval van ’n slangbyt.
Eenvoudige ikone, verspreidingskaarte, bondige teks en talle volkleurfoto's help om slange wat algemeen in die streek voorkom maklik uit te ken. Simptome en behandeling van slangbyte word beskryf, wat die leser lewensbelangrike noodhulpinligting gee.
Slange en Slangbyt in Suider-Afrika is helder, prakties, maklik om te gebruik en van onskatbare waarde vir almal wat van die buitelewe hou.
In a Panamanian pond, male tungara frogs (Physalaemus pustulosus) gather in choruses, giving their advertisement call to the females that move among them. If a female chooses to make physical contact with a male, he will clasp her and eventually fertilize her eggs. But in vying for the females, the males whose calls are most attractive may also attract the interest of another creature: the fringe-lipped bat, a frog eater. In the Tungara Frog, the most detailed and informative single study available of frogs and their reproductive behavior, Michael J. Ryan demonstrates the interplay of sexual and natural selection. Using techniques from ethology, behavioral ecology, sensory physiology, physiological ecology, and theoretical population genetics in his research, Ryan shows that large males with low-frequency calls mate most successfully. He examines in detail a number of explanations for the females' preferences, and he considers possible evolutionary forces leading to the males' success. Though certain vocalizations allow males to obtain mates and thus should be favored by sexual selection, this study highlights two important costs of such sexual displays: the frogs expand considerable energy in their mating calls, and they advertise their whereabouts to predators. Ryan considers in detail how predators, especially the frige-lipped bat (Trachops cirrhosus), affect the evolution of the tungara frog's calls.
Reflecting the expertise and perspective of five leading mammalogists, the fourth edition of Mammalogy: Adaptation, Diversity, Ecology significantly updates taxonomy, includes a new chapter on mammalian molecular phylogenetics, and highlights several recently described species. There are close to 5,500 species in the class Mammalia, including the blue whale-the largest animal that has ever lived-and the pygmy shrew, which weighs little more than a penny. The functional diversity of mammals has allowed them to play critical roles in every ecosystem, whether marine, freshwater, alpine, tundra, forest, or desert. Many mammal species are critically endangered and present complex conservation and management challenges. This book touches on those challenges, which are often precipitated by overharvesting and habitat loss, as well as emerging threats, such as the impact of wind turbines and white nose syndrome on bats and chronic wasting disease on deer. Among the updates and additions to the fourth edition of Mammalogy are numerous new photos, figures, and cladograms, over 4,200 references, as well as: a completely new chapter on mammalian phylogeny and genomics; current taxonomy - including major changes to orders, suborders, and superfamilies of bats and rodents; an explanation of the recent inclusion of whales with terrestrial even-toed ungulates; updates on mammalian structural, functional adaptations, and fossil history; and, recent advances in our understanding of phylogeny, biogeography, social behavior, and ecology; a discussion of two new orders and thirteen newly recognized extant families It also includes: reflections on the implications of climate change for mammals; thorough examinations of several recently described species, including Durrell's vontsira ( Salanoia durrelli) and the Laotian rock rat ( Laonastes aenigmamus); an explanation of mammalian biomechanics, such as that seen in lunge feeding of baleen whales; Breakout boxes on unique aspects of mammals, including the syntax of bat songs, singing mice, and why there are no green mammals (unless we count algae-covered sloths). Maintaining the accessible, readable style for which Feldhamer and his coauthors are well known, this new edition of Mammalogy is the authoritative textbook on this amazingly diverse class of vertebrates.
This book takes a new approach to understanding primate conservation research, adding a personal perspective to allow readers to learn what motivates those doing conservation work. When entering the field over a decade ago, many young primatologists were driven by evolutionary questions centered in behavioural ecology. However, given the current environment of cascading extinctions and increasing threats to primates we now need to ensure that primates remain in viable populations in the wild before we can simply engage in research in the context of pure behavioural ecology. This has changed the primary research aims of many primatologists and shifted our focus to conservation priorities, such as understanding the impacts of human activity, habitat conversion or climate change on primates. This book presents personal narratives alongside empirical research results and discussions of strategies used to stem the tide of extinction. It is a must-have for anyone interested in conservation research.
Frogs & Frogging in South Africa offers amateur froggers an accessible and practical introduction to frog identification.
This edition of the highly popular guide has been expertly revised and fully updated to reflect the latest advances in taxonomy and nomenclature.
It offers: all of the species in Africa south of latitude 22 °S; a section on frog biology and behaviour; how to photograph frogs and record their calls; how to attract frogs to your garden, and ideas for projects such as building a pond; the range of frog species to be found in different environmental niches; maps and colourful photographs with the updated accounts; a new key to the identification of tadpole genera; a CD with all 115 frog calls, which offer one of the best ways to find.
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.
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