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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 this scientifically informed account of the changes occurring in the world over the last century, award-winning broadcaster and natural historian Sir David Attenborough shares a lifetime of wisdom and a hopeful vision for the future.
See the world. Then make it better.
I am 93. I've had an extraordinary life. It's only now that I appreciate how extraordinary.
As a young man, I felt I was out there in the wild, experiencing the untouched natural world - but it was an illusion. The tragedy of our time has been happening all around us, barely noticeable from day to day -- the loss of our planet's wild places, its biodiversity. I have been witness to this decline. A Life on Our Planet is my witness statement, and my vision for the future. It is the story of how we came to make this, our greatest mistake -- and how, if we act now, we can yet put it right.
We have one final chance to create the perfect home for ourselves and restore the wonderful world we inherited. All we need is the will do so.
The humble and industrious dung beetle is a marvellous beast: the 6 000 species identified so far are intricately entwined with human history and scientific endeavour.
These night-soil collectors of the planet have been worshipped as gods, worn as jewellery, and painted by artists. More practically, they saved Hawaii from ecological blight, and rescued Australia from plagues of flies. They fertilise soil, cleanse pastures, steer by the stars, and have a unique relationship with the African elephant (along with many other ungulates). Above all, they are the ideal subject for biological study in an evolving world.
In this sweeping history of more than 3 000 years, beginning with Ancient Egypt, scientist Marcus Byrne and writer, Helen Lunn capture the diversity of dung beetles and their unique behaviour patterns. Dung beetles’ fortunes have followed the shifts from a world dominated by a religion that symbolically incorporated them into some of its key concepts of rebirth, to a world in which science has largely separated itself from religion and alchemy.
With over 6 000 species found throughout the world, these unassuming but remarkable creatures are fundamental to some of humanity’s most cherished beliefs and have been ever present in religion, art, literature, science and the environment. They are at the centre of current gene research, play an important role in keeping our planet healthy, and some nocturnal dung beetles have been found to navigate by the starry skies. Outlining the development of science from the point of view of the humble dung beetle is what makes this charming story of immense interest to general readers and entomologists alike. This entertaining outline of the development of science from the the beetle’s perspective will enchant general readers and entomologists alike.
Elephants are as unique as people. They can be clever and curious or
headstrong and impulsive, shy or sociable. Learn to know them as
individuals as well as a species in this evocative account of years
spent studying elephant behaviour in the wild.
The second book in the bestselling BATTLE OF THE BEETLES series - perfect for fans of Roald Dahl! 'Truly great storytelling.' MICHAEL MORPURGO on BEETLE BOY Cruel beetle fashionista, Lucretia Cutter, is at large with her yellow ladybird spies. When Darkus, Virginia and Bertolt discover further evidence of her evil, they're determined to stop her. But the three friends are in trouble. Darkus' dad has forbidden them to investigate any further - and disgusting crooks Humphrey and Pickering are out of prison. Hope rests on Novak, Lucretia's daughter and a Hollywood actress, but the beetle diva is always one scuttle ahead ...
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.
A comparative and integrative overview of how and why animals as diverse as insects and humans behave the way that they do, linking behaviors to the brain, genes, and hormones, as well as to the surrounding ecological and social environments.
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.
'Animal Behaviour is an important and popular subject, but all too often core texts focus on easy-to-digest aspects of the field. Barnard's book is different. He covers all the current, as well as historically important, aspects of animal behaviour with a clarity that encourages curiosity. This book takes a much needed, deep and serious look at the most popular subject in organismal biology. 'Mike Siva-Jothy, University of Sheffield'This excellent textbook deals with the complexities of animal behaviour in a readable and informative style. Its balanced treatment of mechanisms, development, functions and evolution provides an overview which is lacking in most of the other textbooks in this area. It could be the main text for any animal behaviour course in biological sciences or psychology, but would also greatly benefit students taking courses in behavioural ecology, evolution, experimental psychology, and others. 'Ian R Hartley, Biological Sciences, Lancaster University Animal behaviour has been one of the fastest-growing scientific disciplines of recent years. Its impact on the way we think about biology has spawned lucid 'best sellers' like The Selfish Gene and widespread scienti
It soon became clear that Africa was far more than political skulduggery, starving refugees and mind-numbingly overcrowded cities. It was also full of the most astounding creatures on earth that did the damnest things. Did you know that albatrosses use howling jet streams to criss-cross the planet? Or that dams cause earthquakes? Or maybe that most seahorses dance at dawn?" the author writes in the preface of this extraordinary title. This title, which is drawn from the author's monthly columns for "Getaway" on natural history, is full of humour, detail and speculation. It moves between disciplines as "nature's many quirks" are revealed and "startlingly large questions are dredged from little things ordinary folk pass over with hardly a glance.
A leading expert in animal behavior takes us into the wild to better understand and manage our fears. Fear, honed by millions of years of natural selection, kept our ancestors alive. Whether by slithering away, curling up in a ball, or standing still in the presence of a predator, humans and other animals have evolved complex behaviors in order to survive the hazards the world presents. But, despite our evolutionary endurance, we still have much to learn about how to manage our response to danger. For more than thirty years, Daniel Blumstein has been studying animals' fear responses. His observations lead to a firm conclusion: fear preserves security, but at great cost. A foraging flock of birds expends valuable energy by quickly taking flight when a raptor appears. And though the birds might successfully escape, they leave their food source behind. Giant clams protect their valuable tissue by retracting their mantles and closing their shells when a shadow passes overhead, but then they are unable to photosynthesize, losing the capacity to grow. Among humans, fear is often an understandable and justifiable response to sources of threat, but it can exact a high toll on health and productivity. Delving into the evolutionary origins and ecological contexts of fear across species, The Nature of Fear considers what we can learn from our fellow animals-from successes and failures. By observing how animals leverage alarm to their advantage, we can develop new strategies for facing risks without panic.
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.
Origins of Biodiversity is a unique introduction to the fields of macroevolution and macroecology, which explores the evolution and distribution of biodiversity across time, space and lineages. Using an enquiry-led framework to encourage active learning and critical thinking, each chapter is based around a case-study to explore concepts and research methods from contemporary macroevolution and macroecology. The book focuses on the process of science as much as the biology itself, to help students acquire the research skills and intellectual tools they need to understand and investigate the biological world around them. In particular, the emphasis on hypothesis testing encourages students to develop and test their own ideas. This text builds upon the foundations offered in most general introductory evolutionary biology courses to introduce an exciting range of ideas and research tools for investigating patterns of biodiversity.
The ultimate compact, quick ID guide to southern and East African animal behaviour, and the latest in the popular series of 'quick guides' to wildlife.
- describes and explains the habits of the more commonly found mammals of southern and East Africa;
- matches concise text with action photographs that capture characteristic behaviour;
- serves as a companion volume to more detailed field guides;
- provides a quick reference and easy read for anyone interested in understanding wild animals and their sometimes baffling rituals.
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.
THE SUNDAY TIMES NATURE BOOK OF THE YEAR 'A compelling investigation of navigation in the animal kingdom.' Mail on Sunday 'David Barrie, who himself has sailed the oceans using a sextant, is passionate about navigation and describes in delightful detail the myriad ways in which animals get around ... eye-opening book.' Frans de Waal, New York Times 'Only a sailor could relate the navigational powers of both humans and animals with such appreciation, excitement, and precision. Thank you, David Barrie, for taking us along on these riveting voyages by sail and wing, hoof and flipper. We arrive surprised, delighted, and awed.' Sy Montgomery, author of The Soul of an Octopus 'Immensely entertaining... [Barrie] is an admirably reliable and assiduous guide to what we do and don't yet know.' Andrew Holgate, Sunday Times 'Barrie has a good eye for colourful detail.' Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday 'This is a must-read for anyone fascinated with the wonders of nature.' Publishers Weekly In Incredible Journeys, award-winning author David Barrie takes us on a tour of the cutting-edge science of animal navigation, where breakthroughs are allowing scientists to unravel, for the first time, how animals as various as butterflies, birds, crustaceans, fish, reptiles and even people find their way. Weaving interviews with leading experts on animal behaviour with the groundbreaking discoveries of Nobel-Prize winning neuroscientists, Barrie shines a light on the astounding skills of animals of every stripe. Dung beetles that steer by the light of the Milky Way. Ants and bees that navigate using patterns of light invisible to humans. Sea turtles, spiny lobsters and moths that find their way using the Earth's magnetic field. Salmon that return to their birthplace by following their noses. Baleen whales that swim thousands of miles while holding a rock-steady course and birds that can locate their nests on a tiny island after crisscrossing an entire ocean. There's a stunning diversity of animal navigators out there, often using senses and skills we humans don't have access to ourselves. For the first time, Incredible Journeys reveals the wonders of these animals in a whole new light.
Danny works at Belle Vue Zoo, where - alongside training the famous elephant Maharajah - he helps out with the day-to-day tasks of caring for the animals. But when animals start escaping, Danny is the prime suspect: after all, he was a former street urchin and pickpocket. When a man turns up claiming to be his father, the plot thickens. Can Danny untangle the mystery of the animal escapade - and find out where he really belongs - in order to clear his name?
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.
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