This is the first comprehensive review of the hundreds of bird species that have become extinct over the last 1,000 years of habitat degradation, over-hunting and rat introduction. Covering both familiar extinct birds and more obscure species, some known from just one specimen or from traveller's tales, the book also looks at hundreds of species from the subfossil record - birds that disappeared without ever being recorded. Julian Hume and Michael Walters recreate these lost birds in stunning detail, bringing together an up to date review of the literature for every species. From Great Auks, Carolina Parakeets and Dodos to the amazing yet completely vanished bird radiations of Hawaii and New Zealand, via rafts of extinctions in the Pacific and elsewhere, this book is both a sumptuous reference and a terrifying reminder of humanity's impact on birds. A direct replacement for Greenway's seminal 1958 title Extinct and Vanishing Birds, this book will be the standard reference on the subject for generations to come.
The cuckoos are the most variable birds in social behavior and parental care: a few cuckoos are among the most social of all birds and rear their young in a common nest; most cuckoos are caring parents that rear their own young with some females laying a few eggs in the nests of others; while many cuckoo species are brood parasites who leave their eggs in the nests of other birds to rear, with their young maturing to kill their foster nestmates. In The Cuckoos, Robert B. Payne presents a new evolutionary history of the family based on molecular genetics, and uses the family tree to explore the origins and diversity of their behaviour. He traces details of the cuckoos' biology to their original sources, includes descriptions of previously unpublished field observations, and reveals new comparisons of songs showing previously overlooked cuckoo species. Lavishly illustrated with specially commissioned colour plates and numerous maps, halftones, and line drawings, The Cuckoos provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date account of this family yet available.
See what’s new in the Second Edition: · Number of species included is increased from 6300 to over 8700, about 85% of the world’s birds · Better data for many of the species included in the first edition — an exhaustive compilation of new data published from 1992 through 2007 · More comprehensive coverage of Latin America, Japan, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and more coverage of research published in non-English language journals In 1992 the CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses broke new ground by providing a compilation of body masses for 6300 species, about two-thirds of the world’s species. The handbook instantly became the gold standard, cited in hundreds of scientific studies and a prominent fixture on the shelves of many ornithologists. Keeping the format that made the first edition so popular, the second edition features dramatic changes both in species coverage and the data quality. The new edition compiles the results of new samples that have been published for many of the birds included in the first edition, and data found for about 2400 new species, increasing the coverage to over 8700 species, about 85% of the world’s birds. The order of species and families has been revised in the text to fit with the latest publications in avian taxonomy and systematics. The second edition includes an accompanying CD-ROM with a searchable electronic database.
The Malagasy Region: Madagascar, Seychelles, Comoros, Mascarenes
Author: Roger Safford
Publisher: A&C Black
Universally recognised as by far the most authoritative work ever published on the subject, The Birds of Africa is a superb multi-contributor reference work, with encyclopaedic species texts, stunning paintings of all species and numerous subspecies, hundreds of informative line drawings, detailed range maps, and extensive bibliographies. This eighth and final volume covers the Malagasy region which comprises Madagascar and the various islands and archipelagos of the Indian Ocean including the Seychelles, the Comoros, Mauritius and Réunion. Every resident and migrant species is covered in full detail, comparable to other volumes in the series, and with a colour map for each species. Vagrants are treated in less detail. All species are illustrated on a beautiful series of 64 colour plates, with original artwork from John Gale and Brian Small.
The world’s most isolated continent has spawned some of the most unusual words in the English language. In the space of a mere century, a remarkable vocabulary has evolved to deal with the extraordinary environment and living organisms of the Antarctic and subantarctic. Here, for the first time, is a complete guide to the origin and definitions of Antarctic words. Like other historical dictionaries, The Antarctic Dictionary gives the reader quotations for each word. These quotations are the life-blood of the dictionary — more than 15 000 quotations from about 1000 different sources give the reader a unique insight into the way the language of Antarctica has evolved. The reader will find out what it means to be slotted, the shortcomings of homers, the joys of a donga and the hazards of a growler. The Antarctic Dictionary has been meticulously researched, and will appeal to all those who have been to the frozen continent or have ever dreamed of going there. It will also appeal to those fascinated by the development of language. With a forward by Sir Ranulph Fiennes.
Offering intimate and unforgettable descriptions of the birds and people that inhabit Honduran landscapes, Seven Names for the Bellbird showcases the deep-rooted local traditions of bird appreciation and holds them up as a model for sound management of the environment. Through his appreciative recounting of local lore, author Mark Bonta makes the interaction between culture and avifauna in Latin America a key to better understanding the practice of biodiversity protection. He makes a significant contribution to the scarce anthropological and geographical literature on human-environment relationships in Central America and also provides wonderful stories of native birds and their human observers. After a decade in the field in Honduras, Mark Bonta came to realize that, contrary to outsiders’ general beliefs, the society he observed was predisposed “to like birds, to observe birds, to weave them into folklore, and to protect them on private property.” Bonta argues that if North Americans and Europeans paid real attention to local knowledge and practice—instead of condemning them out-of-hand and imposing new beliefs and techniques—they would learn that rural cultures offer alternative ways of accommodating habitats and wildlife. Bonta uses the concept of “conservation geography”—the study of human beings and their landscapes, with natural resource conservation in the forefront—to advance his argument. He describes many cases where local individuals and their traditional knowledge of birds contribute to a de facto variety of bird conservation that precedes or parallels “official” bird protection efforts. This book is not offered as “proof” that all birds have happy futures in the Neotropics. Bonta recognizes the ravages of both human pressures and natural disasters on the birds and forests. But he shows that in many instances, birds are safe and even thrive in the presence of local people, who “celebrate them just as often as they persecute them.”
Although the majority of the world's Herons live in the tropics and subtropics, Europe is home to nine species, some large, some small, some colonial, some solitary breeders. Highly specialized birds, they exhibit many interesting differences in their behaviour and ecology and are a favourite group for many ornithologists. Voisin begins her book with a general description of the family before going on to treat each species in more detail. The species accounts summarize such topics as field characters, distribution, population size, breeding and feeding ecology and behaviour.
A Guide to Rails, Crakes, Gallinules and Coots of the World
Author: Barry Taylor
Publisher: A&C Black
This is a guide to rails, a relatively homogenous family of birds spread throughout the world. Most species are solitary and somewhat secretive, and therefore high on the wanted lists of many birders, but the moorhens and coots are generally common and familiar birds of wetlands. A number of species are flightless and confined to small islands, and several are extinct as a result of man and introduced predators.