Adaptive Strategies and Population Ecology of Northern Grouse was first published in 1988. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
This book is at once a major reference to the species of grouse that inhabit North America and the Holarctic and a synthesis of all the available data on their ecology, sociobiology, population dynamics, and management. The book undertakes to answer two long-standing questions in population ecology: what actually regulates the numbers within a population, and what are the breeding and survival strategies evolved in this northern environment? For Volume I, editors Arthur T. Bergerud and Michael W. Gratson have drawn together their own work and that of colleagues in North America, Iceland, and Norway—in all, eleven research studies, averaging six years' duration, on eight species of grouse. These studies deal with the blue and ruffed grouse of the forest habitat; the sharp-tailed grouse, prairie chicken, and sage grouse of the prairie or steppe; and the white-tailed, rick, and willow ptarmigan found in alpine and arctic tundras. The authors describe the rich repertoire of behavior patterns developed by the hen and the cock to achieve their two primary objectives—first, to stay alive, and then to breed. Volume II, primarily the work of Bergerud, synthesizes the evidence in Volume I and in the grouse research literature from a theoretical perspective. Several potentially controversial sociobiological hypotheses are advanced to account for flocking behavior, migration, dispersal, roosting and feeding behavior, mate choice and mating systems. The demographic analysis provides new insights into cycles of abundance, the limitation of numbers, and the demographic factors that determine densities. The contributors, besides Bergerud and Gratson: R.C. Davies, A. Gardarson, J.E. Hartzler, R.A. Huempfner, D.A. Jenni, D.H. Mossop, S. Myrberget, R.E. Page, R.K. Schmidt, W.D. Svedarsky, and J.R. Tester.
Adaptive Strategies and Population of Northern Grouse was first published in 1988. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The first volume contains eleven studies of eight grouse species; the second contains primarily the work of Bergerud, which utilizes the evidence in the first volume to advance theories of behavior and offer new demographic insights.
This second volume contains primarily the work of Bergerud, which utilizes the evidence in the first volume to advance theories of behavior and offer new demographic insights.
Whether we live in cities, in the suburbs, or in the country, birds are ubiquitous features of daily life, so much so that we often take them for granted. But even the casual observer is aware that birds don’t fill our skies in the number they once did. That awareness has spawned conservation action that has led to notable successes, including the recovery of some of the nation’s most emblematic species, such as the Bald Eagle, Brown Pelican, Whooping Crane, and Peregrine Falcon. Despite this, a third of all American bird species are in trouble—in many cases, they’re in imminent danger of extinction. The most authoritative account ever published of the threats these species face, The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation will be the definitive book on the subject.
The Guide presents for the first time anywhere a classification system and threat analysis for bird habitats in the United States, the most thorough and scientifically credible assessment of threats to birds published to date, as well as a new list of birds of conservation concern. Filled with beautiful color illustrations and original range maps, the Guide is a timely, important, and inspiring reference for birders and anyone else interested in conserving North America’s avian fauna. But this book is far more than another shout of crisis. The Guide also lays out a concrete and achievable plan of long-term action to safeguard our country’s rich bird life. Ultimately, it is an argument for hope. Whether you spend your early weekend mornings crouched in silence with binoculars in hand, hoping to check another species off your list, or you’ve never given much thought to bird conservation, you’ll appreciate the visual power and intellectual scope of these pages.
The American Robin is North America's most widespread songbird, with a range extending from Alaska, Canada, and Newfoundland to the highlands of Mexico and Guatemala. Its ruddy red breast and cheerful song have also made it one of our most beloved birds—as American as apple pie, as familiar a harbinger of spring as the first daffodil. Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin have chosen the American Robin as their state bird, while a pair of robins grace the Canadian two dollar bill. In this book, Roland Wauer offers a complete natural history of the American Robin for a popular audience. Combining his own observations as a field naturalist with data gleaned from the scientific literature, he describes the American Robin from every angle—appearance and biology, distribution, behavior, life cycle, and enemies and threats. In addition, he explores the legends and lore surrounding robins and offers suggestions for attracting them to your yard.
Influential American architect Philip Johnson once mused, “All architecture is shelter; all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.” But with just a small swap of a key word, Johnson could well have been describing animal nests. Birds and insects are nature’s premier architects, using a dizzying array of talents to build functional homes in which to live, reproduce, and care for their young. Recycling sticks, branches, grass, and mud to construct their shelters, they are undoubtedly the originators of “green architecture.”
A visual celebration of these natural feats of engineering and ingenuity, Architecture by Birds and Insects allows readers a peek inside a wide range of nests, offering a rare opportunity to get a sense of the materials and methods used to build them. Here, we see the kinds of places where nests are built—for instance, the house wren has been known to occupy cow skulls, flower pots, tin cans, and the pockets of hanging laundry, while the uglynest caterpillar prefers rose bushes and cherry trees. Inspired by the vast nest collection at the Field Museum, which features specimens gathered throughout North and South America, Peggy Macnamara’s paintings are enhanced by text written by museum curators. This narrative provides a foundation in natural history for each painting, as well as fascinating anecdotes about the nests and their builders.
Like so many natural treasures, nests are easy to ignore. But Macnamara’s gorgeous paintings will undoubtedly change that. Architecture by Birds and Insects at last gives the tiniest engineers their rightful moment in the spotlight, and in so doing increases awareness and encourages the protection of birds, insects, and their habitats. Readers will never look at a Frank Gehry design, or a treetop nest, the same way again.
The Atlas of Wintering North American Birds represents the effects of thousands of people who have participated in the Christmas Bird Counts, an annual event sponsored since 1900 by the National Audubon Society. Unlike a conventional field guide, the Atlas doesn't show what birds look like, but rather tells where to find them in the winter months.
Terry Root has used the data from the 1963-72 counts to provide the first large-scale biogeographical account of birds wintering in North America. Using sophisticated computer techniques, Root has translated the data into both traditional contour maps and innovative new maps that stimulate three dimensions. The maps show at a glance that, for example, the Baltimore Oriole winters primarily along the eastern seaboard, with the densest populations in Florida between Tallahassee and Gainesville and in North Carolina from Rocky Mount to the Croatan National Forest.
Finding all the birds in Texas can be a lifetime pursuit. Basic Texas Birds, an easy-to-use field guide, will help you identify over 180 species of birds that are found across the state, including a selection of the rarer “Texas specialties” that draw birders to Texas from around the world. These are the birds that form the basis of a birder’s life list for Texas. Basic Texas Birds is organized by bird families to aid in identifying any bird you see in the wild. It is loaded with resources, including:•200 full-color, close-up photos of the birds•State-of-the-art range maps—the most accurate of any currently available—that show each species’ distribution within the state•Up-to-date species accounts that provide a wealth of current and historical information, including each bird’s appearance, habitat, status, and distribution, and that also identify similar species•A glossary of terms used in bird identification•A list of selected readings for learning more about birds found in Texas•The Texas Ornithological Society’s list of birds documented in TexasMuch more convenient for identifying common birds than a comprehensive state or national field guide, Basic Texas Birds is a must-have resource for both beginning and experienced birders.
The Behavior of Texas Birds
By Kent Rylander University of Texas Press, 2002 Library of Congress QL698.3.R65 2002 | Dewey Decimal 598.1509764
Whether it’s the sudden, plunging dives of Brown Pelicans, the singing and aerial displays of Northern Mockingbirds, or the communal nesting of Purple Martins, innate and learned behaviors are some of the most fascinating things to observe in Texas birds. Even casual birdwatchers eventually ask, "why do they do that?" while serious birders and ornithologists seek to understand all the behaviors involved in feeding, flying, mating, and rearing young. But until now, it has been hard to find this information in one handy source. In this comprehensive, yet easy-to-use book, Kent Rylander distills data from many sources to provide an authoritative guide to the behavior of Texas birds. He begins by explaining the principles of animal behavior and illustrating how they can be applied to interpreting bird behaviors in the field. The majority of the book is devoted to accounts of more than 400 species of birds that are most likely to be encountered by Texas birdwatchers. Each account describes such behaviors as feeding, courtship, parenting, and other behaviors that are significant for that species. References to interesting and important articles from scientific journals are incorporated in the species accounts where appropriate, and line drawings illustrate some of the behaviors described.
From meadows to marshlands, seashores to suburbs, field guides help us identify many of the things we find outdoors: plants, insects, mammals, birds. In these texts, nature is typically represented, both in words and images, as ordered, clean, and untouched by human technology and development. This preoccupation with species identification, however, has produced an increasingly narrow view of nature, a "binocular vision," that separates the study of individual elements from a range of larger, interconnected environmental issues. In this book, Spencer Schaffner reconsiders this approach to nature study by focusing on how birds are presented in field guides.
Starting with popular books from the late nineteenth century and moving ultimately to the electronic guides of the current day, Binocular Vision contextualizes birdwatching field guides historically, culturally, and in terms of a wide range of important environmental issues. Schaffner questions the assumptions found in field guides to tease out their ideological workings. He argues that the sanitized world represented in these guides misleads readers by omitting industrial landscapes and so-called nuisance birds, leaving users of the guides disconnected from environmental degradation and its impact on bird populations.
By putting field guides into direct conversation with concerns about species conservation, environmental management, the human alteration of the environment, and the problem of toxic pollution, Binocular Vision is a field guide to field guides that takes a novel perspective on how we think about and interact with the world around us.
The West Indies offer so much more than sun, sand, and shopping. This sweeping arc of islands, which runs from Cuba to Grenada and includes the Virgin Islands, teems with a rich diversity of plant and animal life. Up to 40 percent of the plants in some forests are found nowhere else on earth, while the West Indian flyway is a critical link in the migratory routes of many birds. In A Birder’s West Indies, Roland Wauer takes you on an island-by-island journey of discovery. He describes the unique natural features of each island and recounts his often fascinating experiences in seeking out the nearly 400 species of birds known in the West Indies. His accounts give insight into the birds’ habitats, status, and ecology and record some of the threats posed by human activities. For readers planning trips to the West Indies, Wauer also includes helpful, up-to-date facts about the best times to travel, the kinds of entry and customs systems to expect, the money exchange services available, and general information about weather, food, and accommodations. Filling a unique niche among current guides, A Birder’s West Indies offers both professional ornithologists and avocational bird watchers a chance to compare notes and experiences with an expert observer. And for readers who haven’t yet visited the islands, Wauer’s fluid prose and lovely color photographs will be the next-best thing to being there—and an irresistible invitation to go.
Birding the Hudson Valley
Kathryn J. Schneider University Press of New England, 2018 Library of Congress QL684.N7S36 2018 | Dewey Decimal 598.072347471
Although an estimated four hundred thousand Hudson Valley residents feed, observe, or photograph birds, the vast majority of New Yorkers enjoy their birdwatching activities mostly around the home. Kathryn J. Schneider’s engaging site guide provides encouragement for bird enthusiasts to expand their horizons. More than just a collection of bird-finding tips, this book explores Hudson Valley history, ecology, bird biology, and tourism. It describes sites in every county in the region, including farms, grasslands, old fields, wetlands, orchards, city parks, rocky summits, forests, rivers, lakes, and salt marshes. Designed for birders of all levels of skill and interest, this beautifully illustrated book contains explicit directions to more than eighty locations, as well as useful species accounts and hints for finding the valley’s most sought-after birds.
Nature takes a surprising turn in the heart of Texas. The flat Gulf Coastal Plains, which become the fertile Blackland Prairies in Central Texas, end abruptly at the Balcones Escarpment, one of the state’s most dramatic geological features, and the rolling, more sparsely vegetated Hill Country begins. The animal life varies as dramatically as the land. More than 400 species of birds alone, nearly three-fourths of all Texas birds, can be spotted in the region. This handbook offers a concise natural history of Central Texas and a complete checklist of all native and naturalized vertebrate animals, including birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, as well as invertebrates that include butterflies and land snails. The listings cite both scientific and common names for each species, relative abundance in the region, and preferred habitats. A distinguishing feature of the handbook is its list of parks and recreational areas in the region, which includes the counties of Bastrop, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Comal, Fayette, Gillespie, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hays, Kendall, Lee, Llano, Milam, Travis, and Williamson. The authors describe the recreational facilities available in each park and list the animal species likely to be encountered there. For birdwatchers, naturalists, visitors, and residents alike, this popular handbook will be the essential “where-to-find-it” reference.
Birds of Belize
By H. Lee Jones University of Texas Press, 2003 Library of Congress QL687.B45J66 2003 | Dewey Decimal 598.097282
With nearly six hundred identified species of birds—and an average of five “new” species discovered annually—Belize is becoming a birding hotspot for amateur and professional birders from around the globe. Thousands of birders visit the country each year to enjoy Belize’s amazing abundance and variety of both temperate and tropical birds in natural habitats that remain largely unspoiled. But until now, despite the growing need for an authoritative identification guide, birders have had to rely on regional field guides that offer only limited information on Belizean birds. Birds of Belize provides the first complete guide to the identification of all currently known species—574 in all. The birds are grouped by families, with an introduction to each family that highlights its uniquely identifying characteristics and behaviors. The species accounts include all the details necessary for field identification: scientific and common names, size, plumage features, thorough voice descriptions, habitat, distribution, and status in Belize. Full color, expertly drawn illustrations by noted bird artist Dana Gardner present male and female, juvenile and adult, and basic and alternate plumages to aid visual identification throughout the year, while 234 range maps show the birds’ distribution and seasonality in Belize. A comprehensive bibliography completes the volume.
Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide
Text and photographs by Carrol L. Henderson University of Texas Press, 2010 Library of Congress QL687.C8H46 2010 | Dewey Decimal 598.097286
At the biological crossroads of the Americas, Costa Rica hosts an astonishing array of plants and animals—over half a million species! Ecotourists, birders, and biologists come from around the world, drawn by the likelihood of seeing more than three or four hundred species of birds and other animals during even a short stay. To help all of these visitors, as well as local residents, identify and enjoy the wildlife of Costa Rica, Carrol Henderson published Field Guide to the Wildlife of Costa Rica in 2002, and it became the instant and indispensable guide. Now Henderson has created a dedicated field guide to the birds that travelers are most likely to see, as well as to the unique or endemic species that are of high interest to birders. Birds of Costa Rica covers 310 birds—an increase of 124 species from the earlier volume—with fascinating accounts of the birds’ natural history, identification, and behavior gleaned from Henderson’s forty years of traveling and birding in Costa Rica. All of the accounts include beautiful photographs of the birds, most of which were taken in the wild by Henderson. There are new updated distribution maps and a detailed appendix that identifies many of the country’s best bird-watching locations and lodges, including contact information for trip planning purposes.
No matter where you see birds in the city—in parks or woodlands, on power lines or in parking lots—they are the natural soul of the urban landscape. They enhance the city and the lives of those who watch them. Nature writer B. C. Robison and wildlife photographer John Tveten have teamed up to produce this field guide for birders who want to identify the birds most commonly seen in Houston. Fifty-five species are included, ranging from such well-known favorites as the mockingbird and cardinal to the more exotic yellow-crowned night heron. A full-color photograph for each bird appears alongside warm and often witty description. For quick reference, a summary of the primary field marks of the adult bird is also provided. This summary includes not only identifying features of the bird but also its habitats, the time of year it can be found, and its distinctive behavioral traits. Aimed at the beginning birder, the guide also gives tips on buying binoculars and on attracting birds to your yard.
The Birds of Sonora
Stephen M. Russell University of Arizona Press, 1998 Library of Congress QL686.R87 1998 | Dewey Decimal 598.097217
Birders who come to the American Southwest often keep an eye out for Mexican species that stray across the border. Many neotropical migrants of western North America winter in Sonora, and a host of hummingbirds make their home south of the border as well. This eagerly awaited volume by two respected authorities covers more than 500 species of birds and contains a vast amount of information not available elsewhere.
The Birds of Sonora describes all the species known from that state and includes information on distribution, seasonal patterns of occurrence, abundance, and habitats. The first book of its kind in more than half a century to treat birds of this Mexican state immediately south of Arizona, it also contains details of nesting activity for breeding species, provides insight into factors influencing distribution, and notes historical changes in status. Each account is accompanied by a range map depicting the bird's range in Sonora—valuable information not available from any other source and useful to anyone interested in the distribution and ecology of North American birds. Drawings by internationally known wildlife artist Ray Harm enhance many of the entries.
Because other books on Mexican birds don't treat Sonora in detail, The Birds of Sonora is an indispensable resource for birders, and its background descriptions of Sonoran geography, climate, and habitats also make it a key reference for conservation and land use planning. A useful companion to field guides, it is a narrative account that puts readers in touch with birds of this important biogeographic area.
This book is the most comprehensive ever published on the diverse bird life of the Great Basin. In a concise and readable style, Fred Ryser discusses the history, physiology, behavior, ecology, and distribution of nearly four hundred species, including information on navigation, flight, territorial behavior, courtship, nesting, hunting, and migration. Introductory chapters examine how birds survive the extremes of the basin environment, how they maintain heat and water balance, and other important topics in avian biology. Birds of the Great Basin is a standard reference work in American ornithology and an important acquisition for anyone interested in western birds.
From the bald eagle to the pileated woodpecker, the varied and abundant birdlife of the northwestern national parks is as impressive as the parks’ dramatic scenery. To help both beginning and advanced birders make the most of their visits to these parks, Roland Wauer has written this finding guide, which introduces the most common birds and the most likely places to see them. The book opens with practical advice on getting started in birding—choosing binoculars, bird identification, proper field techniques, etc. Then after a concise discussion of the national parks as "islands" of bird habitat, the succeeding chapters fully describe each park, including its plant and animal communities and the facilities and interpretive activities available to visitors. Wauer takes readers on "walks" through each park’s most popular and accessible places, where he explains the identification and behavior of the birds that visitors are most likely to see. He closes each account with a review of the park’s bird life and a list of key species. Pen-and-ink drawings illustrate many of the birds.
Birds of the Trans-Pecos
By Jim Peterson and Barry R. Zimmer University of Texas Press, 1998 Library of Congress QL684.T4P38 1998 | Dewey Decimal 598.097649
The Trans-Pecos, that huge region of Texas west of the Pecos River, is richer in recorded bird species than all but three of the United States. Hundreds of birders come here each year in search of species such as the Colima Warbler which are rarely if ever spotted in other parts of the country. Yet, until now, there was no comprehensive birding guide devoted to the entire region. Designed for intermediate to advanced birders, Birds of the Trans-Pecos provides an annotated checklist of all 482 species found in the region. The species accounts include seasonal distribution, documentation of nesting, most likely habitat, and the bird’s status as a "Texas Review Species." The authors also describe the geography and bird habitats of the Trans-Pecos; federal and state parklands in the area (including Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains), with the species that occur in each; and the mountain-breeding birds and species of special interest.
The Birds of Washtenaw County, Michigan
Michael A. Kielb, John M. Swales, and Richard A. Wolinski University of Michigan Press, 1992 Library of Congress QL684.M5K54 1992 | Dewey Decimal 598.2977435
The Birds of Washtenaw County, Michigan provides a comprehensive account of the birdlife in Washtenaw County. Situated to the west of Detroit in southeast Michigan, the county has an exceptionally rich history of ornithological study, fueled by the activists of numerous amateur birdwatchers and by the interests of two major universities.
Frequency accounts of the 267 species recorded in the county during the last 15 years are framed by a discussion of the topographical history of the county. In addition, the authors present notes on another 30 species not seen in the county since 1976. A comprehensive site guide offers suggestions of the optimal locals and times to try to find the birds.
Michael A. Kielb has studied birds in Michigan for over 15 years and teaches classes on birds at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor and the College of Du Page in Illinois. He also leads bird-watching tours throughout the Americas and is currently a Research Associate in the Reproductive Sciences Program at the University of Michigan.
John M. Swales first became interested in birds while teaching in the Sudan and has been exploring the birdlife of Washtenaw County since arriving at the University of Michigan in 1985. He is Professor of Linguistics and Director of the English Language Institute, University of Michigan.
Richard A. Wolinski has been studying birds of Washtenaw County for nearly two decades. He is a staff biologist with an engineering firm in southeast Michigan.
With nearly 450 species of birds recorded, Maine offers an abundance of birding opportunities for people of all levels of interest and experience, from those looking beyond their backyards for the first time to knowledgeable visitors looking to plug a hole in their list of sightings. The state’s wealth of undeveloped land and its extensive coastline, countless islands, and varied habitat combine to host an impressive diversity of birds at all times of year. Birders travel to Maine from near and far to seek hard-to-find species, from the only Atlantic Puffins breeding in the United States on offshore islands to Bicknell’s Thrushes high in the mountains. This book fills an important niche for the birdwatching community by offering comprehensive entries detailing the best locations for finding birds throughout the state for enthusiasts of all levels of skill and interest. It contains descriptions of 201 birding sites in Maine, with explicit directions on how to get there, for all sixteen of the state’s counties (several as large as other New England states!). Each chapter features a county map, a brief overview by Derek J. Lovitch, numerous specific site guides, and a list of rarities. The book also contains a detailed and useful species accounts guide for finding the most sought-after birds. Lavishly illustrated in color throughout, Birdwatching in Maine is the best available resource for finding birds in the largest of the New England states. Contributors: Derek Lovitch Kirk Betts Dan Nickerson John Berry Allison Childs Wells Jeffrey V. Wells Herb Wilson Kristen Lindquist Seth Benz Rich MacDonald Ron Joseph Luke Seitz
Birdwatching in New Hampshire
Eric A. Masterson University Press of New England, 2013 Library of Congress QL684.N4M37 2013 | Dewey Decimal 598.07234742
Designed to appeal to expert and backyard birdwatchers alike, this comprehensive guide reveals where, when, and how to watch and enjoy birds in New Hampshire. It not only offers the latest information about the seasonal status and distribution of birds in New Hampshire but also features a thorough introduction to the art and practice of birdwatching, including equipment, ethics, migration, conservation, and most of all, finding that “good bird.” The heart of the book is the detailed descriptions and maps that outline more than 120 birding sites across the state, from the Connecticut River Valley to Jeffreys Ledge and Cashes Ledge far off the coast. Drawing upon his extensive knowledge of the habits and habitats of New Hampshire birds, the author has divided the state into six regions, each with a rich diversity of birdwatching destinations. The guide also features informative accounts of the more than 300 bird species regularly seen in the Granite State, including their preferred habitats and graphs illustrating when each is most likely to be encountered. In addition, Masterson also provides a useful guide to rare and accidental bird sightings. The essential guide to birdwatching in New Hampshire for beginners and accomplished regional birders.
This easy-to-use guide gives seasonal information for both popular birding sites and those off the beaten path. Precise directions to the best viewing locations within the region’s diverse habitats enable birdwatchers to efficiently explore urban and wild birding hotspots. Over 500 species of birds can be seen in New York City’s five boroughs and on Long Island, one of the most densely populated and urbanized regions in North America, which also happens to be situated directly on the Atlantic Flyway. In this fragmented environment of scarce resources, birds concentrate on what’s available. This means that high numbers of birds are found in small spaces. In fact, Central Park alone attracts over 225 species of birds, which birders from around the world flock to see during spring and fall migration. Beyond Central Park, the five boroughs and Long Island have numerous wildlife refuges of extraordinary scenic beauty where resident and migratory birds inhabit forests, wetlands, grasslands, and beaches. These special places present an opportunity to see a wide array of songbirds, endangered nesting shorebirds, raptors, and an unprecedented number and variety of waterfowl. Including the latest information on the seasonal status and distribution of more than 400 species, with 39 maps and over 50 photographs, this full-color guide features information essential to planning a birding visit. It will become the go-to book for both the region’s longtime birders and those exploring the area for the first time.
Birding can become an addiction. It starts when you hang a bird feeder in the backyard. Then you buy a bird book to identify the birds you see. Then, before you know it, you're keeping a life list and traveling the region, the country, perhaps even the world to catch glimpses of rare birds. Marjorie Adams's birding passion progressed through all these stages and continues today in her tenth decade. In this engaging and informative book, she looks back at her evolution into a full-fledged birder and the concurrent growth of the sport of birding, to which she contributed significantly as a founding member of the American Birding Association, a newspaper columnist on birding, and a teacher and producer of educational wildlife films with her husband and lifelong birding partner, “Red” Adams. As one who was there from the beginning, Marjorie Adams is uniquely qualified to recount the astonishing rise of birding to a major pastime and recreational industry. She describes the founding of the American Birding Association and profiles its founder, James A. Tucker. She vividly recalls many of her and Red's birding adventures, from southern Canada to Mexico, as well as their encounters with a host of highly regarded birders, including Roger Tory Peterson, Pete Dunne, Victor Emanuel, Charles Hartshorne, and Roy Bedichek. She also explains how her and Red's love for birds led them to become conservation activists and how they produced an award-winning film on the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler. Offering an important chapter in the story of birding in Texas and the United States, this book establishes Marjorie and Red Adams's rightful place among the leading Texas naturalists of recent decades.
From the brilliantly green and glossy eggs of the Elegant Crested Tinamou—said to be among the most beautiful in the world—to the small brown eggs of the house sparrow that makes its nest in a lamppost and the uniformly brown or white chickens’ eggs found by the dozen in any corner grocery, birds’ eggs have inspired countless biologists, ecologists, and ornithologists, as well as artists, from John James Audubon to the contemporary photographer Rosamond Purcell. For scientists, these vibrant vessels are the source of an array of interesting topics, from the factors responsible for egg coloration to the curious practice of “brood parasitism,” in which the eggs of cuckoos mimic those of other bird species in order to be cunningly concealed among the clutches of unsuspecting foster parents.
The Book of Eggs introduces readers to eggs from six hundred species—some endangered or extinct—from around the world and housed mostly at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History. Organized by habitat and taxonomy, the entries include newly commissioned photographs that reproduce each egg in full color and at actual size, as well as distribution maps and drawings and descriptions of the birds and their nests where the eggs are kept warm. Birds’ eggs are some of the most colorful and variable natural products in the wild, and each entry is also accompanied by a brief description that includes evolutionary explanations for the wide variety of colors and patterns, from camouflage designed to protect against predation, to thermoregulatory adaptations, to adjustments for the circumstances of a particular habitat or season. Throughout the book are fascinating facts to pique the curiosity of binocular-toting birdwatchers and budding amateurs alike. Female mallards, for instance, invest more energy to produce larger eggs when faced with the genetic windfall of an attractive mate. Some seabirds, like the cliff-dwelling guillemot, have adapted to produce long, pointed eggs, whose uneven weight distribution prevents them from rolling off rocky ledges into the sea.
A visually stunning and scientifically engaging guide to six hundred of the most intriguing eggs, from the pea-sized progeny of the smallest of hummingbirds to the eggs of the largest living bird, the ostrich, which can weigh up to five pounds, The Book of Eggs offers readers a rare, up-close look at these remarkable forms of animal life.
Text by June Osborne, Photos by Barbara Garland University of Texas Press, 1992
In this inviting guide, June Osborne and Barbara Garland follow a year in the life of the Northern Cardinal with a fact-filled text and glowing color photographs. They describe how cardinals stake out territory and choose mates, find a nesting site and incubate their eggs, feed the young and prepare them for full-fledged independence. The Cardinal also explores the special relationship that humans have with their favorite redbirds. Osborne traces the symbolic use of cardinals as state birds (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia) and athletic mascots and shows how they appear on everything from postage stamps to Christmas cards, as well as in fine art, literature, and Native American folklore.
Chasing Neotropical Birds
Text by Bob Thornton, Photography by Vera and Bob Thornton University of Texas Press, 2005 Library of Congress QL685.7.T56 2005 | Dewey Decimal 598.098
From Belize to Brazil, the forests of the American neotropics are home to an astonishing array of birds—over 3,700 different species, or nearly 40 percent of all the birds on earth. Because of this overwhelming abundance, birders come from all over the world to try to catch glimpses of species that can be found nowhere else, such as toucans and antbirds, motmots and manakins, bellbirds and cocks-of-the-rock, and practically all of the planet’s hummingbirds. Two such birding enthusiasts are Vera and Bob Thornton, who have spent fifteen years photographing these special and exotic birds in the rainforests of eleven different countries of Central and South America. In this book, you’ll find more than a hundred spectacular color photographs they took during their travels, along with a highly entertaining account of their adventures—and misadventures—in chasing these exotic neotropicals. The birds pictured here are among the Thorntons’ personal favorites—birds that, in their words, “either dazzled us with their beauty, or charmed us by their behavior, or, in a few cases, simply challenged us by the mystique of their rarity.” This latter category includes such elusive and sought-after birds as the Black-crowned Antpitta, the Zigzag Heron, the Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo, the Bare-necked Umbrellabird, and the monkey-eating Harpy Eagle. In the accompanying text, Bob Thornton engagingly describes the challenges as well as the magic of negotiating the neotropical rainforests in search of colorful birds to photograph. For those who would like to follow in the Thorntons’ footsteps, there are also helpful tips about photographic gear and techniques, preferred places to see the birds, lodging, and guides. For everyone who enjoys excellent nature photography, Chasing Neotropical Birds is a must-have volume on the coffee table or in the library.
Known to many as "the butterflies of the bird world," wood warblers allure even the most experienced and discriminating birders. Their annual migrations to and from nesting areas in the United States and Canada draw thousands of birders to places such as High Island, Texas; Crane Creek, Ohio; and Point Pelee, Ontario, where warblers stop to rest and feed during the long journey. There birders have a chance to see and photograph these colorful, elusive songbirds whose quick, darting flight among high branches and thick cover makes them some of the most challenging birds to observe and identify.In this entertaining, beautifully illustrated book, Bob Thornton recounts his and Vera Thornton's cross-continent adventures in finding and photographing all 52 species of wood warblers that nest in the United States. In addition to describing where and how they photographed each species, Thornton tells marvelous stories of the colorful characters they encountered along the way. He also touches on the current human threats to wood warblers that come from loss of habitat.
Many animal species live and breed in colonies. Although biologists have documented numerous costs and benefits of group living, such as increased competition for limited resources and more pairs of eyes to watch for predators, they often still do not agree on why coloniality evolved in the first place.
Drawing on their twelve-year study of a population of cliff swallows in Nebraska, the Browns investigate twenty-six social and ecological costs and benefits of coloniality, many never before addressed in a systematic way for any species. They explore how these costs and benefits are reflected in reproductive success and survivorship, and speculate on the evolution of cliff swallow coloniality.
This work, the most comprehensive and detailed study of vertebrate coloniality to date, will be of interest to all who study social animals, including behavioral ecologists, population biologists, ornithologists, and parasitologists. Its focus on the evolution of coloniality will also appeal to evolutionary biologists and to psychologists studying decision making in animals.
Boria Sax Reaktion Books, 2004 Library of Congress QL696.P2367S29 2003 | Dewey Decimal 598.864
Though not generally perceived as graceful, crows are remarkably so—a single curve undulates from the tip of the bird’s beak to the end of its tail. They take flight almost without effort, flapping their wings easily and ascending into the air like spirits. Crow by Boria Sax is a celebration of the crow and its relatives in myth, literature, and life.
Sax takes readers into the history of crows, detailing how in a range of cultures, from the Chinese to the Hopi Indians, crows are bearers of prophecy. For example, thanks in part to the birds’ courtship rituals, Greeks invoked crows as symbols of conjugal love. From the raven sent out by Noah to the corvid deities of the Eskimo, from Taoist legends to Victorian novels and contemporary films, Sax’s book ranges across history and culture and will interest anyone who has ever been intrigued, puzzled, annoyed, or charmed by these wonderfully intelligent birds.
Hummingbirds may be the smallest birds in the world, but they have the biggest appetites. Their wings flutter on average fifty to eighty times each second as they visit hundreds of flowers over the course of a day to sip the sweet nectar that sustains them. Their hearts beat nearly twelve hundred times a minute and their rapid breathing allows these amazing birds to sustain their unique manner of flight. They can hover in the air for prolonged periods, fly backwards using forceful wings that swivel at the shoulder, and dive at nearly two hundred miles per hour. Native only to the Americas, some hummingbirds have been known to migrate from Mexico to Alaska in the course of a season. Watching a hummingbird at a backyard feeder, we only see its glittering iridescent plumage and its long, narrow beak; its rapidly moving wings are a blur to our eyes.
These tiny, colorful birds have long fascinated birders, amateur naturalists, and gardeners. But, do they really hum?
In Do Hummingbirds Hum? George C. West, who has studied and banded over 13,500 hummingbirds in Arizona, and Carol A. Butler provide an overview of hummingbird biology for the general reader, and more detailed discussions of their morphology and behavior for those who want to fly beyond the basics. Enriched with beautiful and rare photography, including a section in vivid color, this engaging question and answer guide offers readers a wide range of information about these glorious pollinators as well as tips for attracting, photographing, and observing hummingbirds in the wild or in captivity.
This is the story of the survival, recovery, astonishing success, and controversial status of the double-crested cormorant. After surviving near extinction driven by DDT and other contaminants from the 1940s through the early 1970s, the cormorant has made an unprecedented comeback from mere dozens to a population in the millions, bringing the bird again into direct conflict with humans. Hated for its colonial nesting behavior; the changes it brings to landscapes; and especially its competition with commercial and sports fishers, fisheries, and fish farmers throughout the Great Lakes and Mississippi Delta regions, the cormorant continues to be persecuted by various means, including the shotgun.
In The Double-Crested Cormorant, Dennis Wild brings together the biological, social, legal, and international aspects of the cormorant's world to give a complete and balanced view of one of the Great Lakes' and perhaps North America's most misunderstood species. In addition to taking a detailed look at the complex natural history of the cormorant, the book explores the implications of congressional acts and international treaties, the workings and philosophies of state and federal wildlife agencies, the unrelenting efforts of aquaculture and fishing interests to "cull" cormorant numbers to "acceptable" levels, and the reactions and visions of conservation groups. Wild examines both popular preconceptions about cormorants (what kinds of fish they eat and how much) and the effectiveness of ongoing efforts to control the cormorant population. Finally, the book delves into the question of climate and terrain changes, their consequences for cormorants, the new territories to which the birds must adapt, and the conflicts this species is likely to face going forward.
Victoria de Rijke Reaktion Books, 2008 Library of Congress SF505.D47 2008 | Dewey Decimal 598.41
The squat, noisy duck occupies a prominent role in the human cultural imagination, as evidenced by everything from the rubber duck of childhood baths to insurance commercials. With Duck,Victoria de Rijke explores the universality of this quacking bird through the course of human culture and history.
From the Eider duck to the Brazilian teal to the familiar mallard, duck species are richly diverse, and de Rijke offers a comprehensive overview of their evolutionary history. She explores the numerous roles that the duck plays in literature, art, and religion—including the Hebrew belief that ducks represent immortality, and the Finnish myth that the universe was hatched from a duck’s egg. The author also highlights the significant role humor has always played in human imaginings of duck life, such as the Topographia Hibernia, a twelfth-century tome contending that ducks originated as growths on tree trunks washed up on a beach. But the book does not neglect the bird’s role in everyday life as well, from food dishes to jokes to beloved animated characters such as Daffy Duck and Donald Duck. Duck is an entertaining account of a bird whose distinctive silhouette is known the world over.
Hornbills are among the world’s most distinct birds. Easily recognized by their oversized beaks adorned with large casques, they range from Africa to India and throughout Asia. One of the oldest bird orders, they have been known to mankind for millennia and loom large in the mythology of indigenous cultures of tropical Asia. In the past thirty years, ecologists have uncovered many fascinating aspects of hornbill biology, from their unique nest-sealing behavior to their roles as farmers of the forest.
Building on fourteen years of research, Margaret F. Kinnaird and Timothy G. O’Brien offer in Ecology and Conservation of Asian Hornbills the most up-to-date information on the evolution, reproduction, feeding ecology, and movement patterns of thirty-one species of Asian hornbills. The authors address questions of ecological functionality, ecosystem services, and keystone relationships, as well as the disturbing influence of forest loss and fragmentation on hornbills. Complemented by superb full-color images by renowned photographer Tim Laman that provide rare glimpses of hornbills in their native habitat and black-and-white illustrations by Jonathan Kingdon that highlight the intriguing aspects of hornbill behavior, Ecology and Conservation of Asian Hornbills will stand tall in the pantheon of natural history studies for years to come.
In the past two centuries, cowbirds have increased in numbers and extended their range across North America, while many of the native songbird species whose nests they parasitize to raise their young have declined. This timely book collects forty essays by most of the principal authorities on the biology and management of cowbirds. The book’s goals are to explore the biology of cowbirds, the threats they pose to host species and populations, and the management programs that are being undertaken to minimize these threats. The book is organized into five sections, each with an extended editors’ introduction that places the contributions in a broad, up-to-date setting. The sections cover:• The changing abundance of cowbirds and the ways in which their numbers can be estimated.• Host choice by cowbirds, the negative effects of cowbirds on particular host species, and the daily patterns of cowbird behavior.• Behavioral interactions between cowbirds and specific host species.• Patterns of cowbird abundance and host use across varying landscapes.• Management programs designed to control cowbirds and protect threatened songbirds.
Named after a Sardinian princess of the fourteenth century who established laws protecting falcons, Eleonora's falcon is the only European bird to breed in autumn and feed its brood on the mass of birds that migrate from Europe to Africa between July and October. It breeds on small Mediterranean islands in colonies of up to 200 pairs and hunts often in groups, preying on more than 90 species of migrant birds. During the winter this falcon visits the rain-soaked woodlands of Madagascar.
In this study—illustrated beautifully and extensively with 59 line drawings and 38 photographs—Hartmut Walter shows how the unique geographical and biological situation of Falco eleonorae makes the species' health an important indicator of environmental decay. For though it lives in relatively isolated areas, Eleonora's falcon nevertheless may ingest the many pollutants contained in its diet of birds migrating from industrial Europe. Walter, who has studied raptors on several continents and has been an ornithologist since his early youth, examines several discrete colonies of Eleonora's falcon. He concentrates on the species' intraspecific behavior and ecology—such as the falcons' aggressive actions, hunting strategies, and response to fluctuating environmental conditions—and investigates their evolutionary past.
No bird is common, if we use “common” to mean ordinary. But birds that are seen more commonly than others can seem less noteworthy than species that are rarely glimpsed. In this gathering of essays and illustrations celebrating fifty of the most common birds of the Upper Midwest, illustrator Dana Gardner and writer Nancy Overcott encourage us to take a closer look at these familiar birds with renewed appreciation for their not-so-ordinary beauty and lifeways.Beginning with the garishly colored male and the more gently colored female wood duck, whose tree cavity nest serves as a launching pad for ducklings in the summer months, and ending on a bright yellow note with the American goldfinch, whose cheerful presence enlivens the midwestern landscape all year long, Overcott combines field observations drawn from her twenty-plus years of living and birding in Minnesota's Big Woods with anecdotes and data from other ornithologists to portray each species' life cycle, its vocalizations and appearance, and its habitat, food, and foraging methods as well as migration patterns and distribution. Infused with a dedication to conserving natural resources, her succinct yet personable prose forms an ideal complement to Gardner's watercolors as this renowned illustrator of avian life worldwide revisits the birds of his childhood. Together art and text ensure that the wild turkey, great blue heron, sharp-shinned hawk, barred owl, pileated woodpecker, house wren, ovenbird, field sparrow, rose-breasted grosbeak, red-winged blackbird, and forty other species of the Upper Midwest are never seen as common again.
Although the many common birds of the Upper Midwest are lovely to hear and see, there is no doubt that the uncommon birds attract more attention. In this gorgeously illustrated companion to their Fifty Common Birds of the Upper Midwest, which provided a new appreciation of the not-so-ordinary beauty and life ways of familiar birds, illustrator Dana Gardner and writer Nancy Overcott celebrate the rarer birds of the Upper Midwest.
The authors selected species that are uncommon because of dwindling populations, species that may be common elsewhere but not in the Upper Midwest, species that may be abundant one year and absent the next, and species that are usually present but seldom seen. Beginning with the surf scoter with its multicolored bill and ending with the gregarious evening grosbeak, which resembles a giant goldfinch, they pair watercolors of each species with text that portrays its life cycle, its vocalizations and distribution. Throughout, Overcott's personable text is infused with the pleasures of her twenty-plus years of living and birding in Minnesota's Big Woods and her dedication to preserving natural resources, and Gardner's paintings-each a gorgeous reminder of the rare qualities of these uncommon birds from this renowned illustrator of bird life worldwide-emphasize her call for conservation efforts.
The annotated bibliography includes online information about national and international organizations that focus on birds or that affect birds through conservation, as well as information about a variety of books and journals for beginning to experienced birders.
The paths of different birds look like double helixes, flowing strands of hair, and migrating serpents, and they beckon with calls that have definite meanings. These mysterious creatures inspire growing numbers of birders in their passionate pursuit of new species, and writer John R. Nelson is no exception. In Flight Calls, he takes readers on explorations to watch, hear, and know Massachusetts's hummingbirds, hawks, and herons along the coasts and in the woodlands, meadows, and marshes of Cape Ann, Cape Cod, the Great Marsh, Mount Auburn Cemetery, the Quabbin wilderness, Mount Wachusett, and elsewhere.
With style, humor, and a sense of wonder, Nelson blends his field adventures with a history of the birding community; natural and cultural history; bird stories from authors such as Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, and Mary Oliver; current scientific research; and observations about the fascinating habits of birds and their admirers. These essays are capped off with a plea for bird conservation, in Massachusetts and beyond.
Hawks fly at very high altitudes, sometimes over water, and thus their flight behavior and migration patterns are extremely difficult to study. Now, based on nearly ten years of research, this book provides the most complete analysis to date of how hawks migrate. Paul Kerlinger has employed both direct observations and radar techniques to obtain a much more accurate understanding of the migratory behavior of hawks and the "decisions" they make in flight. And, he has integrated data on the flight behavior of raptors in general with information about their ecology, physiology, evolution, and nonmigratory behavior.
Kerlinger begins with an overview, discussing ecology and geography, research methods, natural history, and evolution, and atmospheric structure. He then addresses specific aspects of flight behavior: aerodynamics, morphology, mechanics, direction, altitude, flocking, water crossing, speed selection, daily distance traveled, and flight strategies. Kerlinger describes each aspect of behavior quantitatively, testing mechanistic hypotheses. In conclusion, he examines how migrants integrate these behavioral components. Throughout the text he draws comparisons between the migratory flight behavior of hawks and that of other taxa. By means of such comparisons, researchers can gain insight into the selective pressures that shape the behavior of migrant species.
2020 Award for Distinguished Book from the Animals & Society Section of the American Sociological Association
One in five people in the United States is a birdwatcher, yet the popular understanding of birders reduces them to comical stereotypes, obsessives who only have eyes for their favorite rare species. In real life, however, birders are paying equally close attention to the world around them, observing the devastating effects of climate change and mass extinction, while discovering small pockets of biodiversity in unexpected places.
For the Birds offers readers a glimpse behind the binoculars and reveals birders to be important allies in the larger environmental conservation movement. With a wealth of data from in-depth interviews and over three years of observing birders in the field, environmental sociologist Elizabeth Cherry argues that birders learn to watch wildlife in ways that make an invaluable contribution to contemporary conservation efforts. She investigates how birders develop a “naturalist gaze” that enables them to understand the shared ecosystem that intertwines humans and wild animals, an appreciation that motivates them to participate in citizen science projects and wildlife conservation.
Dubbed the "Bard of America’s Bird-Watchers" by the Wall Street Journal, Pete Dunne knows birders and birding—instinctively and completely. He understands the compulsion that drives other birders to go out at first light, whatever the weather, for a chance to maybe, just maybe, glimpse that rare migrant that someone might have spotted in a patch of woods the day before yesterday. And yet, he also knows how . . . well . . . strange the birding obsession becomes when viewed through the eyes of a nonbirder. His dual perspective—totally engrossed in birding, yet still aware of the "odd birdness" of some birders—makes reading his essays a pure pleasure whether you pursue "the feather quest" or not. This book collects forty-one of Dunne’s recent essays, drawn from his columns in Living Bird, Wild Bird News, the New Jersey Sunday section of the New York Times, Birder’s World, and other publications. Written with his signature wit and insight, they cover everything from a moment of awed communion with a Wandering Albatross ("the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen") to Dunne’s imagined "perfect bird" ("The Perfect Bird is the size of a turkey, has the wingspan of an eagle, the legs of a crane, the feet of a moorhen, and the talons of a great horned owl. It eats kudzu, surplus zucchini, feral cats, and has been known to predate upon homeowners who fire up their lawn mowers before 7:00 A.M. on the weekend."). The title essay pays whimsical, yet heartfelt tribute to Dunne’s mentor, the late birding legend Roger Tory Peterson.
In Helpers at Birds' Nests, renowned naturalist and ornithologist Alexander Skutch provides vivid, detailed accounts of a remarkable aspect of bird behavior—he aid that one bird gives another who is neither its mate nor its dependent young and who may even belong to a different species.
In graceful, clear prose, Skutch makes accessible to amateur bird-watchers examples of cooperation in species as far-flung as the little rifleman of New Zealand, the Laysan albatross in the mid Pacific, and the neotropical birds of Skutch's own Valley of El General in Costa Rica.
Skutch describes the cooperative behavior of more than fifty families of birds. Each family is introduced by a brief sketch of its distribution and outstanding features, followed by intimate, nontechnical accounts of the helpful behaviors that have been most carefully studied. Skutch considers the significance of helpful birds and discusses the theoretical aspects of cooperative breeding, its evolution, kin selection, altruism, and demography.
First discovered by the author more than half a century ago, cooperative breeding has become increasingly studied by professional ornithologists. In this expanded edition, noted behaviorist Stephen Emlen credits Skutch's passionate observations of birds with promoting scientific interest in avian behavior. Emlen offers readers a summary of the advances made in the field during the past ten years and places Skutch's work in the context of contemporary ornithological research.
How Fast Can a Falcon Dive? explores the world of raptors in a way that will appeal to bird lovers and biology enthusiasts alike. This colorful volume is complete with more than fifty-five color and black and white images from photographers and artists around the world. In a reader friendly question and answer format, ornithologist Peter Capainolo and science writer Carol A. Butler define and classify raptors, explore the physical attributes of birds of prey, view how their bodies work, and explain the social and physical behaviors of these species-how they communicate, hunt, reproduce, and more. Capainolo, who received one of the first falconry licenses issued in New York state at age eighteen, relates his personal experience in falconry to describe raptor training and husbandry where the human-bird interactions are complex.
From stories of red-tailed hawks making their homes on the ledges of Manhattan skyscrapers to their role in protecting California's vineyards from flocks of grape-loving starlings, How Fast Can a Falcon Dive? explores how these avian predators interact with people and with their environment.
Arizona is renowned as a premier birding state, a place where many species rarely seen anywhere else in the country reach the northern end of their migratory range. Jim Burns’ Arizona Birds is a lively portrayal of the habits and habitats of seventy-five of these unique southwestern species. Burns has written much more than a field guide, site guide, or scientific survey. He has compiled and expanded upon his feature column Arizona Special Species to create an original kind of birding book that is more at home on your bedside table than in your backpack. Bird-watchers new to the game will find a wealth of knowledge on and insight into some familiar favorites, as well as an idea of what it takes to accomplish more uncommon sightings.
Veteran birders will appreciate Burns’ unique incorporation of natural history and other details beyond the usual taxonomic data, and will enjoy reminders of their own triumphs and heartbreaks in his colorful personal accounts of vehicular breakdowns, photographic faux pas, and egregious identification errors in the field. Illustrated in full color by seventy-five of the author’s own outstanding photographs, this book also features a five-level rating system, beginning with birds you can see in your own backyard and ending with those requiring either pure dumb luck or years of study and perseverance to spot. But whether you have spent years in search of the Flammulated Owl or are just curious about the wildlife in your desert backyard, this book will have you laughing, learning, and reaching for the binoculars in hopes of creating your own encounters with Arizona’s incredible bird species.
This book looks at the Kirtland’s warbler and wildlife conservation in a way that no other book has. It looks back on the history of this unique bird, examines the people and policies that kept the warbler from extinction, explores the cult of personality that surrounds it, and examines the challenges of the future—all through the eyes of the people who have acted so passionately on its behalf.
The story of the Kirtland’s warbler is a story of complex relationships between the bird and its environment, the humans who interact with it, and the complex government policies that affect it. And now, just when it appears that the Kirtland’s warbler has recovered for good, a change in its status may send the warbler’s population into a downward spiral once again.
The Last of the Market Hunters
Dale Hamm with David Bakke Southern Illinois University Press, 1996 Library of Congress SK17.H285A3 1996 | Dewey Decimal 639.1092
Duck hunting has changed greatly since the days of unlimited duck kills, as the limit of fifty ducks a day established in 1902 has fallen to the present three. A legitimate hunter now, Dale Hamm learned the art of market hunting— taking waterfowl out of season and selling them to restaurants— from his father during the l920s. During the l930s and l940s, he kept his family alive by market hunting. At the peak of his career, Hamm poached every private hunting club along the Illinois River from Havana to Beardstown.
After market hunting died out, Hamm became a legendary and almost respected— albeit controversial— character on the Illinois backwaters. He was eventually invited to hunt on the same clubs from which he had once been chased at the point of a shotgun. He hunted with judges, sheriffs, and the head of undercover operations for the Illinois Department of Conservation, all of whom knew of his reputation. He passed on to these hunting partners a lifetime of outdoor knowledge gained from slogging through mud, falling through ice, hunting ducks at three o’ clock in the morning, dodging game wardens, and running the world’ s only floating tavern.
"I always said if anyone ever cut open one of us Hamms, all they’ d find was duck or fish," Hamm once said of his family. Now in his eighties, Hamm still carries a pellet from a shotgun in his chin to remind him of a shotgun blast that ricocheted off the water and into his face. Bakke notes that it is appropriate that a man who spent his life with a shotgun in his hands should carry a bit of buckshot wherever he goes.
Everyone who ever met Dale Hamm has a story about him. His own story is that of a one-of-a-kind character who, in his later years, used his considerable outdoor savvy to conserve the natural resources he once savaged. "His time and kind are gone," Bakke notes, "and there will never be another like him."
This book will be of interest to anyone who has ever been hunting— or who enjoys reading about colorful people and times that exist no more.
Manual for the Identification of the Birds of Minnesota and Neighboring States was first published in 1932. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Containing more than one-third of the world's bird species, the neotropical region surpasses all other zoogeographic regions in the diversity of its avian fauna. Though the exploration and cataloging stages of ornithology are now virtually complete, new species and undescribed subspecies of birds are still occasionally discovered. In this manual, Emmet R. Blake has drawn on his experience of forty-eight years in the field and laboratory to prepare a comprehensive, detailed, and authoritative synopsis of the avifauna of tropical America as now known.
Minnesota Birds was first published in 1975.This is an indispensable guidebook for birders in Minnesota, both amateur and professional, and a useful reference work for naturalists elsewhere as well. It provides information about each of the 374 species sighted in the state -- in what seasons they are present, how abundant they are, and in what areas they are likely to be found. The account for each species is divided in three sections: migration, including distribution, abundance, and dates; summer season, including breeding range and nesting records; and winter season, including distribution and abundance. Both authors are highly experienced ornithologists. Janet C. Green lives in Duluth and does much of her fieldwork on the North Shore of Lake Superior and in the northwoods. Robert B. Janssen, who lives in Chanhassen, is former editor of The Loon, the journal of the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union, and has done fieldwork throughout the state. Harrison B. Tordoff, former director of the James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota, writes a foreword.
Floating on air currents over rural countryside and open city spaces, the Mississippi Kite presents a familiar sight to many people across the southern United States, although this graceful hawk is not well known by name. This engaging natural history, illustrated with superb color photographs, provides all a bird watcher needs to become acquainted with the kite, its life cycle, and its fascinating history with humans. Under various folk names, including Blue Darter, Grasshopper Hawk, and Mosquito Hawk, the Mississippi Kite ranges throughout the southern United States from the coasts of the Carolinas to the plains of the Southwest. The authors describe all aspects of the kite's life cycle, from breeding and nesting, raising young, and hunting and feeding to the kite's annual winter migration to South America. They also trace its intriguing relationship with humans, from its discovery by Europeans in the nineteenth century to the present day. For bird lovers and ornithologists alike, The Mississippi Kite will be an essential introduction to a bird well worth knowing. A special section on conservation and a selection of references for further reading complement the text.
More Tales of a Low-Rent Birder brings together twenty-five recent essays that originally appeared in major birding publications. In these pieces, Pete Dunne ranges from wildly humorous to sadly elegiac, as he describes everything from the "field plumage" of the dedicated birder to the lingering death of an accidentally injured golden plover. Running like a thread through all the essays is Dunne's love and respect for the birds he watches, his concern over human threats to their survival, and his tolerance, even affection, for the human "odd birds" that birding attracts. Truly, these essays offer something for everyone interested in birds and the natural habitats our species share.
In this reflective account of life in the tropics, Alexander Skutch offers readers both his observations and his interpretations of what he has experienced. In the many chapters about birds and their behavior, he describes a dove that defends its nest with rare courage, castlebuilders who create elaborate nests of interlaced twigs, oropendolas that cluster long woven pouches in high treetops, and an exceptionally graceful hummingbird who fails to pay for its nectar by pollinating the flowers that yield it. Skutch also describes curious plants and their flowers, including a birthwort that holds its pollinating flies captive and fern fronds that twine high up trunks in the rain forest.
With penetrating clarity, Skutch considers the significance of all this restless activity: he examines the origins of beauty and our ability to appreciate it, the foundations of tropical splendor, the factors that help us feel close to nature or alienated from it, and the possibility of consciousness and emotion in animals. He also addresses the quandary of the biologist contemplating painful experiments on animals rather than learning by direct observation, and he asserts that our capacity to care for the world around us is the truest criterion of our evolutionary advancement.
Skutch brings a thoughtful, unequaled voice to the description of the world he has grown to know and understand, a world considered forbidding by most northerners and still largely unexplored.
Neotropical Birds: Ecology and Conservation
Douglas F. Stotz, John W. Fitzpatrick, Theodore A. Parker III, and Debra K. Moskovits University of Chicago Press, 1996 Library of Congress QL685.7.N46 1996 | Dewey Decimal 598.298
Four of the world's leading ornithologists and ardent conservationists have produced this unique synthesis of the ecological information on all 4,037 species of birds found from Mexico south to Tierra del Fuego. In tables that cover more than 300 pages and include much of their own unpublished data, the authors summarize details on 40 key ecological parameters for each bird species. Additional data and further analyses are provided for migratory species.
Because bird communities are good indicators of habitat type and condition, and because extensive bird surveys can be done quickly, bird communities are critical to rapid evaluations of an ecosystem's biological value and integrity. The authors analyze the bird species of major habitats from a conservation perspective, and develop specific guidelines to illustrate how governments, conservation organizations, and wildlife managers can use this ecological information to anchor conservation strategies on sound biological reality.
"Students of ecology and wildlife management, as well as conservationists, will benefit from this book . . . . Governmental and conservation agencies should use this book when making critical decisions about where to focus their efforts as they work to preserve the environment in fragile regions of the world." —Edward I. Saiff, Science Books & Films
One of nineteenth-century Russia's finest prose writers, Sergei Timofeevich Aksakov's Notes of a Provincial Wildfowler is companion to his popular Notes on Fishing and a classic of nature writing.
Notes of a Provincial Wildfowler is filled with precise descriptions of bird behavior, observations of their life cycles, and lyrical discourses on the habitats of the Russian steppe. Aksakov's nostalgic fondness for his homeland permeates his Notes, and his passion for the habits of his subjects provides a stark contrast with his enthusiasm for the shooting--and eating--of his quarry.
Before modern binoculars and cameras made it possible to observe birds closely in the wild, many people collected eggs as a way of learning about birds. Serious collectors called their avocation “oology” and kept meticulous records for each set of eggs: the bird’s name, the species reference number, the quantity of eggs in the clutch, the date and location where the eggs were collected, and the collector’s name. These documented egg collections, which typically date from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, now provide an important baseline from which to measure changes in the numbers, distribution, and nesting patterns of many species of birds. In Oology and Ralph’s Talking Eggs, Carrol L. Henderson uses the vast egg collection of Ralph Handsaker, an Iowa farmer, as the starting point for a fascinating account of oology and its role in the origins of modern birdwatching, scientific ornithology, and bird conservation in North America. Henderson describes Handsaker’s and other oologists’ collecting activities, which included not only gathering bird eggs in the wild but also trading and purchasing eggs from collectors around the world. Henderson then spotlights sixty of the nearly five hundred bird species represented in the Handsaker collection, using them to tell the story of how birds such as the Snowy Egret, Greater Prairie Chicken, Atlantic Puffin, and Wood Duck have fared over the past hundred years or so since their eggs were gathered. Photos of the eggs and historical drawings and photos of the birds illustrate each species account. Henderson also links these bird histories to major milestones in bird conservation and bird protection laws in North America from 1875 to the present.
Out of the Woods: A Bird Watcher’s Year is a journey through the seasons and a joyous celebration of growing old. In fifty-nine essays and poems, Ora E. Anderson, birder, bird carver, naturalist, and nature writer, reveals the insights and recollections of a keen-eyed observer of nature, both human and avian. The essays follow the rivers and creeks, the highways and little-known byways of Appalachia, and along the way we become nearly as familiar with its numerous bird, plant, and animal species as with the author himself.
These are not the memories of a single year, however, but of a long lifetime spent immersed in the natural world. Out of the Woods, presented with humor and passion, is an account of a well-lived, productive, and satisfying life. The essays offer an intimate portrait of a half century of Anderson's life on his beloved old farm (more nearly a nature preserve), where he lived in harmony with birds and nature and followed the rhythm of the seasons. We are invited to share the joys—and the disappointments and sorrows—inherent in such a life.
Generously illustrated with Julie Zickefoose’s detailed and evocative drawings, this book will delight bird watchers, artists, naturalists, backyard gardeners, and anyone who is ever tempted to take a rutted, overgrown path just to see where it leads.
One of the more nonconformist figures in the animal kingdom, the parrot is linked to humans by its ability to speak—a trait many have found unsettling, though this discomfort is offset by its gorgeous plumage, which makes it one of the most popular members of the avian family. Unlike previous studies that have treated parrots as simply a curious oddity, Paul Carter offers here in Parrot a thoughtful yet spirited consideration of the natural and cultural history of parrots, discussing parrot portraiture, the role and significance of parrots' mimicry in human culture, and parrot conservation, as well the parrot's role in literature, folklore and mythology, film, and television worldwide.
Parrot takes three different approaches to the squawker: the first section, "Parrotics," examines the historical, cultural, and scientific classification of parrots; "Parroternalia," the second part, looks at the association of parrots with the different languages, ages, tastes, and dreams of society; and, finally, "Parrotology" investigates what the mimicry of parrots reveals about our own systems of communication. Humorously written and wide-ranging in scope, this volume takes readers beyond pirates and "Polly wants a cracker" to a new kind of animal history, one conscious of the critical and ironic mirror parrots hold up to human society.
Christine E. Jackson Reaktion Books, 2006 Library of Congress SF513.P4J33 2006 | Dewey Decimal 598.6258
Breathtakingly beautiful and exotic, the peacock inspires devotion among both artists and bird lovers. Its iridescent plumage, when fully displayed, is a delight to behold.
The bird itself, as Christine E. Jackson notes in Peacock, appears to enjoy its audience, preening and strutting about within a few feet of humans. It is not surprising, then, that these vain birds and their distinctive feathers have been the prized possessions of kings for nearly three thousand years. Jackson here explores the peacock’s beauty—and its apparent attitude—through fairy tales, fables, and superstitions in both Eastern and Western cultures. Peacock takes stock of the bird as it appears within art, from the earliest mosaics to medieval illuminated manuscripts to modern graphics, with a special emphasis on the peacock’s symbolic value in the nineteenth-century arts and crafts and art nouveau movements. Jackson further details the peacock’s colorful presence in hats, clothing, and even sports equipment.
A sweeping combination of social and natural history, Peacock is the first book to bring together all the shimmering, colorful facets of these magnificent birds.
A superb success as a bird, combining great speed, aeronautical grace, and fearlessness . . . inhabitant of wild places, inaccessible cliffs, and skyscrapers . . . worldwide dweller, trans-equatorial migrant, and docile captive—the peregrine falcon stands alone among all others of its kind. Perhaps this is why so many varied people rushed to its aid when it faced decimation by pesticide poisoning. In this personal and highly entertaining memoir, Jim Enderson tells stories of a lifetime spent studying, training, breeding, and simply enjoying peregrine falcons. He recalls how his boyhood interest in raptors grew into an ornithological career in which he became one of the leading experts who helped identity DDT as the cause of the peregrine falcon’s sudden and massive decline across the United States. His stories reveal both the dedication that he and fellow researchers brought to the task of studying and restoring the peregrine and the hair-raising adventures that sometimes befell them along the way. Enderson also seamlessly weaves in the biology and natural history of the peregrine, as well as anecdotes about its traditional and widespread use in falconry as an aggressive yet tractable hunter, to offer a broad portrait of this splendid and intriguing falcon.
This newest addition to Iowa's successful series of laminated guides is a welcome aid to identifying the many challenging raptors of the Great Plains, from northern Minnesota to northern Texas. Illustrator Dana Gardner has created fourteen panels showing twenty-six species perched and in flight with complete plumage variations---dark phases, light phases, and juvenile and adult male and female forms. The text also includes length and wingspan, common and scientific names, and status such as common resident or winter visitor.Raptors are notoriously hard to identify, and Gardner has worked hard to make this guide useful for beginning birders as well as those more experienced in the field. Keep Raptors in Your Pocket in your car or backpack---or pocket!---during spring and fall migration and summer nesting season for help in identifying such relatively common species as the light and dark forms of the red-tailed hawk, the male and female merlin and American kestrel, and the juvenile, intermediate, and adult forms of the Swainson's hawk as well as such uncommon visitors as white-tailed, swallow-tailed, and Mississippi kites.
The Raptors of Iowa
James F. Landenberger, Dean M. Roosa, Jon W. Stravers, Bruce Ehresman, Rich Patterson University of Iowa Press, 2013 Library of Congress QL677.78.L36 2013 | Dewey Decimal 598.909777
This long-awaited collection of James Landenberger’s paintings of Iowa birds of prey presents thirty-two full-page, full-color species, from the common turkey vulture to the red-shouldered hawk of Mississippi River woodlands to the little northern saw-whet owl. Four naturalists who have devoted their lives to conserving wilderness habitats and species have written essays to complement the paintings.
Thanks to state and federal laws and a shift in public attitude, birds of prey are no longer seen as incarnations of ferocity but as creatures superbly attuned to their lives and surroundings. Although Iowa unfortunately leads the way in the amount of wildlife habitat that has been destroyed, conservation organizations and state agencies have also led the way toward successful raptor restoration projects, among them a roadside nest box program for the American kestrel, a project to restore peregrine falcons to their historic eyries, and a relocation program that should ensure a sustainable population of ospreys. The recent spectacular recovery of the bald eagle, whose nests had vanished from the state for seventy years, is particularly encouraging.
There can be no substitute for seeing thousands of broad-winged hawks soaring high overhead during migration, a great horned owl perching in silhouette at dusk, or a Cooper’s hawk plunging toward its prey along the roadside. But Jim Landenberger’s meticulously detailed paintings go a long way toward conveying the remarkable beauty of the American kestrel and other falcons, the grace of the swallow-tailed kite, the immaculate mystery of the snowy owl and its fellow owls, the glistening head feathers of an adult bald eagle, and the piercing defiance so characteristic of our larger hawks.
Though small among its woodpecker relatives, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker poses a huge dilemma for its human neighbors. Uniquely adapted to live in the old-growth pine forests of the southeastern United States, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker has nearly disappeared as the forests have been cleared for agricultural, commercial, and residential uses over the last two centuries. Today, it waits at a crossroads. Scientific management practices could restore the woodpecker’s habitat and population, but the imperative to convert old-growth forests to other uses remains. In this book, three of the leading experts on the Red-cockaded Woodpecker offer a comprehensive overview of all that is currently known about its biology and natural history and about the ecology of the fire-maintained forests it requires for survival. As the most visible endangered species in the Southeast, and the one whose conservation impacts the largest land area, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker holds a compelling interest not only for ornithologists, but also for wildlife managers, foresters, developers, environmentalists, and government officials. For all of these groups, this book will be the essential resource for learning more about the Red-cockaded Woodpecker and ensuring its survival.
Drawing on detailed data from their sixteen-year study of red-winged blackbirds in the marshes of Washington's Columbia National Wildlife Refuge, Beletsky and Orians analyze the information redwings use to make breeding-season decisions and the consequences these decisions have for lifetime reproductive success. Because male and female redwings make different, and often independent, decisions—males focus on territory acquisition and maintenance, while females must choose when and where to nest and how much energy to invest in reproduction—the authors have taken the novel approach of studying the sexes separately.
Using analyses of observational data combined with field experiments and game-theoretical models, the authors provide new insights into the complex patterns of reproductive decision-making and breeding behavior in redwings. This book will be of interest to all who study social animals, including behavioral ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and ornithologists.
Based on three seasons of field research in the Canadian Arctic, Christopher Norment’s exquisitely crafted meditation on science and nature, wildness and civilization, is marked by bottomless prose, reflection on timeless questions, and keen observations of the world and our place in it. In an era increasingly marked by cutting-edge research at the cellular and molecular level, what is the role for scientists of sympathetic observation? What can patient waiting tell us about ourselves and our place in the world?
His family at home in the American Midwest, Norment spends months on end living in isolation in the Northwest Territories, studying the ecology of the Harris’s Sparrow. Although the fourteenth-century German mystic Meister Eckhardt wrote, “God is at home, we are in the far country,” Norment argues that an intellectual, emotional, and spiritual “far country” can be found in the lives of animals and arctic wilderness. For Norment, “doing science” can lead to an enriched aesthetic and emotional connection to something beyond the self and a way to develop a sacred sense of place in a world that feels increasingly less welcoming, certain, and familiar.
Beginning with his 1934 Field Guide to the Birds, Roger Tory Peterson introduced literally millions of people to the pleasures of observing birds in the wild. His field guide, which has gone through five editions and sold more than four million copies, fostered an appreciation for the natural world that set the stage for the contemporary environmental movement. When Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring sounded a warning about the threat to birds and their habitats in the 1960s, the Peterson field guides had already prepared the public and the scientific community to heed the warning and fight to save habitat and protect endangered species—a result that Peterson wholeheartedly approved. In this authoritative, highly readable biography of Roger Tory Peterson (1908–1996), Douglas Carlson creates a fascinating portrait of the complex, often conflicted man behind the brand name. He describes how Peterson’s obsession with birds began in boyhood and continued throughout a multifaceted career as a painter, writer, educator, environmentalist, and photographer. Carlson traces Peterson’s long struggle to become both an accomplished bird artist and a scientific naturalist—competing goals that drove Peterson to work to the point of exhaustion and that also deprived him of many aspects of a normal personal life. Carlson also records Peterson’s many lasting achievements, from the phenomenal success of the field guides, to the bird paintings that brought him renown as “the twentieth century’s Audubon,” to the establishment of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute to carry on his work in conservation and education.
There is no mistaking a hummingbird. Even people who hardly know a robin from a sparrow recognize that flash of iridescent feathers and the distinctive hovering flight. So popular have "hummers" become that even casual birdwatchers now travel great distances to hummingbird hot spots to see masses of birds in their annual migrations. In this invitingly written book, June Osborne paints a fully detailed portrait of perhaps the best-known hummingbird in the United States, the ruby-throat. Drawing from her own birdwatching experiences, she offers an "up close and personal" look at a female ruby-throat building her nest and rearing young, as well as an account of a day in the life of a male ruby-throat and stories of the hummers’ migrations between their summer breeding grounds in the United States and Canada and their winter homes in Mexico and Central America. In addition to this life history, Osborne recounts early hummingbird sightings and tells how the bird received its common and scientific names. After an overview of hummingbirds’ distinctive ways of feeding, flying, and conserving energy, she offers a detailed description of the ruby-throat that will help you tell females from males, immature birds from adults, and ruby-throats from similar species. Osborne also takes you on a visit to the "Hummer/Bird Celebration!" at Rockport, reviews hummingbird banding programs, and explains how to attract hummingbirds to your yard or apartment balcony.
In the 1980s, numerous scientific surveys documented both declining bird populations, especially among Neotropical songbirds that winter in the tropics, and the loss of tropical rain forest habitat. Drawing the seemingly obvious conclusion, scientists and environmental activists linked songbird declines to loss of tropical habitats and alerted the world to an impending ecological catastrophe. Their warnings led to the establishment of the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Program, also known as Partners in Flight, the self-proclaimed largest conservation effort in history. Looking back over more than a decade of efforts to save migrant birds, John Faaborg offers the first serious evaluation of the state of songbird populations today, the effectiveness of conservation programs such as Partners in Flight, and the reliability and completeness of scientific research on migrant birds. Taking neither an alarmist nor a complacent approach, he shows that many factors besides habitat loss affect bird populations and that Neotropical migrants as a group are not declining dramatically, though some species adapt to habitat alteration more successfully than others. Faaborg’s state-of-the-art survey thus clarifies the kinds of information we will need and the conservation efforts we should undertake to ensure the long-term survival of Neotropical migrant birds.
The Seasons of the Robin
By Don Grussing University of Texas Press, 2009 Library of Congress QL696.P288G78 2009 | Dewey Decimal 598.842
In a small nest in a large oak tree, the drama begins. A young American Robin breaks open his shell and emerges into a world that will provide the warmth of sunny days and the life-threatening chill of cold, rainy nights; the satisfaction of a full stomach and the danger of sudden predator attacks; and the chance to mature into an adult robin who’ll begin the cycle of life all over again come next spring. In The Seasons of the Robin, Don Grussing tells the uncommon life story of one of the most common birds, the North American Robin. Written as fiction to capture the high drama that goes on unnoticed right outside our windows, the book follows a young male robin through the first year of life. From his perspective, we experience many common episodes of a bird’s life—struggling to get out of the egg; awkwardly attempting to master flight; learning to avoid predators; migrating for the first time; returning home; establishing a territory; finding a mate; and beginning the cycle again. This creative approach of presenting natural history through a fictional, yet factually based, story allows us to experience the spine-tingling, nerve-wracking, adrenaline-flowing excitement that is so much a part of the life of every wild thing. As Don Grussing concludes in his preface, “Once you experience the world through a robin’s eyes, I hope you’ll look at every wild thing with new appreciation and respect for what they accomplish by living.”
Will the 'Alala ever return to the wild? A bird sacred to Hawaiians and a member of the raven family, the 'Alala today survives only in captivity. How the species once flourished, how it has been driven to near-extinction, and how people struggled to save it, is the gripping story of Seeking the Sacred Raven.
For years, author Mark Jerome Walters has tracked the sacred bird's role in Hawaiian culture and the indomitable 'Alala's sad decline. Trekking through Hawaii's rain forests high on Mauna Loa, talking with biologists, landowners, and government officials, he has woven an epic tale of missed opportunities and the best intentions gone awry. A species that once numbered in the thousands is now limited to about 50 captive birds.
Seeking the Sacred Raven is as much about people and culture as it is about failed policies. From the ancient Polynesians who first settled the island, to Captain Cook in the 18th century, to would-be saviors of the 'Alala in the 1990s, individuals with conflicting passions and priorities have shaped Hawaii and the fate of this dwindling cloud-forest species.
Walters captures brilliantly the internecine politics among private landowners, scientists, environmental groups, individuals and government agencies battling over the bird's habitat and protection. It's only one species, only one bird, but Seeking the Sacred Raven illustrates vividly the many dimensions of species loss, for the human as well as non-human world.
Pete Dunne has been watching birds since he was seven years old. But not just watching—deeply absorbing every nuance of color, markings, shape, flight, and song; all the subtle clues that can identify a bird barely glimpsed among the highest branches in fading twilight. With the same skill, he has been observing and writing about birding and birders for over twenty years, using humor, sentiment, occasional sarcasm, and unashamed passion for his chosen profession to explore why birdwatching is so irresistibly compelling to so many people. This book brings together thirty-two vintage essays that Dunne originally wrote for publications such as American Birds, Bird Watcher’s Digest, Birder’s World, Birding, Living Bird, the New Jersey edition of the Sunday New York Times, WildBird, and Wild Bird News. Encounters with birds rare and common is their shared theme, through which Dunne weaves stories of his family and friends, reflections on the cycles of nature, and portraits of unforgettable birders whose paths have crossed his, ranging from Roger Tory Peterson to a life-battered friend who finds solace in birding. A cliff-hanger story of the bird that got away gives this book its title.
Designed to help bird watchers in the field and at home discover the significance of their observations, Southern Illinois Birds documents current knowledge of the birds of southern Illinois by surveying both the published literature on the subject and the unpublished field notes of active observers summarizing many important observations that are not readily available elsewhere.
Bordered on three sides by major rivers, with both upland and lowland forests and dramatic topographic relief in the unglaciated Shawnee Hills, southern Illinois offers a wide variety of habitats and birds unusual to Illinois and the Midwest in general. Compared with studies in central and northern Illinois, there have been few active field observers in the south; yet the contributions of those who worked in southern Illinois have been considerable. Robinson displays their efforts convincingly in this book.
Southern Illinois Birds includes information on early arrival and late departure dates of migrants, the highest reported single-day counts in each season, and records of all vagrants. In addition, Robinson includes maps and guides to some of the best birding areas in the region to encourage birders and others to explore the many birding and scenic attractions in southern Illinois.
Robinson has produced a definitive reference for ornithologists and amateur bird watchers, conservation and government agencies, college students in biology, and future researchers who wish to determine the status and abundance of southern Illinois birds.
The graceful winged form of the swan has inspired works of art from fairy tales to ballets, and its profile is recognized immediately by even the most cursory of bird admirers. Now the newest addition to Reaktion’s acclaimed Animal series examines the fascinating story behind this elegant bird.
The natural history of the swan is surprisingly complex, as Peter Young reveals, delving into the bird’s habitat and feeding habits, the physiological details of the eight surviving species and several extinct ones, the bird’s power and endurance, and the formation flying that allows them to conserve energy and fly great distances with speed. Swan gives equal treatment to the long and rich role of the swan in human culture, from the Greek myth of Leda and the Swan to the bird’s portrayal in sculpture, furniture, and brand name logos. Young also details the challenges facing conservation efforts to protect swans from human consumption and material goods.
An engrossing account, Swan will be a welcome addition to the bookshelf of all who admire this beautiful bird.
Northern bobwhites are one of the most popular game birds in the United States. In Texas alone, nearly 100,000 hunters take to the field each fall and winter to pursue wild bobwhite quail. Texas is arguably the last remaining state with sufficient habitat to provide quail-hunting opportunities on a grand scale, and Texas ranchers with good bobwhite habitat often generate a greater proportion of their income from fees paid by quail hunters than from livestock production. Managing and expanding bobwhite habitat makes good sense economically, and it benefits the environment as well. The rangelands and woodlands of Texas that produce quail also support scores of other species of wildlife. Texas Bobwhites is a field guide to the seeds commonly eaten by northern bobwhites, as well as a handbook for conserving and improving northern bobwhite habitat. It provides identifying characteristics for the seeds of 91 species of grasses, forbs, woody plants, and succulents. Each seed description includes a close-up and a scale photo of the seed and the plant that produces it, along with a range map. Using this information, hunters can readily identify concentrations of plants that are most likely to attract quail. Landowners and rangeland managers will greatly benefit from the book’s state-of-the-art guidance for habitat management and restoration, including improving habitat dominated by invasive and nonnative grasses.
Travels and Traditions of Waterfowl was first published in 1967. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
With the combined talents of naturalist, writer, and artist, H. Albert Hochbaum captures the varying moods of earth and sky and spirit of flight. For many years as director of the Delta Waterfowl Research Station in Manitoba, Canada, he has observed the ways of the waterfowl. In this book he portrays and discusses the flights and habits of the birds he has watched in the vast marsh country—the wild ducks, geese, and swans of North America.
This book is the winner of a publication award of the Wildlife Society. It is recommended by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in its AAAS Science Book List for Young Artists.
Waterfowl in Your Pocket is a welcome aid to identifying the many colorful and intriguing water birds of the midwestern states, from the Great Lakes west to the Dakotas, east to Ohio, and south to Kansas and Missouri. Illustrator Dana Gardner has created fourteen panels showing fifty-one species of ducks, geese, swans, grebes, pelicans, coots, cormorants, moorhens, and loons swimming and flying with complete plumage variations—dark phases, light phases, and juvenile and adult male and female forms in summer and winter. The text also includes length, common and scientific names, and frequency and distribution.
Whether flying high overhead in the fall or swimming in a nearby lake in the summer, waterfowl are notoriously difficult to identify, and Gardner has worked hard to make this guide useful for beginning birders as well as those more experienced in the field. Keep binoculars and Waterfowl in Your Pocket in your car or backpack—or pocket!—during spring and fall migration and summer nesting season for help in identifying such captivating water birds as greater white-fronted geese and tundra swans during spring and fall migration, male wood ducks and mallards in breeding plumage, immature and female red-breasted mergansers and snow geese, and uncommon winter visitors such as eiders and scoters.
Woodpeckers are among the most remarkable birds in the avian world, having evolved a unique anatomy that enables them to peck and bore into solid timber both to find food and to create nesting cavities. The birds are key indicators of forest health and perform an important ecological role, providing holes that many other animals use. Woodpeckers have been considered symbols of fertility, security, strength, power, prophecy, magic, rhythm, medicine, and carpentry, and have been esteemed across cultures as the guardians of woodlands, tree surgeons, fire-bringers, weather forecasters, and boat-builders.
In this charming volume, avian expert Gerard Gorman delves into the natural and cultural history of woodpeckers, exploring their origins and habitats and the ways they have fascinated humankind throughout history. Gorman finds woodpeckers everywhere—from ancient Babylon, Greece, and Rome, to the jungles of Amazonia and Borneo, to our modern-day Woody Woodpecker cartoon. Richly illustrated with images from both nature and culture, Woodpecker will appeal to everyone who is interested in these extraordinary birds.