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This book is a totally fresh approach to observing birds in southern Africa. It affords you the opportunity to gather previously inaccessible and indecipherable information in the form of tracks and signs left behind by our avifauna. The book explores the unique details of the spoor, or tracks, of many species of birds. This is done in multiple ways including by observing their droppings, examining their feeding behaviour as well as their general nesting structures.
It’s remarkable how tracks and signs in nature help you to enrich your knowledge of bird species, providing knowledge as straightforward as the shape of the individual nests of our various species of weaver, or the ability to recognise and understand the role of a drum-site in the life of a bearded woodpecker, or even being able to see the subtle signs of a cardinal woodpecker on the various acacia pods which host its larval food.
Louis Liebenberg has generously provided some sketches of spoor he has made for his own publications, making these clear schematics available to assist with identification. Skulls, feathers, beaks and egg shells are also occasionally encountered, and a few examples of these will be included, as they also tell a story of a bird which has passed by. This approach to southern Africa’s birdlife will add tremendously to how we experience our wonderful avifauna.
In this book, Adrian Koopman describes the complex relationship between birds, the Zulu language and Zulu culture. A number of chapters look at the underlying meaning of bird names, and here we will find that the Zulu name of the Goliath Heron means ‘what gives birth to baby crocodiles’, the dikkop (umbangaqhwa) means ‘what causes frost’, and the African Hoopoe is a party-goer who wears a colourful blanket.
The book goes further than just Zulu names, exploring the underlying meanings of bird names from other South African languages and languages from Central and East Africa. Here we find birds with names that translate as ‘cool-porridge’, ‘kiss-banana-flower’ and ‘waiter-at-the-end-of-the furrow’.
A focus on Zulu traditional oral literature details the roles birds have played in Zulu praise poetry (including the praise poems of certain birds themselves) and in proverbs, riddles and children’s games. Also considered is traditional bird lore, examining the role played by various species as omens and portents, as indicators of bad luck and evil, as forecasters of rain and storm, and as harbingers of the seasons. Here we see that the Bateleur Eagle (ingqungqulu) is linked to war, the Southern Ground Hornbill (insingizi) to thunder and heavy rain, the Red-chested Cuckoo (uphezukokhono) to the start of the ploughing season, and the Jacobin Cuckoo (inkanku) to the start of summer.
Zulu Bird Names and Bird Lore discusses the Zulu Bird Name Project, a series of Zulu bird name workshops held between 2013 and 2017 with Zulu-speaking bird guides designed to confirm (or otherwise) all previously recorded Zulu names for birds, while at the same time devising new names for those without previously recorded names. The result has been a list of species-specific names for all birds in the Zulu-speaking region. Finally, the book turns to the role such new bird names can play in conservation education and in avi-tourism.
Winner of the Richard Jefferies Society and White Horse Book Shop Literary Prize 'splendid' -The Guardian 'visionary' -New Statesman Britain has all the space it needs for an epic return of its wildlife. Only six percent of our country is built upon. Contrary to popular myth, large areas of our countryside are not productively farmed but remain deserts of opportunity for both wildlife and jobs. It is time to turn things around. Praised as 'visionary' by conservationists and landowners alike, Rebirding sets out a compelling manifesto for restoring Britain's wildlife, rewilding its species and restoring rural jobs - to the benefit of all.
What's the difference between a swallow and a swift? How many species of ducks, penguins, owls or thrushes are there? Which is the rarest parrot or the most endangered hummingbird? What do toucans eat? Discover all the key facts about the world's orders and families of birds with this ultimate handbook. Expert ornithologist Jonathan Elphick provides a comprehensive survey of every one of the 36 orders and 234 families of birds, revealing their remarkable diversity, appearance, behaviour and lifestyle. With clear, lively text, informative fact boxes that include the latest research and data, and special photography from award-winning wildlife photographers such as David Tipling, The Handbook of Bird Families belongs on the shelf of everyone interested in birds.
In Birds, devout birder and ornithologist Roger J. Lederer celebrates the heyday of avian illustration in 40 artists' profiles, beginning with the work of Flemish painter Frans Snyders in the early 1600s and continuing through to contemporary artists like Elizabeth Buttersworth, famed for her portraits of macaws. Stretching its wings across time, taxa, geography, and artistic style - from the celebrated realism of American conservation icon John James Audubon, to Elizabeth Gould's nineteenth-century renderings of museum specimens from the Himalayas, to Swedish artist and ornithologist Lars Jonsson's ethereal watercolours - this book is a cornucopia of art and artists as diverse and beautiful as their subjects.
In this unique and unprecedented study of birding in Africa, historian Nancy Jacobs reconstructs the collaborations between well-known ornithologists and the largely forgotten guides, hunters and taxidermists who worked with them. Drawing on ethnography, scientific publications, private archives and interviews, Jacobs asks: How did white ornithologists both depend on and operate distinctively from African birders? What investment did African birders have in collaborating with ornithologists? By distilling the interactions between European science and African vernacular knowledge, this work offers a fascinating examination of the colonial and postcolonial politics of expertise about nature. It is also a riveting history of the discovery of certain bird species.
The Roberts Bird Guide (2nd Edition) has gone to great trouble to concentrate on, and illustrate, difficult-to-identify species and family groups such as raptors, warblers, cisticolas and waders. Special attention has been given to make sure there is far greater coverage of male-female differences and there are also many more juvenile illustrations. Unlike all previously published southern African bird guides, this new edition will be scattered with informative photographs that are incorporated in the text pages and each plate illustration is augmented with an introduction. Apart from the approximately 240 plate spreads, the guide also has 12 photographic and illustrated double spreads that show head enlargements and other details. Plates are annotated far more definitively than other guides – highlighting key identification features, especially for difficult-to-identify species.
How can you tell when a Rufous or a Ruby-throated hummingbird will be in your neighborhood? What is the correct sugar-to-water ratio for your visiting hummingbirds? Should you put red dye #2 in the mixture? How do you keep that feisty Rufous from scaring other hummers away? Hummingbird enthusiast Dan True answers these questions and many more in this beautifully illustrated, informative guide to the sixteen species of hummingbirds that breed in the United States and Canada. Available in this handy guide are life-size photos of the male and female of each of the sixteen species, detailed information on each species, maps showing where the species can be spotted, how hummers mate, when and where they migrate to and from, and new banding information. There is also easy-to-follow, step-by-step information on how to photograph hummingbirds in flight. True has spent years talking to other hummer experts and enthusiasts and includes here anecdotes from all over the country that help readers understand why hummingbirds do what they do. An indispensable book for any one with a hummingbird feeder.
Designed to help birders and banders identify, age, and sex all seventeen species of hummingbirds found in North America, this is the only identification guide devoted entirely to hummingbirds that includes up-close, easy-to-use illustrations. It also provides information on the eight species that have been reported but rarely seen in North America. On first viewing hummingbirds are often a blur of fast-moving color. However, when they perch and hover they can be observed, and the size, shape, and color; the proportions of the body, bill, throat, and tail; the wing feather pattern; and the birds' behavior are crucial to accurate identification. The author's concise descriptions and illustrations pinpoint all these features in clear, jargon-free language. Anyone who loves hummingbirds will welcome the information he provides.
'Based on many years of personal research, and a thorough knowledge of the European literature, the authors provide an eminently readable account of the biology of the Common Buzzard. Whatever your interests in birds, I can recommend this book for its content of information and insight.' - Professor Ian Newton OBE, FRS, FRSE Soaring majestically on thermals with broad wings raised, the Common Buzzard is a familiar sight for many people across Eurasia. In fact, thanks to a remarkable ability to adapt to local conditions, it is now one of the most abundant hawks in the world. The Common Buzzard can exploit a variety of nest sites, and has an eclectic diet that ranges from earthworms and voles to woodpigeons and even deer carcasses. This is a species rich in paradoxes. Why does a hawk evolved for hunting small mammals thrive on invertebrates and carrion? How can a raptor renowned for dramatic territorial displays occur at such high densities? And why does such a large bird that can travel long distances spend so much time in small areas? Sean Walls and Robert Kenward delve deep into the ecology of the Common Buzzard to provide answers to these questions and many more, as well as examining the conservation conundrums raised by this bird. Bringing together a wealth of research on the species' origins, feeding behaviour and breeding, along with information on movement and survival from the authors' own studies, The Common Buzzard provides an invaluable insight into exactly what has enabled this marvellous raptor to return to old haunts to impress, inspire and connect people with nature.
Designed for beginning birders and nature enthusiasts alike, this easy-to-use guide presents sixty-one of the most common species of birds in the greater Atlanta area.
The guide features large color photographs throughout for immediate identification and is conveniently organized by bird size, starting with very small birds, such as the ruby-throated hummingbird, and progressing to larger species, such as the great blue heron. Information for each bird species includes common and scientific names, distinguishing marks and characteristics, and descriptions of bird calls, typical habitats, and nesting and feeding behaviors. Accounts also show variations in plumage according to sex, age, and season. The perfect companion for every backyard birder, "Common Birds of Greater Atlanta" also serves as an excellent introduction to birding, bird identification, and conservation.
This compact guide to the birds and other wildlife of the National Botanical Garden at Kirstenbosch identifi es a range of the more visible creatures found here. Targeted at both regulars and new visitors to the gardens, this book raises awareness of the rich and diverse animal community, the most conspicuous of which are the birds.
It provides visitors with information on the behaviour, diet and breeding biology of 88 bird species, and the vivid photographs make for easy identification. There is also a summary of the mammals, reptiles, amphibians and other animals found in the gardens. Alongside guides to the flora, this pocket-sized and easy-to-use booklet is the ideal companion for visitors to Kirstenbosch.
While birding literature is filled with tales of expert observers spotting rare species in exotic locales, John Yow reminds us that the most fascinating birds can be the ones perched right outside our windows. In thirty-five engaging and sometimes irreverent vignettes, Yow reveals the fascinating lives of the birds we see nearly every day. Following the seasons, he covers forty-two species, discussing the improbable, unusual, and comical aspects of his subjects' lives. Yow offers his own observations, anecdotes, and stories as well as those of America's classic bird writers, such as John James Audubon, Arthur Bent, and Edward Forbush. This unique addition to bird literature combines the fascination of bird life with the pleasure of good reading.
Raised in rural England before the rise of the internet, Ben Crane grew up in the company of wild things, with hawks and other birds of prey alive in his mind--and woods and fields--as symbols of a kind of self-possessed, solitary power. He spent time with them, knew them, and loved them. But as Crane grew into adulthood, situations that may seem to many of us natural, or even comforting, were challenging: he found it difficult to be around other people and to read social cues, sometimes retreating in fear or lashing out in misunderstanding. Eventually, he was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. When Crane became a father, these challenges became unbearable, and he fled to isolation. Hawks brought him back. In this artful and moving memoir, we follow Crane on his remarkable journey of flight and return. Traveling from the United Kingdom to Pakistan, we learn first about the history and practice of falconry, a beautiful and brutal partnership between humans and birds that has persisted for thousands of years. And as Crane's personal story unfolds, we come to understand how he found solace and insight through his relationships with these animals. "I saw that my feelings toward nature, and birds of prey in particular, ran in parallel with my feelings for my son," Crane writes. "I worked out that they were, in fact, two sides of the same coin--the deep love of one could, with gentle observation, inform and unlock the deep love for the other. . . . Perhaps this then is the central theme of my story." Many of us rely upon animal companions to provide a sense of joy, compassion, and empathy. But as Blood Ties teaches us, our relationships with the creatures among us can also transform us, illuminating what it means both to be human and to be part of the greater wild--what it means to be alive.
Selected by Forbes.com as one of the 12 best books about birds and birding in 2016 This much-anticipated third edition of the Handbook of Bird Biology is an essential and comprehensive resource for everyone interested in learning more about birds, from casual bird watchers to formal students of ornithology. Wherever you study birds your enjoyment will be enhanced by a better understanding of the incredible diversity of avian lifestyles. Arising from the renowned Cornell Lab of Ornithology and authored by a team of experts from around the world, the Handbook covers all aspects of avian diversity, behaviour, ecology, evolution, physiology, and conservation. Using examples drawn from birds found in every corner of the globe, it explores and distills the many scientific discoveries that have made birds one of our best known - and best loved - parts of the natural world. This edition has been completely revised and is presented with more than 800 full color images. It provides readers with a tool for life-long learning about birds and is suitable for bird watchers and ornithology students, as well as for ecologists, conservationists, and resource managers who work with birds. The Handbook of Bird Biology is the companion volume to the Cornell Lab s renowned distance learning course, Ornithology: Comprehensive Bird Biology.
Parrots of the Wild explores recent scientific discoveries and what they reveal about the lives of wild parrots, which are among the most intelligent and rarest of birds. Catherine A. Toft and Tim Wright discuss the evolutionary history of parrots and how this history affects perceptual and cognitive abilities, diet and foraging patterns, and mating and social behavior. The authors also discuss conservation status and the various ways different populations are adapting to a world that is rapidly changing. The book focuses on general patterns across the 350-odd species of parrots, as well as what can be learned from interesting exceptions to these generalities. A synthetic account of the diversity and ecology of wild parrots, this book distills knowledge from the authors' own research and from their review of more than 2,400 published scientific studies. The book is enhanced by an array of illustrations, including nearly ninety color photos of wild parrots represented in their natural habitats. Parrots of the Wild melds scientific exploration with features directed at the parrot enthusiast to inform and delight a broad audience.
A SPECTATOR BOOK OF THE YEARLonglisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 'Rich and joyous ...The book's quiet optimism about our ability to change, and to learn to love small things passionately, will stay with me for a long time' Helen Macdonald'Big-hearted and quietly gripping' Guardian 'I love Jon Day's writing and his birds. A marvellous, soaring account' Olivia Laing '[A] beautiful book about unbeautiful birds' Observer 'This is nature writing at its best' Financial Times 'Awash with historical and literary detail, and moving moments ... Wonderful' Telegraph 'Every page of this beautifully written book brought me pleasure' Charlotte Higgins 'A vivid evocation of a remarkable species and a rich working-class tradition. It's also a charming defence of a much-maligned bird, which will make any reader look at our cooing, waddling, junk-food-loving feathered friends very differently in future' Daily Mail 'Endlessly interesting and dazzlingly erudite, this wonderful book will make a home for itself in your heart' Prospect As a boy, Jon Day was fascinated by pigeons, which he used to rescue from the streets of London. Twenty years later he moved away from the city centre to the suburbs to start a family. But in moving house, he began to lose a sense of what it meant to feel at home. Returning to his childhood obsession with the birds, he built a coop in his garden and joined a local pigeon racing club. Over the next few years, as he made a home with his young family in Leyton, he learned to train and race his pigeons, hoping that they might teach him to feel homed. Having lived closely with humans for tens of thousands of years, pigeons have become powerful symbols of peace and domesticity. But they are also much-maligned, and nowadays most people think of these birds, if they do so at all, as vermin. A book about the overlooked beauty of this species, and about what it means to dwell, Homing delves into the curious world of pigeon fancying, explores the scientific mysteries of animal homing, and traces the cultural, political and philosophical meanings of home. It is a book about the making of home and making for home: a book about why we return.
This new board book edition of the successful picture book tells the story ofHermit Crab, who lovingly decorates his shell with underwater friends only tohave to move out when he grows too big for it. Full color.
From reviews of the previous edition
"The island nation of Trinidad and Tobago has long served as a window on South American birdlife. Birders have been visiting the two islands in large numbers since the 1960s, when Asa Wright converted an unproductive plantation into one of the first neotropical 'ecotourist traps.' Anyone traveling to Trinidad and Tobago shouldn't leave home without this work." Journal of Field Ornithology
"This book will be wanted by any birder visiting Trinidad and Tobago, as well as by many ornithologists as a general reference." Wilson Bulletin
Members of nearly all the families of South American birds can be found on the two beautiful West Indian islands of Trinidad and Tobago, where the pleasant climate, varied habitat, and avian diversity create a "birder's paradise." This easy-to-use book is the third edition of a comprehensive yet compact field guide to all 477 species of the islands' birds, including 35 new species accounts added to the country's bird list since the last edition. Richard ffrench s work has been a "bible" to birders since the appearance of the first edition in 1973. This new edition incorporates five decades of his notes and records of the island s birds to present in a handy and readable form detailed and comprehensive information about the birds of Trinidad and Tobago.
Showcasing 40 all-new color plates by the very best bird artists working under the direction of John P. O Neill, the third edition now includes illustrations of not only the islands endemic and resident species, but also the many migratory species that visit the islands from both the north and the south. The taxonomic arrangement and treatment of families and species has also been brought in line with the most recent determinations of the A.O.U. Committee on Nomenclature for a thoroughly up-to-date presentation. In his introduction, Richard ffrench offers a full treatment of the history of ornithology in Trinidad and Tobago and sets the scene by describing the islands physiography, climate, and vegetation. Individual species accounts, arranged by family, make up the core of this identification guide. The accounts cover habitat and status, range and subspecies, field description and basic measurements, voice, food, nesting, and behavior. Richard ffrench s summary of the distribution of species and their breeding and migration, as well as local conservation and protection measures, makes this volume much more than a typical field-guide treatment, and invites visitors to this premier ecotourism destination."
The Birds of Ecuador comprehensively treats the nearly 1600 species of birds that can be found in mainland Ecuador. The authors describe Ecuador this way: "One of the wonders of the natural world. Nowhere else is such incredible avian diversity crammed into such a small country.... Birds are, happily, numerous in many parts of Ecuador: even the downtown parks of the big cities such as Quito and Guayaquil host their complement." Volume I, Status, Distribution, and Taxonomy, contains detailed information on the ecology, status, and distribution of all species. Introductory chapters deal with geography, climate, and vegetation; bird migration in Ecuador; Ecuadorian ornithology; endemic bird areas in Ecuador; and conservation. Individual species accounts treat habitat, distribution, and taxonomy. Volume II, Field Guide, contains 96 full-color plates and facing pages of descriptive text, a color map of Ecuador, 2 line drawings of bird anatomy, 115 silhouette outlines, and nearly 1600 distribution maps. All species are illustrated in full color, including migrants and vagrants and visually distinctive subspecies. The text focuses on the field identification aspects of each species, including their behavior, vocalizations, and nest appearance. The two volumes are available separately or may be purchased as a slipcased set.
This book introduces readers to the scientific and everyday Latin (and occasionally Greek) words used to describe bird species. In addition to over 3,000 definitions, the book profiles 12 great ornithologists, looks in depth at 20 bird genera, and contains over 200 beautiful ornithological illustrations. It reveals the meaning, origin and pronunciation of Latin binomials, helping readers to unlock the useful information that these names contain, and also to communicate more effectively with other birders. Latin for Birdwatchers will enhance bird watching and make bird identification easier and more interesting – not to mention allowing you to impress your fellow birders!
The up-to-date text covers the identification, voice, habitat, behaviour and range of all the 1270 species and distinctive subspecies of this magnificent bird-rich region. The authoritative text is accompanied by over 140 full-colour plates painted by a range of expert artists and covering major plumage variations. Birds of South-East Asia is a complete field and reference guide to the birds of Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. It also covers a wide range of species found in the Indian subcontinent, China, Taiwan, Sumatra, Java, Bali, Borneo and the Philippines.
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