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Birds are among the most successful vertebrates on Earth. An important part of our natural environment and deeply embedded in our culture, birds are studied by more professional ornithologists and enjoyed by more amateur enthusiasts than ever before. However, both amateurs and professionals typically focus on birds' behaviour and appearance and only superficially understand the characteristics that make birds so unique. The Inner Bird introduces readers to the avian skeleton, then moves beyond anatomy to discuss the relationships between birds and dinosaurs and other early ancestors. Gary Kaiser examines the challenges scientists face in understanding avian evolution - even recent advances in biomolecular genetics have failed to provide a clear evolutionary story. Using examples from recently discovered fossils of birds and near-birds, Kaiser describes an avian history based on the gradual abandonment of dinosaur-like characteristics, and the related acquisition of avian characteristics such as sophisticated flight techniques and the production of large eggs. Such developments have enabled modern birds to invade the oceans and to exploit habitats that excluded dinosaurs for millions of years. While ornithology is a complex discipline that draws on many fields, it is nevertheless burdened with obsolete assumptions and archaic terminology. The Inner Bird offers modern interpretations for some of those ideas and links them to more current research. It should help anyone interested in birds to bridge the gap between long-dead fossils and the challenges faced by living species.
Living Dinosaurs offers a snapshot of our current understanding of the origin and evolution of birds. After slumbering for more than a century, avian palaeontology has been awakened by startling new discoveries on almost every continent. Controversies about whether dinosaurs had real feathers or whether birds were related to dinosaurs have been swept away and replaced by new and more difficult questions: How old is the avian lineage? How did birds learn to fly? Which birds survived the great extinction that ended the Mesozoic Era and how did the avian genome evolve? Answers to these questions may help us understand how the different kinds of living birds are related to one another and how they evolved into their current niches. More importantly, they may help us understand what we need to do to help them survive the dramatic impacts of human activity on the planet.
This much-awaited final volume of The Birds of British Columbia completes what some have called one of the most important regional ornithological works in North America. It is the culmination of more than 25 years of effort by the authors who, with the assistance of thousands of dedicated volunteers throughout the province, have created the basic reference work on the avifauna of British Columbia. Volume 4 covers the last half of the passerines and describes 102 species, including the warblers, sparrows, grosbeaks, blackbirds, and finches. The text builds upon the authoritative format of the previous volumes and is supported by hundreds of full-colour illustrations, including detailed distribution maps, unique habitat shots, and beautiful photographs of the birds, their nests, eggs, and young. In addition, a species update lists and describes 27 species of birds new to the province since the first three volumes were published. The book concludes with Synopsis: The Birds of British Columbia into the 21st Century, which synthesizes data and information from all four volumes and looks at the conservation challenges facing birds in the new millennium. The four volumes in The Birds of British Columbia provide unprecedented coverage of the region's birds, presenting a wealth of information on the ornithological history, regional environment, habitat, breeding habits, migratory movements, seasonality and distribution patterns of 472 species of birds. It is the complete reference work for birdwatchers, ornithologists and naturalists.
This second volume of a remarkable four-volume set on the birds of British Columbia covers 183 species of nonpasserines, from diurnal birds of prey through woodpeckers. Detailed species accounts provide unprecedented coverage of these birds, presenting a wealth of information on the ornithological history, habitat, breeding habits, migratory movements, seasonality, and distribution patterns.
British Columbia has one of the richest assemblages of bird species in the world. The four volumes of The Birds of British Columbia provide unprecedented coverage of this region's birds, presenting a wealth of information on the ornithological history, habitat, breeding habits, migratory movements, seasonality, and distribution patterns of each of the 472 species of birds. This third volume, covering the first half of the passerines, builds on the authoritative format of the previous bestselling volumes. It contains 89 species, including common ones such as swallows, jays, crows, wrens, thrushes, and starlings. The text is supported by hundreds of full-colour pictures, including unique habitat photographs, detailed distribution maps, and beautiful illustrations of the birds, their nests, eggs, and young. The Birds of British Columbia is a complete reference work for bird-watchers, ornithologists, and naturalists who want in-depth information on the province's regularly occurring and rare birds.
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