A Natural History
Far from being ‘bird brains’, chickens demonstrate a range of unique abilities that have made them an integral part of humans’ lives for thousands of years. This science-based exploration compiles the characteristics of forty popular breeds and explains how their anatomy and physiology inform their behaviour. It also presents insights into their intelligence and thought processes and includes practical ‘theory into practice’ panels designed to help keepers better understand their poultry. Off-mint.
Doves and Dovecotes
Dovecotes are one of the least recorded types of vernacular building, but architects including James Wyatt and Edwin Lutyens have designed them and their history reaches into antiquity. This survey of English and Welsh examples ranges from Norman times to the 20th century and from utilitarian structures to Palladian flights of fancy. The authors also describe how doves and pigeons have been domesticated, reared and used by humans. Off-mint.
Songs of Love and War
The Dark Heart of Bird Behaviour
From a commentary on the dawn chorus in a Dorset village, with quotations from the poets as well as explanations of the behaviour compelling the birds to sing, to his final, powerful argument for conserving birds’ habitats, Dominic Couzens’s book illuminates the realities of life for songbirds. Here are the grim truths of sparrows killed by sparrowhawks, the aggression inspired by feeding tables and crows made homeless by tree-felling as well the marvels of the skylark’s song and starlings’ murmurations.
From the familiar Great Auk to obscure island finches, this exhaustive listing describes all bird species known to have disappeared in the last 700 years and now represented by museum specimens and credible accounts and illustration. Each entry includes details of status, range and location of specimens, followed by a description and history, with quotations from written accounts. There is also a listing of ‘hypothetical birds’, known by very few specimens and unverified accounts, and appendices dealing with doubtful and deficient taxa.
Cuckoos of the World
The ‘Cuculidae’ family is comprised of 144 species, whose members may be found almost anywhere in the world. This definitive reference work on the identification of cuckoos includes summaries of those species, accompanied by accurate paintings, detailing plumage variations and sub-species, from four world-renowned artists. The summaries cross-reference more detailed accounts of each type, featuring information on taxonomy, conservation, breeding habits and behaviour, and complemented by maps and quality colour photographs.
The Birds of London
London’s many parks and nature reserves make it one of the greenest cities in the world, and it is rich in bird life. Peregrines, kestrels and buzzards patrol its skies, while its reservoirs and wetlands provide a haven for waterfowl. This comprehensive work of reference charts the city’s varied habitats, and lists every species that has occurred within the London Natural History Society’s recording area 20 miles around St Paul’s Cathedral.
One of the largest birds to hunt by plunge-diving, the gannet feeds on mackerel and herring and nests in large colonies, often on steep-cliffed islands, along the North Atlantic coasts of Europe. This study, first published in 1978, explores the natural history of the gannet, its appearance, behaviour and distribution, and is illustrated with line drawings, photographs and charts. Additional chapters examine the closely related booby and consider historical and literary accounts of the gannet. Off-mint and no jacket.
Birds of the High Andes
The Andean region hosts a particularly rich diversity of animal and plant life and this comprehensive field guide identifies over 2,000 birds of 1,100 species (accounting for different taxonomic groups and plumages) found in the temperate and alpine zones of South America, from Venezuela and Colombia in the north to the southernmost tip of Chile. Descriptions are supplemented by line drawings and distribution maps and 64 plates provide colour illustrations of over 1,000 birds.
Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Ireland
Written by birdwatching expert Mark Golley and with more than 1,000 full-colour illustrations by leading bird artist David Daly, this compact guide is arranged in taxonomic species order. It includes identification tips, details of habitat and describes calls for over 280 species of birds, both those seen regularly in Britain and Ireland and some of the less common migrants.
Cormorants, Darters and Pelicans of the World
Birds in the order Pelecaniformes share biological traits such as feeding predominantly on fish and incubating only a limited clutch of eggs (one or two) by the transmission of heat from the foot webs. This meticulous study, first published in 1993, provides a worldwide survey of the 32 species of cormorants and shags, two species of darters and seven species of pelicans, examining their biology, behaviour, plumage, distribution and ecology, and including colour photographs and anatomical drawings.
Riddle of the Feathered Dragons
Hidden Birds of China
Recent fossil discoveries in China have been widely hailed as clear evidence that birds had their origins in ‘feathered’ dinosaurs. But Feduccia urges us to be cautious of such hyperbolic claims, which led to ‘the ascendency of a consensus view that has quickly evolved into a dogma’. In this reassessment of the data he critically analyses existing interpretations and methodologies, as well as offering his own theories about the evolution of birds and avian flight.
The Peregrine Falcon
The first references to breeding Peregrine falcons in Britain date back to the 13th century, but they had long been identified as among the most spectacular of Britain's birds and, in the Middle Ages, were highly valued for falconry. This classic study, first published in 1980, considers the bird's nesting, feeding, breeding and migratory behaviour as well as examining its territory and distribution in England, Wales and Scotland, and threats posed by pollution and the use of pesticides.
A Complete Guide to the Archipelago's Birdlife
Illustrator Hermann Heinzel and photographer Barnaby Hall made their birdwatching expedition to the Galápagos Islands in the mid 1990s and this book, first published in 2000, is the record of their tour. Part one describes the range of habitats and wildlife on the islands; part two is a detailed field guide to the birds that they encountered, illustrated with hundreds of sketches, paintings and photographs; finally there is a checklist of all Galápagos bird species observed.
The Mandarin Duck
The Mandarin Duck is a small and (in the case of the males) spectacularly colourful species of waterfowl. Native to East Asia, Mandarins have been widely kept in aviaries in Europe and North America and birds have frequently escaped to form wild colonies. Lever gives a detailed account of this beautiful bird, with particular emphasis on the invasive populations in Britain and overseas. This book is from the Poyser Monographs series. Regarded as essential reading by many ornithologists, the Monographs provide an enormous amount of detail on individual species, covering evolution, biology and ecology, breeding and feeding, distribution, and conservation.
The Skylark's beautiful song, delivered from its famous towering songflight, can be heard from Ireland to Japan and from the Arctic Circle to the North African deserts. This volume opens with an overview of all the world's larks and, as well as a thorough account of the species biology, migratory patterns, behaviour and habitats, Paul Donald discusses the Skylark's role in history and folklore. This book is from the Poyser Monographs series. Regarded as essential reading by many ornithologists, the Monographs provide an enormous amount of detail on individual species, covering evolution, biology and ecology, breeding and feeding, distribution, and conservation.
A Natural History
An ornithologist who has devoted decades to studying seabirds, Anthony Gaston explains in detail what is special about being a seabird and why – like humans – they live a long time and reproduce very slowly. Enriched with personal anecdotes from the field and photographs, the book provides information on all seabird types and covers adaptation and plumage, distribution and communities, feeding, behaviour, migration, breeding, the consequences of coloniality and population dynamics.
Birds New to Britain
Between 1980 and 2004, more than 70 bird species – vagrants from Central Asia, Siberia and North America – have been added to the British list. This book is a compilation of all those records, with accounts of finding a 'First for Britain' interspersed with 25 annual summaries of the birding years 1980–2004 and 25 essays by prominent birders about their special years during this period. The book is illustrated with colour photographs and black and white artworks. Foreword by Eric Meek.