Behavioral Ecology of Tropical Birds

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9780126755565: Behavioral Ecology of Tropical Birds

This book examines behavioral adaptations of tropical birds in timing of breeding, life history traits, mating systems and parental care, territoriality, communication, and biotic interactions, and emphasizes the many gaps in our knowledge of tropical birds. We urge students and researchers in temperate and tropical regions alike to realize the potential they have for improving our knowledge of avian adaptations far beyond what is currently accepted as gospel. Time is running out.

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The main theme of this book is to illustrate, how, and why tropical birds are so different from temperate zone birds. The book's purpose is to dispel the temperate zone biologist's ignorance of tropical biology and to stimulate more research on tropical birds.
There is a temperate zone bias that derives from the great number of researchers based in temperate regions of North America and Europe. Because of this sampling bias, most theory in avian behavioral ecology comes from models and empirical studies of temperate regions, but these theories do not apply equally well to tropical birds. Tropical birds greatly outnumber temperate zone species, yet are so poorly studied that even fairly basic behavioral ecology experiments have rarely been done.
Temperate zone birds are atypical because they are constrained by climate to breed in a short time span, and many behavioral adaptations like extra-pair behavior, high testosterone, divergent sex roles in territory defense and parental care all stem from their short breeding seasons and seasonal breeding territoriality. Tropical birds are not so constrained by climate, and most tropical passerines defend territories year round, not just for the breeding season. For instance, extra-pair fertilizations are now considered the norm for temperate passerines and strict monogamy is exceptional. But tropical passerines do not experience intense sperm competition and extra-pair fertilizations are uncommon. Similarly, work on testosterone in temperate zone birds has shown that high levels of testosterone are important for successful territory defense, gaining extra-pair fertilizations and high song output in males. Males of tropical species have very low testosterone despite strong territorial behavior and singing.
This book examines behavioral adaptations of tropical birds in timing of breeding, life history traits, mating systems and parental care, territoriality, communication and biotic interactions, and emphasizes the many gaps in our knowledge of tropical birds. We urge that students and researchers in temperate and tropical regions alike realize the potential they have for improving our knowledge of avian adaptations far beyond what is currently accepted as gospel. Time is running out.

About the Author:

Bridget Stutchbury is an Associate Professor of Biology at York University in Toronto, Canada. She has conducted research on migrant songbird ecology in Mexico, and mating systems of resident passerines in Panama. In addition, she has published numerous papers on the behavioral ecology of temperate bird zones.

Eugene Morton is a Senior Scientist at the Conservation and Research Center of the National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institution. He has written several books on avian communication. He has studied tropical birds since 1964, chiefly in Panama, but also in Mexico, Cuba, and Venezuela. His tropical research has focussed on frugivory, vocal communication and the winter ecology of migrants. Both have worked extensively on both migratory birds and resident tropical birds, giving them a unique perspective on the evolution of the bird behavior.

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Stutchbury, Bridget J.M.; Morton, Eugene S.
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Book Description Elsevier Science Publishing Co Inc, United States, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 234 x 158 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book examines behavioral adaptations of tropical birds in timing of breeding, life history traits, mating systems and parental care, territoriality, communication, and biotic interactions, and emphasizes the many gaps in our knowledge of tropical birds. We urge students and researchers in temperate and tropical regions alike to realize the potential they have for improving our knowledge of avian adaptations far beyond what is currently accepted as gospel. Time is running out. Bookseller Inventory # AA59780126755565

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Stutchbury, Bridget J.M.; Morton, Eugene S.
Published by Elsevier Science Publishing Co Inc, United States (2001)
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Book Description Elsevier Science Publishing Co Inc, United States, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 234 x 158 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book examines behavioral adaptations of tropical birds in timing of breeding, life history traits, mating systems and parental care, territoriality, communication, and biotic interactions, and emphasizes the many gaps in our knowledge of tropical birds. We urge students and researchers in temperate and tropical regions alike to realize the potential they have for improving our knowledge of avian adaptations far beyond what is currently accepted as gospel. Time is running out. Bookseller Inventory # AA59780126755565

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