A 300-page encyclopedic guide to the birds of the world -- from flamingos to owls to penguins.
With hundreds of color photographs and precise illustrations, along with explanatory annotations, Birds examines all aspects of avian life evolutionary beginnings, biology, behavior. This comprehensive reference provides up-to-date information on the conservation status of various species at risk. It also describes how birds have adapted, and how they continue to cope with such inhospitable habitats as tropical rainforests, arid deserts and the frigid Antarctic continent. Readers will find detailed information about the remarkable phenomenon of avian migration across continents and oceans, which covers the mechanics of flight and the structure of feathers. The historical role of birds in literature and the arts is also included.
"FactFiles," found throughout this book, provide quick access to essential facts on each bird species. Birders will welcome this profusely and beautifully illustrated book -- with its expert information -- as an ideal reference and resource guide.
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Joanna Burger is a professor of biology at Rutgers University who teaches courses on animal behavior, ecology and ecological risk. The author of several books, she is an international birder involved in environmental research.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
The air belongs to birds, although they are also masters of the land and sea. No other group of animals ventures so high in the air, nests on all the landmasses, and dives to such great depths below the water.
Birds have fascinated us as far back in our history as we can explore. Early humans painted them on cave walls and etched them on rocks; the Egyptians created inlaid images of ibises, geese and eagles on the walls of their pharaohs' tombs; native people nearly everywhere in the world emulated their courtship dances and used their feathers in ceremonial dress.
Birds have changed over time, and some have gone extinct, challenging our ability to classify them and understand their evolutionary relationships. Today, many birds are under threat or endangered. Conservation is a global issue that requires international cooperation. Practical measures, however, are controlled predominantly at local and regional levels and they depend on public support and commitment for their success.
Anyone can study the wonder of birds, from backyard birdwatchers to university scientists. The more we learn, the more fascinating birds become. So join us on a journey through the world of birds, from their beginnings as small competitors surrounded by giant dinosaurs, to the divergence to nearly 10,000 different species living in a wide range of habitats, exhibiting diverse plumages and lifestyles. Delight in these master of the sky and explore their amazing adaptations, fascinating courtship and mating behavior, and incredible beauty.
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