Atlas of Bird Migration: Tracing the Great Journeys of the World's Birds

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9781554079711: Atlas of Bird Migration: Tracing the Great Journeys of the World's Birds
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"The photos and illustrations in this large volume are so beautiful that one is tempted to skim the text. . . . That, however, would be a mistake: while brief, the text provides all the information readers need to understand the how, why and where of bird migration."
-- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Every year, billions of birds leave their North American breeding grounds for winter quarters thousands of miles south. That so many birds migrate so far through life-threatening conditions and to the same place each year is simply stunning.

This lavishly illustrated book provides comprehensive information on migration and its great mystery: How do the birds know where to go? The latest scientific discoveries are explained, and a comprehensive directory presents accurate profiles and chronicles the migratory routes of more than 500 typical migrant species. Colorful maps, photographs, calendars and fact files feature easy-to-read symbols and abbreviations.

Atlas of Bird Migration includes:

  • North American birds of prey
  • Hummingbirds, grosbeaks and starlings
  • Eurasian shorebirds, storks and cranes
  • Winter visitors from the Far North, such as swans, geese and finches
  • African, South American and Australasian migrants
  • Migratory sea birds, such as penguins, albatrosses and terns.

The use of satellite tracking methods, current environmental threats and conservation initiatives are explained, and a comprehensive catalog of migrating species from all continents closes the book.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Jonathan Elphick is a natural history author and consultant with a 40-year career in ornithology. His many books include the award-winning Birdwatcher's Handbook and Birds: The Art of Ornithology.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Using this book

Bird migration is a complex subject, and knowledge of patterns of movement for some species and in many areas of the world is, at best, sketchy. The information given in this book is accurate, as far as is currently known, but the subject remains one about which there is much yet to be discovered.

Within each chapter, species are arranged according to the systematic order, which is approximately the order in why they evolved. This scientifically accepted system has the advantage over other methods of organization that birds that are related are grouped together. Species have been chosen for inclusion on one of two major criteria: their migrations are typical of one or more patterns of movement and/or there are interesting stories associated with their migrations.

Common names for birds tend to vary and are often a matter of choice or editor's preference; those used in the book reflect general usage as far as possible.

[Information is also provided on using: "The maps," "The Calendars," "The Fact Files," and "Symbols and Abbreviations."]

--

Introduction: Birds on the move

Migration is probably the most awe-inspiring natural phenomenon. What it lacks compared with the enormous power of the weather, an earthquake, or a volcano, it makes up for in romance -- a small bird pits its wits against the elements and accomplishes, as routine, a journey that is truly superhuman. Outlandish theories have been proposed to explain the seasonal ebb and flow of bird populations, including that the birds went to the moon, were transformed into other species, or spent the winter in the mud of lakes or ponds. The knowledge of what really happens is, in many ways, no less fantastic.

Over the centuries, people have struggled to understand birds' migrations and how they manage them year after year. How can they fly such tremendous distances without becoming lost or so exhausted that they die? How have today's complex migration patterns evolved from what were once, presumably, simple movements? And what particular problems are migratory birds facing now and are they coping? Although many parts of the mystery have been unraveled, there is still much that remains to be discovered about this fascinating phenomenon.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781554072484: Atlas of Bird Migration: Tracing the Great Journeys of the World's Birds

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ISBN 10:  1554072484 ISBN 13:  9781554072484
Publisher: Firefly Books, 2007
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9780517283493: Atlas of Bird Migration

Random..., 1998
Hardcover

9781877082917: The Atlas of bird migration

Random..., 1995
Hardcover

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