Parrots of the World

Princeton University Press
11
Free sample

From the macaws of South America to the cockatoos of Australia, parrots are among the most beautiful and exotic birds in the world--and also among the most endangered. This stunningly illustrated, easy-to-use field guide covers all 356 species and well-differentiated subspecies of parrots, and is the only guide organized by geographical distribution--Australasian, Afro-Asian, and neotropical. It features 146 superb color plates depicting every kind of parrot, as well as detailed, facing-page species accounts that describe key identification features, distribution, subspeciation, habitat, and status. Color distribution maps show ranges of all subspecies, and field identification is further aided by relevant upperside and underside flight images. This premier field guide also shows where to observe each species in the wild, helping make this the most comprehensive and user-friendly guide to the parrots of the world.


  • The only parrot guide to focus on geographical distribution

  • Covers all 356 species

  • Features 146 color plates depicting all species and well-differentiated subspecies

  • Provides detailed facing-page species accounts that describe key identification features, distribution, subspeciation, habitat, and status

  • Includes color distribution maps

  • Shows where to observe each species in the wild

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About the author

Joseph M. Forshaw is one of Australia's foremost ornithologists and a world-renowned expert on parrots. His books include Parrots of the World: An Identification Guide (Princeton). Frank Knight has been an illustrator for three decades, producing artwork for scientific papers, books, and lectures. His books include The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia.
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4.7
11 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Sep 27, 2010
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9781400836208
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Birdwatching Guides
Nature / Reference
Science / Life Sciences / Zoology / Ornithology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The kea, a crow-sized parrot that lives in the rugged mountains of New Zealand, is considered by some a playful comic and by others a vicious killer. Its true character is a mystery that biologists have debated for more than a century. Judy Diamond and Alan Bond have written a comprehensive account of the kea's contradictory nature, and their conclusions cast new light on the origins of behavioral flexibility and the problem of species survival in human environments everywhere.

New Zealand's geological remoteness has made the country home to a bizarre assemblage of plants and animals that are wholly unlike anything found elsewhere. Keas are native only to the South Island, breeding high in the rigorous, unforgiving environment of the Southern Alps. Bold, curious, and ingeniously destructive, keas have a complex social system that includes extensive play behavior. Like coyotes, crows, and humans, keas are "open-program" animals with an unusual ability to learn and to create new solutions to whatever problems they encounter.

Diamond and Bond present the kea's story from historical and contemporary perspectives and include observations from their years of field work. A comparison of the kea's behavior and ecology with that of its closest relative, the kaka of New Zealand's lowland rain forests, yields insights into the origins of the kea's extraordinary adaptability. The authors conclude that the kea's high level of sociality is a key factor in the flexible lifestyle that probably evolved in response to the alpine habitat's unreliable food resources and has allowed the bird to survive the extermination of much of its original ecosystem. But adaptability has its limits, as the authors make clear when describing present-day interactions between keas and humans and the attempts to achieve a peaceful coexistence.
People form enduring emotional bonds with other animal species, such as dogs, cats, and horses. For the most part, these are domesticated animals, with one notable exception: many people form close and supportive relationships with parrots, even though these amusing and curious birds remain thoroughly wild creatures. What enables this unique group of animals to form social bonds with people, and what does this mean for their survival?

In Thinking like a Parrot, Alan B. Bond and Judy Diamond look beyond much of the standard work on captive parrots to the mischievous, inquisitive, and astonishingly vocal parrots of the wild. Focusing on the psychology and ecology of wild parrots, Bond and Diamond document their distinctive social behavior, sophisticated cognition, and extraordinary vocal abilities. Also included are short vignettes—field notes on the natural history and behavior of both rare and widely distributed species, from the neotropical crimson-fronted parakeet to New Zealand’s flightless, ground-dwelling kākāpō. This composite approach makes clear that the behavior of captive parrots is grounded in the birds’ wild ecology and evolution, revealing that parrots’ ability to bond with people is an evolutionary accident, a by-product of the intense sociality and flexible behavior that characterize their lives.

Despite their adaptability and intelligence, however, nearly all large parrot species are rare, threatened, or endangered. To successfully manage and restore these wild populations, Bond and Diamond argue, we must develop a fuller understanding of their biology and the complex set of ecological and behavioral traits that has led to their vulnerability. Spanning the global distribution of parrot species, Thinking like a Parrot is rich with surprising insights into parrot intelligence, flexibility, and—even in the face of threats—resilience.
"Parrots of the Wild is an exhaustive compendium of information about parrots, from their evolutionary history to their behavior to present-day conservation issues. A must-have for anyone interested in these amazing creatures." —Irene M. Pepperberg, Professor at Harvard University and author of Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence—and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process

"If you like parrots then you'll love this book. From their evolutionary past to their modern-day love lives, Parrots of the Wild presents a suitably captivating read. I thought I knew a lot about parrots--until I delved into these pages." —Tony Juniper, author of What Has Nature Ever Done for Us? and Spix’s Macaw: The Race to Save the World’s Rarest Bird

Parrots of the Wild explores recent scientific discoveries and what they reveal about the lives of wild parrots, which are among the most intelligent and rarest of birds. Catherine A. Toft and Tim Wright discuss the evolutionary history of parrots and how this history affects perceptual and cognitive abilities, diet and foraging patterns, and mating and social behavior. The authors also discuss conservation status and the various ways different populations are adapting to a world that is rapidly changing. The book focuses on general patterns across the 350-odd species of parrots, as well as what can be learned from interesting exceptions to these generalities.

A synthetic account of the diversity and ecology of wild parrots, this book distills knowledge from the authors’ own research and from their review of more than 2,400 published scientific studies. The book is enhanced by an array of illustrations, including nearly ninety color photos of wild parrots represented in their natural habitats. Parrots of the Wild melds scientific exploration with features directed at the parrot enthusiast to inform and delight a broad audience.
Possibly the most successful urban birds, pigeons and doves in the Order Columbiformes are one of the most easily recognised groups. They are an ancient and very successful group with an almost worldwide distribution and are most strongly represented in tropical and subtropical regions, including Australia. In most species simple plumage patterns feature mainly grey and brown with black, white or dull reddish markings, but the highly colourful fruit-doves include some of the most beautiful of all birds. From dense rainforests of north Queensland, where brilliantly plumaged Superb Fruit-Doves Ptilinopus superbus are heard more easily than seen, to cold, windswept heathlands of Tasmania, where Brush Bronzewings Phaps elegans are locally common, most regions of Australia are frequented by one or more species. For more than a century after arrival of the First Fleet, interest in these birds focused on the eating qualities of larger species. In addition to contributing to declines of local populations in some parts of Australia, excessive hunting brought about the extinction of two species on Lord Howe Island and another species on Norfolk Island. In Pigeons and Doves in Australia, Joseph Forshaw and William Cooper have summarised our current knowledge of all species, including those occurring on Christmas, Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands, and with superb artwork have given readers a visual appreciation of the birds in their natural habitats. Historical accounts of extinct species are also included. Detailed information on management practices for all species is presented, ensuring that Pigeons and Doves in Australia will become the standard reference work on these birds for ornithologists and aviculturists.
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