In 1990, a group of Cambridge scientists arrived at the Plains of Nechisar in Ethiopia. On that expedition, they collected more than two dozen specimens, saw more than three hundred species of birds, and a plethora of rare butterflies, dragonflies, reptiles, mammals, and plants. As they were gathering up their findings, a wing of an unidentified bird was packed into a brown paper bag. It was to become the most famous wing in the world.
This wing would set the world of science aflutter. Experts were mystified. The wing was entirely unique. It was like nothing they had ever seem before. Could a new species be named based on just one wing? After much discussion, a new species was announced: Nechisar Nightjar, or Camprimulgus Solala, which means "only wing." And so birdwatchers like Vernon began to dream.
Twenty-two years later, he joins an expedition of four to find this rarest bird in the world. In this gem of nature writing, Vernon captivates and enchants as he recounts the searches by spotlight through the Ethiopian plains, and allows the reader to mediate on nature, exploration, our need for wild places, and the human compulsion to name things. Rarest Bird is a celebration of a certain way of seeing the world, and will bring out the explorer in in everyone who reads it.
Vernon R.L. Head was born in Cape Town, South Africa. He is an award winning architecture and the Chairman of BirdLife South Africa, one of Africa's biggest and most influential conservation organizations. When not working on environmental matters, he is either designing special buildings or traveling the world looking for the rare birds. This is his first book.
A unique spotter's guide for the first-time birdwatcher.
It is not always easy for the amateur birdwatcher to correctly identify a bird from the glimpse that is seen as it flies past, but you do notice and remember the bird’s colour. And that is where this book comes in.
Featuring an innovative, non-linear structure, the newly-designed layout of this ebook makes it easy and efficient to identify birds when in the field. Identifying Birds by Colour will help you to identify over 300 species of bird, simply by the colours that appear in its plumage. Species are grouped into plates according to their common colours. Each species entry also has:
• Notes and cross-references to detailed field information that will further help you to make an accurate identification
• A handy guide to show you the likelihood of spotting each species
• Size comparison to familiar species
• Information on when you are most likely to see each species and the habitat in which it occurs
Written and beautifully illustrated by world-renowned bird artist, Norman Arlott, this is a unique spotter's guide for the first-time birdwatcher.
The World's Rarest Birds has introductory chapters that explain the threats to birds, the ways threat categories are applied, and the distinction between threat and rarity. The book is divided into seven regional sections--Europe and the Middle East; Africa and Madagascar; Asia; Australasia; Oceanic Islands; North America, Central America, and the Caribbean; and South America. Each section includes an illustrated directory to the bird species under threat there, and gives a concise description of distribution, status, population, key threats, and conservation needs. This one-of-a-kind book also provides coverage of 62 data-deficient species.
This accessible guide includes fun facts, such as where certain birds got their names, how birds eat, how they find a life partner, and how they build a home for the chicks. Other useful information includes identification tips, migration patterns, and where the best birding vacation spots are. Packed with full-color photos, 1,001 Secrets Every Bird Watcher Should Know is a fun, informative read for every bird watcher.