Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology since Darwin

Princeton University Press
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Ten Thousand Birds provides a thoroughly engaging and authoritative history of modern ornithology, tracing how the study of birds has been shaped by a succession of visionary and often-controversial personalities, and by the unique social and scientific contexts in which these extraordinary individuals worked. This beautifully illustrated book opens in the middle of the nineteenth century when ornithology was a museum-based discipline focused almost exclusively on the anatomy, taxonomy, and classification of dead birds. It describes how in the early 1900s pioneering individuals such as Erwin Stresemann, Ernst Mayr, and Julian Huxley recognized the importance of studying live birds in the field, and how this shift thrust ornithology into the mainstream of the biological sciences. The book tells the stories of eccentrics like Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen, a pathological liar who stole specimens from museums and quite likely murdered his wife, and describes the breathtaking insights and discoveries of ambitious and influential figures such as David Lack, Niko Tinbergen, Robert MacArthur, and others who through their studies of birds transformed entire fields of biology.

Ten Thousand Birds brings this history vividly to life through the work and achievements of those who advanced the field. Drawing on a wealth of archival material and in-depth interviews, this fascinating book reveals how research on birds has contributed more to our understanding of animal biology than the study of just about any other group of organisms.

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About the author

Tim Birkhead is professor of zoology at the University of Sheffield, where he teaches and conducts research on the behavioral ecology of birds with particular focus on reproduction. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and his books include The Wisdom of Birds and Bird Sense. Jo Wimpenny was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Sheffield during the writing of this book. Bob Montgomerie is professor of biology at Queen's University in Ontario, where he studies the evolution of plumage colors and sexual behavior in birds.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Mar 1, 2014
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Pages
544
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ISBN
9781400848836
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Animals / Birds
Nature / Birdwatching Guides
Science / General
Science / History
Science / Life Sciences / Zoology / Ornithology
Science / Natural History
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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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Tim Birkhead
What is it like to be a swift, flying at over one hundred kilometres an hour? Or a kiwi, plodding flightlessly among the humid undergrowth in the pitch dark of a New Zealand night? And what is going on inside the head of a nightingale as it sings, and how does its brain improvise?

Bird Sense addresses questions like these and many more, by describing the senses of birds that enable them to interpret their environment and to interact with each other. Our affinity for birds is often said to be the result of shared senses--vision and hearing--but how exactly do their senses compare with our own? And what about a bird's sense of taste, or smell, or touch, or the ability to detect the earth's magnetic field? Or the extraordinary ability of desert birds to detect rain hundreds of kilometres away--how do they do it?

Bird Sense is based on a conviction that we have consistently underestimated what goes on in a bird's head. Our understanding of bird behaviour is simultaneously informed and constrained by the way we watch and study them. By drawing attention to the way these frameworks both facilitate and inhibit discovery, Birkhead identifies ways we can escape from them to explore new horizons in bird behaviour.
There has never been a popular book about the senses of birds. No one has previously looked at how birds interpret the world or the way the behaviour of birds is shaped by all their senses. A lifetime spent studying birds has provided Tim Birkhead with a wealth of observation and a unique understanding of birds and their behaviour that is firmly grounded in science.
Richard Crossley
This stunningly illustrated book from acclaimed birder and photographer Richard Crossley revolutionizes field guide design by providing the first real-life approach to identification. Whether you are a beginner, expert, or anywhere in between, The Crossley ID Guide will vastly improve your ability to identify birds.

Unlike other guides, which provide isolated individual photographs or illustrations, this is the first book to feature large, lifelike scenes for each species. These scenes--640 in all--are composed from more than 10,000 of the author's images showing birds in a wide range of views--near and far, from different angles, in various plumages and behaviors, including flight, and in the habitat in which they live. These beautiful compositions show how a bird's appearance changes with distance, and give equal emphasis to characteristics experts use to identify birds: size, structure and shape, behavior, probability, and color. This is the first book to convey all of these features visually--in a single image--and to reinforce them with accurate, concise text. Each scene provides a wealth of detailed visual information that invites and rewards careful study, but the most important identification features can be grasped instantly by anyone.

By making identification easier, more accurate, and more fun than ever before, The Crossley ID Guide will completely redefine how its users look at birds. Essential for all birders, it also promises to make new birders of many people who have despaired of using traditional guides.

Revolutionary. This book changes field guide design to make you a better birder A picture says a thousand words. The most comprehensive guide: 640 stunning scenes created from 10,000 of the author's photographs Reality birding. Lifelike in-focus scenes show birds in their habitats, from near and far, and in all plumages and behaviors Teaching and reference. The first book to accurately portray all the key identification characteristics: size, shape, behavior, probability, and color Practice makes perfect. An interactive learning experience to sharpen and test field identification skills Bird like the experts. The first book to simplify birding and help you understand how to bird like the best An interactive website--www.crossleybirds.com--includes expanded captions for the plates and species updates
Tim Birkhead
Wie es ist ein Vogel zu sein – ein bahnbrechender Blick auf die Sinneswelt der Vögel

Das Buch des britischen Ornithologen Tim Birkhead hat die englische Leserwelt im Sturm erobert –und begeistert nun auch das deutschsprachige Publikum.

Fliegen wie ein Vogel – das ist für viele Menschen ein Traum. Doch nur wenige von uns sind sich der anderen Fähigkeiten und Sinnesleistungen bewusst, die das Vogelsein zu einer großartigen und ganz besonderen Erfahrung machen. Wie ist es, ein Flamingo zu sein, der den unsichtbaren Regen fühlt, welcher Hunderte von Kilometern entfernt niedergeht? Oder ein Kiwi, der in einer stockfinsteren neuseeländischen Nacht durch das feuchte Unterholz stapft? Was empfindet ein Tölpel, der nach langer winterlicher Trennung seinen Partner wiedertrifft? Und wie gelingt es Zugvögeln, das Erdmagnetfeld wahrzunehmen?

Die Sinne der Vögel zeichnet historisch nach, wie unser Wissen über Vögel vor allem durch technische Fortschritte im Lauf der letzten 50 Jahre gewachsen ist. Das Buch erzählt faszinierende Geschichten darüber, wie Vögel ihre Sinne – Gesichts-, Hör-, Geruchs-, Geschmacks-, Tast- und Magnetsinn – gebrauchen, um ihre Umwelt zu interpretieren und miteinander zu interagieren. Moderne Testverfahren haben frühere Überzeugungen als falsch entlarvt, beispielsweise den Glauben, dass Vögel einen schlecht entwickelten Geruchssinn haben. Dennoch unterschätzen wir noch immer, was im Kopf eines Vogels vor sich geht – vor allem deshalb, weil die Art und Weise, wie wir sie beobachten und studieren, unser Verständnis gleichzeitig voranbringt und einschränkt. Indem dieses Buch deutlich macht, wie unsere eigenen Sinne neue Erkenntnisse sowohl fördern als auch hemmen, zeigt es Wege auf, das Verhalten von Vögeln besser zu verstehen.

Nie zuvor hat ein populäres Sachbuch so klar dar gelegt, wie grundlegend das Verhalten von Vögeln von ihren Sinnen geprägt wird. Dank seiner lebenslangen wissenschaftlichen Beschäftigung mit diesen Tieren verfügt Tim Birkhead über einen umfangreichen Schatz an Beobachtungen, der ihm erlaubt, Vögel und ihr Verhalten zu deuten und zu verstehen. Niemand, der dieses faszinierende und wunderbar illustrierte Buch liest, wird davon unberührt bleiben.

Tim Birkhead
What is it like to be a swift, flying at over one hundred kilometres an hour? Or a kiwi, plodding flightlessly among the humid undergrowth in the pitch dark of a New Zealand night? And what is going on inside the head of a nightingale as it sings, and how does its brain improvise?

Bird Sense addresses questions like these and many more, by describing the senses of birds that enable them to interpret their environment and to interact with each other. Our affinity for birds is often said to be the result of shared senses--vision and hearing--but how exactly do their senses compare with our own? And what about a bird's sense of taste, or smell, or touch, or the ability to detect the earth's magnetic field? Or the extraordinary ability of desert birds to detect rain hundreds of kilometres away--how do they do it?

Bird Sense is based on a conviction that we have consistently underestimated what goes on in a bird's head. Our understanding of bird behaviour is simultaneously informed and constrained by the way we watch and study them. By drawing attention to the way these frameworks both facilitate and inhibit discovery, Birkhead identifies ways we can escape from them to explore new horizons in bird behaviour.
There has never been a popular book about the senses of birds. No one has previously looked at how birds interpret the world or the way the behaviour of birds is shaped by all their senses. A lifetime spent studying birds has provided Tim Birkhead with a wealth of observation and a unique understanding of birds and their behaviour that is firmly grounded in science.
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