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Handbook of Bird Biology


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Table of Contents

Editorial Team and Contributors vii

Preface ix

Bird Academy Web Resources xiii

1 Why Study Birds? 1
Irby J. Lovette and John W. Fitzpatrick

2 Avian Diversity and Classification 7
Irby J. Lovette

3 How Birds Evolve 63
Irby J. Lovette

4 Feathers and Plumages 101
Kimberly Bostwick

5 Avian Flight 149
Bret W. Tobalske

6 Avian Anatomy 169
Howard E. Evans

7 Bird Physiology 215
Scott McWilliams, Elizabeth Adkins-Regan, and Carol Vleck

8 Avian Food and Foraging 265
Thomas W. Sherry

9 Avian Mating and Social Behavior 313
John Alcock

10 Avian Vocal Behavior 355
Bruce E. Byers and Donald E. Kroodsma

11 Breeding Biology of Birds 407
David W. Winkler

12 Avian Migration and Dispersal 453
David W. Winkler, Judy Shamoun-Baranes, and Theunis Piersma

13 Ecology of Bird Populations 495
Walter D. Koenig

14 Bird Communities 537
Russell S. Greenberg

15 Bird Conservation 579
John W. Fitzpatrick and Amanda D. Rodewald

Glossary 641

Index 657

About the Author

Irby Lovette is the Fuller Professor of Ornithology at Cornell University, Associate Director for Academic Affairs at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Director of the Lab's Fuller Evolutionary Biology Program, and Curator of Genomics at the Cornell Museum of Vertebrates. He has authored more than 130 scientific publications on topics related to avian evolution, ecology, behavior, and conservation, along with numerous articles for the general public.John Fitzpatrick is the Louis Agassiz Fuertes Director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Professor in Cornell's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. His many contributions to ornithology and bird conservation include 140 scientific publications, discovery of seven previously unknown bird species in Peru, 45 years leading one of the world's longest continuous studies of the ecology and behavior of a wild bird population, the Florida Scrub-Jay, and service on numerous conservation boards and panels. He is past president of the American Ornithologists' Union and the recipient of that society's highest awards for research (William Brewster Medal), conservation (Ralph W. Schreiber Award), and service (Marion Jenkinson Award).


"This wonderful handbook provides a crystal-clear introduction to every fascinating aspect of bird biology. It will now be my own first reference source about birds, and it should be yours, too - regardless of whether you are a backyard bird watcher, a hard-core birder, or a professional ornithologist."

Jared Diamond, Professor of Geography at the University of California-Los Angeles, specialist on New Guinea birds, and Pulitzer-Prize winning author.

"This new edition of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Handbook of Bird Biology is a stunning resource for professionals and amateurs alike. It is graced by color photos spilling off nearly every page and filled with clear yet detailed interpretations of the latest ornithological discoveries. One can't achieve a better mix of technical accuracy and a pleasing, accessible format. It's all here - bird evolution, ecology, physiology, conservation, and much more."

Scott V. Edwards, Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and Curator of Ornithology at Harvard University.

"With the range of topics covered, the quality of both the writing and design, and the depth of information included, the authors have produced a book that will be of interest to a wide range of readers from those just starting to learn about birds to ornithologists who have been studying birds for decades. Whether you are a researcher, teacher, or just interested in birds, this book is a must-have for your ornithological library and, for those teaching a college-level course and looking for a textbook, the Handbook of Bird Biology is an excellent resource that should be given serious consideration" Margaret Brittingham, wiley online library, Sept 2017.

"This third version is largely enriched by the progress of ornithology. It is difficult to account for such a large body of knowledge, with the different chapters covering most areas: bird classification and diversity, evolution, plumage, flight, anatomy, physiology, feeding, social behavior, vocalizations, reproduction , migration, population ecology, communities, conservation. There is a summary at the top of each chapter and a good list of bibliographic references at the end. All are very well illustrated with photos, figures and also many colored boxes that detail particular points, concepts and regularly clear definitions of terms or scientific concepts. In addition, 76 pages of glossary and indexes (names of species, countries, subjects, etc.) at the end allow the reader to find almost everything that has been treated or mentioned ... It is the best condensed work currently available on birds and ornithology developments. It is also the most readable and easy to consult thanks to its very airy texts with multiple illustrations and subtitles ... it's really the basic work that one can refer to for any questions that one might have about birds." Ornithos, 24:5 (2017)

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