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About the Author

Ronald Orenstein is a zoologist and wildlife conservationist and an award-winning science author. He has written extensively on a wide range of natural history issues, including as a contributing author to Handbook of the Birds of the World. His most recent books are Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins and Ivory, Horn and Blood. He is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Michael and Patricia Fogden are widely considered the world's finest photographers of hummingbirds. They live in Costa Rica.


This book is for anyone interested in a fascinating group of animals. The text is easy to understand, but detailed and rich enough for professional ornithologists. The striking images would nicely adorn either a standard bookshelf or be the centerpiece of a coffee table. Indeed it is possible to page through this volume dozens of times without tiring of these incredible creatures.-- (03/01/2016)
This color-photo-illustrated book will appeal to birders, readers in natural history, and general readers interested in hummingbirds. The first part of the book offers seven chapters on how hummingbirds evolved, how they fly, how they eat and reproduce, why their wing colors are iridescent, and the future of hummingbirds in the face of threats to their environment. This part of book contains color photos and black and white drawings, less than full-page size. The second part of the book is a 180-page portfolio of images by hummingbird photographers Michel and Patricia Fogden, offering full-page photos of hummingbirds in action.-- (03/19/2015)
This perfect coffee table book captures the dazzling and fascinating world of the remarkable hovering bird unique to the Americas. Author Ronald Orenstein, a zoologist, lawyer and wild life conservationist, explains in layman's terms many characteristics of hummingbirds, from flight and feeding techniques to migrations and mating patterns. There are more than 340 species of hummingbirds divided into seven groupings with illustrative names like Mangoes, Coquettes, Brilliants, Mountain Gems, Bees, Emerald and Giant. Readers will learn about their diverse habitat, unique metabolisms, courtship prowess and near mythical attraction in pre-Columbian lore of the Americas, and may be surprised to discover that hummingbirds while resting enter a state of hibernation-like torpor to conserve body heat. The spectacular photography of Michael and Patricia Fogden reveals the diversity, beautiful colors and movement of these unique birds. They successfully captured images of the speedy birds in flight, perched, nesting, feeding and, in an exceptional set of photographs, even escaping the fangs of a viper.-- (10/06/2014)
There are many, many hummingbird books. But Hummingbirds stands out as a book that celebrates and explains, in both words and images, how wonderfully unique these birds are... this is still the most impressive collection of hummingbird photographs that I've ever seen. Whether you want to learn more about these birds, see some insanely good pictures, or both, this is your book.-- (10/16/2014)

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