From the moment Europeans were introduced to the birds of paradise in the early sixteenth century, their unique beauty was recognized and commemorated in the first name that they were given - birds so beautiful they must be from paradise. Originally they were thought not to have legs and therefore never to land. Still very rarely encountered, even in their natural habitat of New Guinea, they are still birds that elicit sheer awe in those who are lucky enough to see them. Drawn From Paradise will showcase the magnificence and beauty of the birds of paradise as they have never before been seen, with more than two-hundred hand-painted images and sketches by the men who originally studied them and luminary artists such as Jacques Barraband, William Hart, John Gould, Rubens and Breughel, to name a few. The art comes from the private collections of the two authors and has been rarely if ever published. Not only will the book feature the beautiful Greater Bird of Paradise-a bird that was originally believed to have been sent from Paradise, and was thought to never touch the earth-but it will also present more than forty other distinct species currently recognized-each representing amazing differences in size, shape, and color patterning. The introduction provides a brief history into the discovery of these illustrious birds, from how they were originally perceived and idolized by the natives of New Guinea, to the arrival of Europeans, who were immediately captivated by their bright, vibrant colors. The chapters are ordered according to the sequence in which the birds representing the various genera made their appearance in Europe (thereby highlighting the books educational aspect). Within its pages, readers will catch a glimpse of these birds through vivid, highly-detailed painting, as well as learn more about each individual bird and genus-comparisons and contrasts between the males and females, as well as between the different genus's. A tour through art and history, with a good deal of ornithology thrown in, Drawn From Paradise is not only a must-have for ornithologists and bird-watchers, but also a beautiful collectible for students, artists, and aesthetes. Its central idea is to showcase the breathtaking beauty of these birds and the enormous interest that still surrounds them even today.
“Fascinating from the first page to the last—you won’t be able to put it down.” —Southern Living A rollicking true-crime adventure and a thought-provoking exploration of the human drive to possess natural beauty for readers of The Stranger in the Woods, The Lost City of Z, and The Orchid Thief. On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at London's Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. Home to one of the largest ornithological collections in the world, the Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens whose gorgeous feathers were worth staggering amounts of money to the men who shared Edwin's obsession: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying. Once inside the museum, the champion fly-tier grabbed hundreds of bird skins—some collected 150 years earlier by a contemporary of Darwin's, Alfred Russel Wallace, who'd risked everything to gather them—and escaped into the darkness. Two years later, Kirk Wallace Johnson was waist high in a river in northern New Mexico when his fly-fishing guide told him about the heist. He was soon consumed by the strange case of the feather thief. What would possess a person to steal dead birds? Had Edwin paid the price for his crime? What became of the missing skins? In his search for answers, Johnson was catapulted into a years-long, worldwide investigation. The gripping story of a bizarre and shocking crime, and one man's relentless pursuit of justice, The Feather Thief is also a fascinating exploration of obsession, and man's destructive instinct to harvest the beauty of nature.
Author: Erik Hirschfeld
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2013-03-17
This illustrated book vividly depicts the most endangered birds in the world and provides the latest information on the threats each species faces and the measures being taken to save them. Today, 571 bird species are classified as critically endangered or endangered, and a further four now exist only in captivity. This landmark book features stunning photographs of 500 of these species--the results of a prestigious international photographic competition organized specifically for this book. It also showcases paintings by acclaimed wildlife artist Tomasz Cofta of the 75 species for which no photos are known to exist. 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.
When and where did the ancestors of modern birds evolve? What enabled them to survive the meteoric impact that wiped out the dinosaurs? How did these early birds spread across the globe and give rise to the 10,600-plus species we recognise today ― from the largest ratites to the smallest hummingbirds? Based on the latest scientific discoveries and enriched by personal observations, The Ascent of Birds sets out to answer these fundamental questions. The Ascent of Birds is divided into self-contained chapters, or stories, that collectively encompass the evolution of modern birds from their origins in Gondwana, over 100 million years ago, to the present day. The stories are arranged in chronological order, from tinamous to tanagers, and describe the many dispersal and speciation events that underpin the world's 10,600-plus species. Although each chapter is spearheaded by a named bird and focuses on a specific evolutionary mechanism, the narrative will often explore the relevance of such events and processes to evolution in general. The book starts with The Tinamou's Story, which explains the presence of flightless birds in South America, Africa, and Australasia, and dispels the cherished role of continental drift as an explanation for their biogeography. It also introduces the concept of neoteny, an evolutionary trick that enabled dinosaurs to become birds and humans to conquer the planet. The Vegavis's Story explores the evidence for a Cretaceous origin of modern birds and why they were able to survive the asteroid collision that saw the demise not only of dinosaurs but of up to three-quarters of all species. The Duck's Story switches to sex: why have so few species retained the ancestral copulatory organ? Or, put another way, why do most birds exhibit the paradoxical phenomenon of penis loss, despite all species requiring internal fertilisation? The Hoatzin's Story reveals unexpected oceanic rafting from Africa to South America: a stranger-than-fiction means of dispersal that is now thought to account for the presence of other South American vertebrates, including geckos and monkeys. The latest theories underpinning speciation are also explored. The Manakin's Story, for example, reveals how South America's extraordinarily rich avifauna has been shaped by past geological, oceanographic and climatic changes, while The Storm-Petrel's Story examines how species can evolve from an ancestral population despite inhabiting the same geographical area. The thorny issue of what constitutes a species is discussed in The Albatross's Story, while The Penguin's Story explores the effects of environment on phenotype ― in the case of the Emperor penguin, the harshest on the planet. Recent genomic advances have given scientists novel approaches to explore the distant past and have revealed many unexpected journeys, including the unique overland dispersal of an early suboscine from Asia to South America (The Sapayoa's Story) and the blackbird's ancestral sweepstake dispersals across the Atlantic (The Thrush's Story). Additional vignettes update more familiar concepts that encourage speciation: sexual selection (The Bird-of-Paradise's Story); extended phenotypes (The Bowerbird's Story); hybridisation (The Sparrow's Story); and 'great speciators' (The White-eye's Story). Finally, the book explores the raft of recent publications that help explain the evolution of cognitive skills (The Crow's Story); plumage colouration (The Starling's Story); and birdsong (The Finch's Story)
Author: Thane K. Pratt
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2014-10-26
This is the completely revised edition of the essential field guide to the birds of New Guinea. The world’s largest tropical island, New Guinea boasts a spectacular avifauna characterized by cassowaries, megapodes, pigeons, parrots, cuckoos, kingfishers, and owlet-nightjars, as well as an exceptionally diverse assemblage of songbirds such as the iconic birds of paradise and bowerbirds. Birds of New Guinea is the only guide to cover all 780 bird species reported in the area, including 366 endemics. Expanding its coverage with 111 vibrant color plates—twice as many as the first edition—and the addition of 635 range maps, the book also contains updated species accounts with new information about identification, voice, habits, and range. A must-have for everyone from ecotourists to field researchers, Birds of New Guinea remains an indispensable guide to the diverse birds of this remarkable region. 780 bird species, including 366 found nowhere else 111 stunning color plates, twice the number of the first edition Expanded and updated species accounts provide details on identification, voice, habits, and range 635 range maps Revised classification of birds reflects the latest research
Author: William Stolzenburg
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2011-06-21
Rat Island rises from the icy gray waters of the Bering Sea, a mass of volcanic rock covered with tundra, midway between Alaska and Siberia. Once a remote sanctuary for enormous flocks of seabirds, the island gained a new name when shipwrecked rats colonized, savaging the nesting birds by the thousands. Now, on this and hundreds of other remote islands around the world, a massive-and massively controversial-wildlife rescue mission is under way. Islands, making up just 3 percent of Earth's landmass, harbor more than half of its endangered species. These fragile ecosystems, home to unique species that evolved in peaceful isolation, have been catastrophically disrupted by mainland predators-rats, cats, goats, and pigs ferried by humans to islands around the globe. To save these endangered islanders, academic ecologists have teamed up with professional hunters and semiretired poachers in a radical act of conservation now bent on annihilating the invaders. Sharpshooters are sniping at goat herds from helicopters. Biological SWAT teams are blanketing mountainous isles with rat poison. Rat Island reveals a little-known and much-debated side of today's conservation movement, founded on a cruel-to-be-kind philosophy. Touring exotic locales with a ragtag group of environmental fighters, William Stolzenburg delivers both perilous adventure and intimate portraits of human, beast, hero, and villain. And amid manifold threats to life on Earth, he reveals a new reason to hope.
Learn what America's most venerable ornithological institution has discovered about birds in its past 100 years of study.* Essays by Jared Diamond, John W. Fitzpatrick, Lyanda Lynn Haupt, and Scott Weidensaul* The Cornell Lab of Ornithology celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2015* 200 images, illustrating more than 100 North American bird species * Connecting people to birds opens their eyes to the natural world!An intimate yet stunning exploration of North American bird species, The Living Bird also celebrates our joyful and complex relationship with birds, through images by an award-winning photographer and essays by some of the world's leading naturalists and bird enthusiasts. In 2015 the Cornell Lab of Ornithology will celebrate its 100th anniversary as one of the world's most prestigious and oldest bird organizations. As a cornerstone of those celebrations, the Lab reveals the essence of its work in this visual and experiential journey through the fascinating and beautiful realm of birds. Connecting people with birds is often a first step in opening their eyes to the natural world around them. From enjoying song sparrows rimming a birdbath at home to spotting a pileated woodpecker in deep forest, the appeal of watching and listening to birds leads people into a greater understanding of their environment. The Living Bird features three engaging and informative essays that delve into the mysteries of birds: "The Secret Lives of Birds" focuses on the ways in which bird behavior and habits amaze us. "Inspiration Aloft" looks at how birds enrich our lives and engage so many backyard citizen scientists, while "Beacons of Our Planet" explains what birds tell us about the world in which we live. Each essay is supported by a portfolio of images with informative captions that provide memorable visual context. A foreword, introduction, and afterword provide further context, three human profiles reveal how engaged the bird community can be, and "In the Field" reports share brief, anecdotal first-person accounts from the photographer. A final section introduces the work of The Cornell Lab of Ornithology--and all that it has accomplished over the last 100 years.
What could be more delightful than to colour in the amazing plumage of true-to-life birds of paradise? This beautiful book contains illustrations of 39 different birds of paradise, drawn by Andrew Leach, from the work of Dr Edwin Scholes and photojournalist Tim Laman from a Cornell Lab of Ornithology expedition. The photographs are also included as a wonderful bonus and to show the dazzling colours of these remarkable birds. There have been more than 12 million views of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s introductory video to the birds of paradise project on YouTube alone.
“Michele Raffin has made an important contribution to saving endangered birds, and her book is a fascinating and rarely seen glimpse behind the scenes. The joy she gets from her close relationships with these amazing animals and her outsized commitment to them comes through loud and clear in this engaging and joyful book.” —Dominick Dorsa, Curator of Birds, San Francisco Zoo Each morning at first light, Michele Raffin awakens to the bewitching music that heralds another day at Pandemonium Aviaries—a symphony that swells from the most vocal of over 350 avian throats representing over 40 species. “It knocks me out, every day,” she admits. Pandemonium Aviaries is a conservation organization dedicated to saving and breeding birds at the edge of extinction, including some of the largest populations of rare species in the world. And their behavior is even more fascinating than their glorious plumage or their songs. They fall in love, they mourn, they rejoice, they sacrifice, they have a sense of humor, they feel jealous, they invent, plot, cope, and sometimes they murder each other. As Raffin says, “They teach us volumes about the interrelationships of humans and animals.” Their stories make up the heart of this book. There’s Sweetie, a tiny quail with an outsize personality; the inspiring Oscar, a Lady Gouldian finch who can’t fly but finds a way to reach the highest perches of his aviary to roost. The ecstatic reunion of a disabled Victoria crowned pigeon, Wing, and her brother, Coffee, is as wondrous as the silent kinship that develops between Amadeus, a one-legged turaco, and an autistic young visitor. Ultimately, The Birds of Pandemonium is about one woman’s crusade to save precious lives, bird by bird, and offers insights into how following a passion can transform not only oneself but also the world. “Delightful . . . full of wonderful accounts of bird behavior, demonstrating caring, learning, sociability, adaptability, and a will to live. Its appeal is ageless, her descriptions riveting, and her devotion to the birds remarkable.” —Joanna Burger, author of The Parrot Who Owns Me: The Story of a Relationship “A remarkable book. Reading about the birds of Pandemonium will make you laugh and cry; it will make you see more clearly the need to take care of our planet; and it will confirm that one person with a passion can make a difference.” —Jeff Corwin, nature conservationist and host, Animal Planet “The Birds of Pandemonium touched me deeply . . . This book is about reconnecting with the nature of birds, and the nature of ourselves.” —Jon Young, author of What the Robin Knows
Author: Diana Abu-Jaber
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2011-09-06
After a five year absence, an 18-year-old runaway returns to her family in Miami to deal with the guilty secret that caused her to flee in this new novel from the author of Origin. 35,000 first printing.
Author: Joel Sartore
Publisher: National Geographic Books
Release Date: 2017
Representing National Geographic's Photo Ark -- a major cross-platform initiative and lifelong project by a veteran photographer to make portraits of the world's animals, especially those that are endangered-- this showcase of 400 photos presents a thought-provoking argument for saving all the species of our planet.
In 2015, Noah Strycker, a young American birder, became the first person to see more than half of the 10,000 bird species on planet Earth in one year. Traveling to forty-one countries on seven continents with just a small backpack, a pair of binoculars, and a series of one-way tickets, Noah not only set a new world record, he also captured the hearts and imaginations of people all over the world.
“A charming love triangle in Nairobi, Kenya, forms the center of a novel that manages to be both sweet and gripping.” —Publishers Weekly For the past three years, Mr. Malik, a widower and avid birdwatcher, has been secretly in love with Rose Mbikwa, the lovely woman who leads the Tuesday morning bird walk sponsored by the East African Ornithological Society. Beneath his unassuming exterior and carefully sculpted comb-over lies a warm and passionate heart. But just as he gets up the nerve to ask Rose to the annual Nairobi Hunt Club Ball—Nairobi’s social event of the season—a boyhood nemesis arrives and becomes equally enraptured with Rose. Rather than force her to choose between them, the two men agree to a clever solution: whoever can identify the most species of birds in one week’s time will win the privilege of asking Ms. Mbikwa to the ball. Set against a lush Kenyan landscape rich with wildlife and political intrigue, this humorous novel is a “welcome respite from our crazy world” (USA Today). “This charming novel . . . If you are a fan of Alexander McCall Smith’s, you’ll find Drayson’s knowing, sprightly writing just as entertaining.” —People “[This book is] a sheer delight for birders and nonbirders alike.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune “As bright and perky as a purple-backed sunbird.” —TheNew York Times Book Review