Author: Katie Fallon
Publisher: University Press of New England
Release Date: 2017-03-07
Turkey vultures, the most widely distributed and abundant scavenging birds of prey on the planet, are found from central Canada to the southern tip of Argentina, and nearly everywhere in between. In the United States we sometimes call them buzzards; in parts of Mexico the name is aura cabecirroja, in Uruguay jote cabeza colorada, and in Ecuador gallinazo aura. A huge bird, the turkey vulture is a familiar sight from culture to culture, in both hemispheres. But despite being ubiquitous and recognizable, the turkey vulture has never had a book of literary nonfiction devoted to it - until Vulture. Floating on six-foot wings, turkey vultures use their keen senses of smell and sight to locate carrion. Unlike their cousin the black vulture, turkey vultures do not kill weak or dying animals; instead, they cleanse, purify, and renew the environment by clearing it of decaying carcasses, thus slowing the spread of such dangerous pathogens as anthrax, rabies, and botulism. The beauty, grace, and important role of these birds in the ecosystem notwithstanding, turkey vultures are maligned and underappreciated; they have been accused of spreading disease and killing livestock, neither of which has ever been substantiated. Although turkey vultures are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which makes harming them a federal offense, the birds still face persecution. They've been killed because of their looks, their odor, and their presence in proximity to humans. Even the federal government occasionally sanctions "roost dispersals," which involve the harassment and sometimes the murder of communally roosting vultures during the cold winter months. Vulture follows a year in the life of a typical North American turkey vulture. By incorporating information from scientific papers and articles, as well as interviews with world-renowned raptor and vulture experts, author Katie Fallon examines all aspects of the bird's natural history: breeding, incubating eggs, raising chicks, migrating, and roosting. After reading this book you will never look at a vulture in the same way again.
Describes the author's journey from the Appalachian Mountains to Bogotâa, Columbia, to explore factors that have been contributing to the rapid decline of cerulean warblers such as deforestation, mountaintop removal coal mining, and coffee plantations.
Author: Bill Wilson
Publisher: Hatherleigh Press
Release Date: 2017-11-07
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Look, See the Bird! is a beautifully illustrated children's book which seeks to not only promote curiosity in children about the natural world around them, but also to establish the universal quality of having a connection with nature. Look, See the Bird! follows children in a variety of locations, all of whom are learning about local birds and their habits. Beginning with Ruben and his sister Maria, who have decided to spend their day bird-watching in the coffee plants of their Nicaraguan farm, the story wings towards locations as far removed as Alabama and Ontario, lighting down briefly along the way as children the world over join with Ruben and Maria in spirit, looking for birds in their own backyards. Each time, the question is asked by one child to another: "Look! See the bird?" And each time, the children are treated to the sight of a majestic bird native to their home. This unifying question joins the children on the page with the children holding the book, inviting them to look outside, and see what they can see!
This book reexamines current knowledge on the evolution, ecology, and conservation biology of both New World vultures (Cathartidae) and Old World vultures (Accipitridae) and seeks answers to past and present regional extinctions, colorizations, and conservation questions. Extinct species of both families are examined, as is the disputed evidence for familial similarities and differences currently under review by geneticists and ornithologists. Conservation questions concern the extent to which recent land cover change (deforestation, urbanization, and desertification), wildlife depletions, and pollution have affected scavenging vultures. Such changes are examined as both positive and negative for vultures—a growing body of literature hints at the positive impacts of urban waste, more open forests, forest fires, landscape cultivation, road kills, and shore development, especially with increased attention to bird adaptation and "new" theories of adaptive management in conservation. These are contrasted with the conservation of other raptors and scavengers. Within new trends in conservation, with emphases on animal/human shared co-evolution in intensely habituated spaces, vulture conservation requires important new perspectives that contrast with the needs of other species conservation.
Why do we see pigeons as lowly urban pests and how did they become such common city dwellers? Courtney Humphries traces the natural history of the pigeon, recounting how these shy birds that once made their homes on the sparse cliffs of sea coasts came to dominate our urban public spaces. While detailing this evolution, Humphries introduces us to synanthropy: The concept that animals can become dependent on humans without ceasing to be wild; they can adapt to the cityscape as if it were a field or a forest. Superdove simultaneously explores the pigeon's cultural transformation, from its life in the dovecotes of ancient Egypt to its service in the trenches of World War I, to its feats within the pigeon-racing societies of today. While the dove is traditionally recognized as a symbol of peace, the pigeon has long inspired a different sort of fetishistic devotion from breeders, eaters, and artists—and from those who recognized and exploited the pigeon's astounding abilities. Because of their fecundity, pigeons were symbols of fertility associated with Aphrodite, while their keen ability to find their way home made them ideal messengers and even pilots. Their usefulness largely forgotten, today's pigeons have become as ubiquitous and reviled as rats. But Superdove reveals something more surprising: By using pigeons for our own purposes, we humans have changed their evolution. And in doing so, we have helped make pigeons the ideal city dwellers they are today. In the tradition of Rats, the book that made its namesake rodents famous, Superdove is the fascinating story of the pigeon's journey from the wild to the city—the home they'll never leave.
Join mother vulture on a day-long hunt to feed her hungry chicks. Will she survive? She can't defend herself, kill her own prey, or hunt without thermals. Up-to-date science, photos and activities will help kids understand this gentle vulture's adaptations and its biological role in nature. Suggested age range for readers: 9-11 After purchasing a book- a free Teacher's Guide that is Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards Aligned can be downloaded or printed from author's website: www.ecostoriesbydebtoor.com
Why is the Red-backed Shrike nicknamed "the butcher bird"? When and why do the Birds of Paradise of New Guinea turn themselves upside down while hanging on a twig? Which birds offer each other presents of water-weed? And how long does it take a Swallow to fly from its winter quarters in Africa back to its nest-site in Europe? This book provides answers to the many questions that arise when watching the often mystifying behaviour of birds. From commonplace, day-to-day activities such as feeding and roosting to the more unusual displays involved in courtship and nest-building, this book provides a fascinating insight into the diversity of the bird world. Dramatic examples of bird behaviour are drawn from every continent, highlighting the truly cosmopolitan nature of birds and explaining such amazing avian achievements as migration and mimicry. Illustrated with 240 stunning colour photographs, The Private Life of Birds offers both experts and new enthusiasts alike an intricate understanding of bird behaviour, movement, distribution and population.
This fascinating and beautiful guide provides detailed information and over 160 striking photos and drawings of four species of small mountain owls found in America's Rocky Mountains, with special focus on the inhabitants of the Rocky Mountains National Park: the Flammulated Owl, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, and Boreal Owl. The lives and ranges of these tiny predators are detailed, including information concerning their anatomy, coloration, vocalizations, ranges, courtship and nesting behaviors, egg laying, fledgling raising, hunting habits, diets, mortality, longevity, and much more. The engaging text reflects the author's passion for these tiny owls, some small enough to perch comfortably on a number two pencil, and provides details about the recovery and restoration to health of injured small mountain owls. The book ends with a useful glossary of scientific names and a detailed bibliography. This book will be a treasured reference for anyone interested in the avian world.
Simply because they are large scavenging birds, vultures are often viewed as harbingers of death. But, as Thom van Dooren shows in this cultural and natural history, that dominant association leaves us with a very one-dimensional understanding of a group of actually rather fascinating and diverse creatures. Vulture offers an enlightening new history of this much-misunderstood bird. Vultures vary in type and size, and while some have a diet mainly of bone, others are actually almost completely vegetarian. Most interesting, despite its notorious association with death, the vulture very rarely, if ever, kills for itself. In different cultural mythologies, vultures play a role in disposing of the dead and officiating over human sacrifices, but they have often been viewed as courageous and noble creatures as well—believed to be indispensable in the containment of waste and disease and even to be world creators and divine mothers. Van Dooren explores these many histories, from some of the earliest-known Neolithic sites in which vultures are thought to have consumed the dead to contemporary efforts to reintroduce the bearded vulture into the Alps. Highlighting the rich diversity of vultures and the many ways in which people have understood and lived with them, Vulture invites a new appreciation and wonder for these incredible birds.
Author: Keith L. Bildstein
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Release Date: 2017-05-02
Raptors are formally classified into five families and include birds—such as eagles, ospreys, kites, true hawks, buzzards, harriers, vultures, and falcons—that are familiar and recognized by many observers. These diurnal birds of prey are found on every continent except Antarctica and can thrive in seemingly inhospitable spots such as deserts and the tundra. They have powerful talons and hooked beaks for cutting and tearing meat, and keen binocular vision to aid in their hunting prowess. Because of their large size, distinctive feeding habits, and long-distance flight patterns, raptors intrigue humans and have been the subject of much general interest as well as extensive scientific research.Keith L. Bildstein has watched and studied raptors on five continents and is well prepared to explain their critical importance, not only as ecological entities but also as inspirational tokens across natural and human-dominated landscapes. His book offers a comprehensive and accessible account of raptors, including their evolutionary history, their relationships to other groups of birds, their sensory abilities, their general natural history, their breeding ecology and feeding behavior, and threats to their survival in a human-dominated world. Biologically sound but readable, Raptors is a nontechnical overview of this captivating group. It will allow naturalists, birders, hawk-watchers, science educators, schoolchildren, and the general public, along with new students in the field of raptor biology, to understand and appreciate these birds, and in so doing better protect them.
Author: Wendy Jones
Release Date: 2017-08-04
Adonis -The Story of a Black Vulture is based on true events and interactions between; Illustrator Jayne Lakhani, Author Wendy Jones and Adonis. The story introduces the reader to key characteristics and behaviors of black vultures. The setting is in the woods near Hot Springs, AR where Adonis makes his nest after suffering a debilitating accident.The reader is taken on a journey of discovery as Adonis adapts to his new environment and finds his way back to a purposeful and fulling life. Illustrator & Storyteller, Jayne Lakhani is a resident of Hot Springs and is known for volunteering her time; helping children and senior citizens experience the magic of art. Jayne and Author, Wendy Jones of Gold Canyon, AZ have collaborated on over twenty stories since 2006.
Biologist Bridget Stutchbury takes readers along on her escapades as a bird detective, stalking subjects through the woods for hours, taking blood samples from nestlings for DNA analysis, and mounting miniature tracking devices on tiny backs. She captures several young white-and-brown male purple martins and paints them the darker color of mature males to see if the painted youngsters are more successful than their unaltered peers in wresting away nest sites from older males. They are! The Private Lives of Birds is a treasure trove of fascinating insights into bird behavior. But understanding the social lives of birds does much more than slake our curiosity. Aware that many birds will not occupy an area unless other birds are already there, biologists used mirrors and two-dimensional cutouts to lure Atlantic puffins to establish colonies off the coast of Maine, getting curious puffins to visit the site and linger long enough to encounter a live bird. As Stutchbury says, "Trying to save birds without understanding what makes them tick is a shot in the dark ... birds are highly social, and their social needs are at least as important as their physical needs."