New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1993. — 295 p. — ISBN 978-0-805-01952-0.Since the beginning of history, humans have been intrigued by the stunning variety and inventiveness of bird behavior. Why do some oceanic seabirds serve their chicks no more than two or three meals a week, while the Pied Flycatcher must feed its young thirty-three times an hour? How did the Woodpecker Finch learn to use a cactus spine to dig out its food from the bark of trees? Why does the Jackdaw, normally a tame bird, furiously attack anything or anyone dangling a black object? Is the impressive vocabulary of the African Gray Parrot merely an act of mimicry, or can it truly learn word association? This first book in a series on animal behavior, prepared in conjunction with the American Museum of Natural History, is a lively, highly accessible, generously illustrated volume that will evoke a sense of wonder at what birds do. Based on research from one of the premier scientific institutions of the world, The Lives of Birds features awe-inspiring descriptions of the behavior of hundreds of bird species from around the globe. Beginning with their entry into the world by hatching, the book follows the lives of birds through every stage, including feeding, nesting, and learning to fly; how and why they sing; their quest for territory, migration, courtship, and mating; and other fascinating behaviors. More important, it discusses the delicate ecological connection between birds and humans, and why our understanding of their behavior is crucial to our future and survival.
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