Harriers of the World: Their Behaviour and Ecology / Edition 1

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Harriers are a charismatic group of birds of prey with a worldwide distribution that have long fascinated bird watchers and scientists. Here for the first time the biology of the world's harriers is treated within one over, in readily accessible language. There are detailed comparisons of northern and southern species, descriptions of mating systems and population dynamics life histories, and insights into the selection pressures shaping the birds' life histories. The author addresses such questions as how females choose partners against their apparent self- interest, how they adjust to prevailing circumstances to produce the perfect clutch size, and what underlies variations in size dimorphism and copulation patterns. New information resulting from a DNA examination of the group reveals three new harrier species and allows construction of a new phylogeny of the harriers. The author's twin brother brings the book to life by fine original line drawings of these impressive birds. It will be a treat for all raptor biologists, amateur raptophiles, and behavioral ecologists interested in birds of prey.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198549642
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/28/2000
  • Series: Oxford Ornithology Series, #11
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Cape Town, South Africa
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Table of Contents

1 Introduction. Changing perspectives: from natural history to behavioural ecology 1
2 Evolution and peculiarities of the harriers 20
3 Aerial displays: mate choice and reversed dimorphism 59
4 Of mice and harriers: who wins the arms race? 96
5 Mating patterns: polygyny and deception 125
6 Copulation patterns and sperm depletion 170
7 Sex ratio and egg size manipulation 198
8 Food and reproduction in the tropics 227
9 Clutch size and latitude 266
10 Synthesis 313
References 325
Index 361
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