Hummingbirds by Ronald Orenstein, Michael Fogden, Patricia Fogden |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

by Ronald Orenstein, Michael Fogden, Patricia Fogden
     
 

A comprehensive natural history of nature's smallest bird species.

The tiny hummingbird has long been a source of fascination for birdwatchers and naturalists alike. They number 300 species and Ronald Orenstein has a passion for all of them.

Hummingbirds are the smallest birds in the world. A hummingbird egg is the size of a pea, barely, and the chick that

Overview

A comprehensive natural history of nature's smallest bird species.

The tiny hummingbird has long been a source of fascination for birdwatchers and naturalists alike. They number 300 species and Ronald Orenstein has a passion for all of them.

Hummingbirds are the smallest birds in the world. A hummingbird egg is the size of a pea, barely, and the chick that emerges will be smaller than a penny, if that. But these tiny birds pack a powerful engine: a hummingbird's heart beats more than 1,200 times per minute.

Nicknamed the "avian helicopter", a hummingbird's wings beat from 70 times per second in direct flight, to more than 200 times per second when diving. Not surprisingly, that whirlwind of wing power creates a humming sound. To fuel such energy, hummingbirds must eat as much as eight times their body weight on a daily basis, which means visiting an average of 1,000 flowers -- every day -- to get enough nectar.

Hummingbirds are found in North and South America, with the greatest number in Ecuador, although some species breed as far north as Canada. Most species migrate from Mexico to Alaska, a distance of more than 5,000 miles.

In this book Orenstein covers all aspects of hummingbird natural history, their relationship with the plants on which they feed, the miracle of their flight, their elaborate social life and nesting behavior, and their renowned feats of migration.

More than 170 color photographs of these magnificent creatures, taken in the wild, adorn the pages of Hummingbirds. Birders and natural history readers alike will gain new insight into the tiny bird and revel in the stunning images.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/06/2014
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 ight 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 ight, perched, nesting, feeding and, in an exceptional set of photographs, even escaping the fangs of a viper. Although extremely resilient and adaptive, the hummingbird environment is often threatened by development and deforestation and the final chapter focuses on these issues. (Sept.)
Birder's Library - Grant McCreary
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.
ProtoView
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.
Library Journal
01/01/2015
The main feature of zoologist and conservationist Orenstein's (contributor to Handbook of the Birds of the World) attractive book on the popular feathered jewels of the bird world is its collection of 200 color photographs. The content, or relative lack of it, as well as its somewhat awkward 8.75" × 11.25" dimensions, justify dubbing it a coffee-table book. This rather pejorative description is somewhat mitigated by 57 prefatory pages of discussion on hummingbirds' evolution, variety, how they fly, their metabolism, migrations, how their coloration is so bright, songs, courtship, and threats they face. The fine photographs, which are the heart of the book, have captions that, with few exceptions, merely identify the birds. These would be more meaningful if they included locations, dates, photographic specifications, indications of the sex, and whether the subjects are adults or immatures. The index lists mentions in the text as well as illustrations but does not differentiate them. There are sections in which pagination is not indicated. The bibliography is solid, however. Somewhat comparable, though with fewer photographs but more substantive text, is Robert Burton's The World of the Hummingbird. VERDICT Of optional interest to naturalists, nature buffs, and birders.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781770854000
Publisher:
Firefly Books, Limited
Publication date:
10/14/2014
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
316,506
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Ronald Orenstein is a zoologist, lawyer, 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.

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