Nomadic Desert Birds / Edition 1

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There are two basic strategies for coping with life in the desert. The first involves withstanding the extreme conditions using behavioural or physiological tactics. The second strategy is to be a migrant and to opportunistically or seasonally move to where the necessary resources are. Nomadism, i.e. the opportunistic and irregular movements from resource-poor to resource-rich patches, is a tactic that birds, with their mobility, can use, and it is explored by W.R.J. Dean in this volume. For many bird species, such movements between habitats or across landscapes to find patches of resources are essential for their continued existence. The relationship between climate, habitat and movements in the avifauna of arid and semi-arid regions and the advantages and disadvantages of a seasonally migratory or opportunistically nomadic lifestyle are elucidated.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From the reviews:

"This book is a very useful review of an apparantly poorly-researched topic." (Ostrich)

"Writing a book on this subject would present a challenge to anyone, for desert birds are some of the least well studied … . The main strength of this book is that it pulls together much scattered information from around the world on the movement patterns and behaviour of nomadic desert birds … . I believe the author has done a good job. … This book will, I hope, help to stimulate more study of bird movement patterns in arid environments." (I. Newton, ibis, Vol. 148, 2006)

"In this volume Richard Dean examines how birds, as part of their survival strategies, move nomadically within or between arid and semi-arid regions to find resource-rich patches. … Comprehensive lists of bird families occurring in the arid zones of the world … are included as appendices to the book. A 17 page reference list provides the reader with more than enough scope to read further about this fascinating topic … . This book is a very useful review of an apparently poorly researched topic." (Dieter Oschadleus, Ostrich - Journal of African Ornithology, Vol. 76 (1-2), 2005)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783642073250
  • Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
  • Publication date: 12/6/2010
  • Series: Adaptations of Desert Organisms Series
  • Edition description: Softcover reprint of hardcover 1st ed. 2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 185
  • Product dimensions: 0.42 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 6.14 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1.1. Arid and semi-arid regions 1.2. The avifauna of deserts and semi-deserts 2 Migrations and movements of desert birds 2.1. Movements in desert and semi-desert avifaunas: an overview 2.2.Migrants in arid ecosystems 2.3. Residents in arid ecosystems 2.3.1. How sedentary are 'resident' birds? 2.4. Conclusions 3 The nomadic avifauna 3.1. The influence of rainfall and temperature on movements in birds 3.2. Predictability of movements by non-migratory birds in arid ecosystems 3.2.1. Southern Africa 3.2.2. North Africa 3.2.3. Asia 3.2.4. North America 3.2.5. South America 3.2.6. Australia 3.3. Phylogeny of nomadic birds 3.4. Conclusions 4 Habitats and densities of nomadic birds 4.1. Habitats 4.1.1. Patchiness in time and space 4.2. Densities of nomadic birds 4.3. Conclusions 5 Food and foraging 5.1. Food of nomadic birds 5.2. Foraging behaviour 5.3. Conclusions 6 Reproduction, moult and mortality 6.1. Nest sites in nomadic birds 6.1.1. A case study. Nest site selection in Wattled Starlings Creatophora cinerea, a nomadic insectivore 6.2. Nest construction and the importance of nest materials as indicators of resources for breeding 6.2. Breeding seasons 6.3. Clutch sizes and nestling periods in arid and semi-arid South Africa 6.5. Breeding success 6.6. Moult 6.7. Conclusions 7 Conservation of nomadic desert birds

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