Pelicans, Cormorants, and Their Allies: Pelecaniformes

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The pelecaniformes are a large and important group of seabirds, containing many spectacular species. This book addresses the breeding biology of the six pelecaniform families, which comprise the closely-related core groups (pelicans, cormorants/shags, darters, gannets/boobies) and their more distant relatives, the frigate birds and tropic birds. Many fundamental questions can be addressed through the pelecaniformes: Why do they breed in colonies? What are the links between their feeding methods and their reproduction? What part does territorial and pairing behavior play in their life-cycles? These and scores of comparable issues, including those related to man, are woven here into a richly interpretative text.
The author's approach to the subject is threefold. First, the pelecaniformes are placed within the framework of four discrete disciplines, with chapters on evolutionary relationships, comparative behavior, ecology, and the birds' relationship with humans. Secondly, each of the six families is discussed, elucidating the range of taxonomy, behavior, and ecology within each. Finally, we progress to specific level, using the same structure as for the family accounts. In this way, each of the 60-odd species can be understood not just as discrete units, but as part of their family and order. The book is unique in its coverage of the entire order and in its combination of facts and interpretation.
Pelicans, Cormorants, and their Relatives will enable readers not only to identify the many spectacular species which make up this large and important group of seabirds, but also to understand their breeding biology.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198577270
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/23/2006
  • Series: Bird Families of the World Series, #17
  • Pages: 680
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

J. Bryan Nelson is Reader Emeritus at Aberdeen University (Zoology Department), and during his career has held the posts of Director, Azraq UNESCO Field Station (Jordan) (I.B.P. appointment), Honorary Vice President of the Galapagos Conservation Trust, and Director of the Scottish Seabird Centre.

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Table of Contents

List of colour plates xi
List of abbreviations xiii
General Introduction 1
Part I General chapters
1 Relationships 5
2 Behaviour 19
3 Breeding ecology 36
4 Pelicaniforms and man 89
5 General family accounts
Pelicans (Pelecanidae) 109
Gannets and Boobies (Sulidae) 129
Cormorants and Shags (Phalacrocoracidae) 158
Anhinga and Darter (Anhingidae) 182
Frigatebirds (Fregatidae) 188
Tropicbirds (Phaethontidae) 205
Part II Species accounts
Pelicans (Pelecanidae)
Great White Pelican - Pelecanus onocrotalus 241
Pink-backed Pelican - Pelecanus rufescens 250
Spot-billed Pelican - Pelecanus philippensis 254
Dalmatian Pelican - Pelecanus crispus 258
Australian Pelican - Pelecanus conspicillatus 266
American White Pelican - Pelecanus erythrorhynchos 270
Brown Pelican - Pelecanus occidentalis 277
Gannets and Boobies (Sulidae)
Australasian Gannet - Morus [bassanus] serrator 289
African Gannet - Morus [bassanus] capensis 300
Atlantic Gannet - Morus [bassanus] bassanus 308
Abbott's Booby - Papasula abbotti 338
Red-footed Booby - Sula sula 350
Masked Booby - Sula dactylatra 357
Blue-footed Booby - Sula nebouxii 368
Peruvian Booby - Sula variegata 379
Brown Booby - Sula leucogaster 387
Cormorants and Shags (Phalacrocoracidae)
Double-crested Cormorant - Phalacrocorax auritus 395
Neotropic Cormorant - Phalacrocorax brasilianus 404
Little Black Cormorant - Phalacrocorax sulcirostris 409
Great Cormorant - Phalacrocorax carbo 411
Indian Cormorant - Phalacrocorax fuscicollis 423
Cape Cormorant - Phalacrocorax capensis 426
Socotra Cormorant - Phalacrocorax nigrogularis 429
Bank Cormorant - Phalacrocorax neglectus 431
Japanese Cormorant - Phalacrocorax capillatus 435
Brandt's Cormorant - Phalacrocorax penicillatus 437
European Shag - Phalacrocorax aristotelis 443
Pelagic Cormorant - Phalacrocorax pelagicus 453
Red-faced Cormorant - Phalacrocorax urile 458
Rock Shag - Phalacrocorax magellanicus 462
Guanay Cormorant - Phalacrocorax bougainvillii 465
Pied Cormorant - Phalacrocorax varius 469
Black-faced Cormorant - Phalacrocorax fuscescens 473
King Shag - Phalacrocorax carunculatus 477
Stewart Shag - Phalacrocorax chalconatus 479
Chatham Shag - Phalacrocorax onslowi 481
Auckland Shag - Phalacrocorax colensoi 483
Campbell Shag - Phalacrocorax campbelli 485
Bounty Shag - Phalacrocorax ranfurlyi 486
Pitt Shag - Phalacrocorax featherstoni 487
Imperial Shag - Phalacrocorax atriceps 489
Antarctic Shag - Phalacrocorax bransfieldensis 494
South Georgia(n) Shag - Phalacrocorax georgianus 498
Heard Shag - Phalacrocorax nivalis 502
Crozet Shag - Phalacrocorax melanogenis 505
Kerguelen Shag - Phalacrocorax verrucosus 508
Macquarie Shag - Phalacrocorax purpurascens 509
Red-legged Cormorant - Phalacrocorax gaimardi 512
Spotted Shag - Phalacrocorax punctatus 515
Little Pied Cormorant - Phalacrocorax melanoleucos 518
Long-tailed Cormorant - Phalacrocorax africanus 522
Crowned Cormorant - Phalacrocorax coronatus 525
Javanese Cormorant - Phalacrocorax niger 528
Pygmy Cormorant - Phalacrocorax pygmaeus 529
Flightless Cormorant - Phalacrocorax harrisi 532
Anhinga and Darter (Anhingidae)
Anhinga - Anhinga anhinga 538
Darter - Anhinga melanogaster 541
Frigatebirds (Fregatidae)
Ascension Frigatebird - Fregata aquila 545
Christmas Frigatebird - Fregata andrewsi 548
Magnificent Frigatebird - Fregata magnificens 551
Great Frigatebird - Fregata minor 556
Lesser Frigatebird - Fregata ariel 561
Tropicbirds (Phaethontidae)
Red-billed Tropicbird - Phaethon aethereus 567
Red-tailed Tropicbird - Phaethon rubricauda 571
White-tailed Tropicbird - Phaethon lepturus 578
Appendix Measurements 585
Bibliography 599
Selective glossary 653
Index 655
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