National Geographic Bird Coloration

National Geographic Bird Coloration

by Geoffrey E. Hill


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Why is a cardinal red or a bluebird blue? Why do some birds have plumage that is intensely colored—is it pigment, light, gender, robust health, or some combination of all four? What roles do disease, climate, and wear and tear play in this process? What does feather display signal about sexual attraction and social status? How has color camouflage evolved?

These are just a few of the fascinating questions explored here in the first non-academic work on coloration and plumage, and their key role in avian life. More than 200 gorgeous photographs highlight the explanations of the essentials: what color is, ornithologically speaking; how it is produced and measured; how birds use color to attract mates and deter competitors; how birds perceive color; and how coloration varies across species by sex, season, and age.

Geoff Hill guides his readers along an engaging but authoritative narrative illustrated with vivid photographs and fact-packed captions. A book conceived in the same spirit as National Geographic’s more traditional bird guides, it’s sure to appeal to serious ornithologists, recreational bird watchers, and natural history buffs alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426205712
Publisher: National Geographic Society
Publication date: 03/16/2010
Pages: 255
Sales rank: 985,143
Product dimensions: 10.08(w) x 7.30(h) x 0.97(d)

About the Author

Geoffrey E. Hill is a noted ornithologist, seeker of the elusive Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and author of two books: A Red Bird in a Brown Bag and Ivorybill Hunters. He served as the consultant for the forthcoming National Geographic feature film The Lord God Bird.

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National Geographic Bird Coloration 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
jnavia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In 2006, Hill co-edited a scholarly two-volume compendium titled Bird Coloration. While editing it, he ¿could not help but despair at the huge number of fascinating discoveries that were locked away from a broader readership.¿ He decided to write this book, National Geographic Bird Coloration, for birders and nature enthusiasts. And, indeed, it is a fascinating book! It includes topics such as how birds are colored (what pigments are used and where the pigments come from; also, how structural colors -- like blues and iridescent colors -- are created), how birds see colors and how birds use color in their everyday lives. It's not just about being attractive to mates or hiding from predators. There are still a lot of questions yet to be studied about bird coloration, but this book delves into current research, presented for the general reader.