Want it by Wednesday, October 24?
Order by 12:00 PM Eastern and choose Expedited Shipping at checkout.
Same Day shipping in Manhattan. See Details
Ten Thousand Birds provides a thoroughly engaging and authoritative history of modern ornithology, tracing how the study of birds has been shaped by a succession of visionary and often-controversial personalities, and by the unique social and scientific contexts in which these extraordinary individuals worked. This beautifully illustrated book opens in the middle of the nineteenth century when ornithology was a museum-based discipline focused almost exclusively on the anatomy, taxonomy, and classification of dead birds. It describes how in the early 1900s pioneering individuals such as Erwin Stresemann, Ernst Mayr, and Julian Huxley recognized the importance of studying live birds in the field, and how this shift thrust ornithology into the mainstream of the biological sciences. The book tells the stories of eccentrics like Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen, a pathological liar who stole specimens from museums and quite likely murdered his wife, and describes the breathtaking insights and discoveries of ambitious and influential figures such as David Lack, Niko Tinbergen, Robert MacArthur, and others who through their studies of birds transformed entire fields of biology.
Ten Thousand Birds brings this history vividly to life through the work and achievements of those who advanced the field. Drawing on a wealth of archival material and in-depth interviews, this fascinating book reveals how research on birds has contributed more to our understanding of animal biology than the study of just about any other group of organisms.
|Publisher:||Princeton University Press|
|Product dimensions:||8.30(w) x 10.20(h) x 1.80(d)|
About the Author
Tim Birkhead is professor of zoology at the University of Sheffield, where he teaches and conducts research on the behavioral ecology of birds with particular focus on reproduction. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and his books include The Wisdom of Birds and Bird Sense. Jo Wimpenny was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Sheffield during the writing of this book. Bob Montgomerie is professor of biology at Queen's University in Ontario, where he studies the evolution of plumage colors and sexual behavior in birds.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Yesterday's Birds 1
Chapter 2 The Origin and Diversification of Species 43
Chapter 3 Birds on the Tree of Life 75
Chapter 4 Ebb and Flow 117
Chapter 5 Ecological Adaptations for Breeding 161
Chapter 6 Form and Function 201
Chapter 7 The Study of Instinct 245
Chapter 8 Behavior as Adaptation 287
Chapter 9 Selection in Relation to Sex 323
Chapter 10 Population Studies of Birds 355
Chapter 11 Tomorrow's Birds 389
Appendix 1: Some Histories of Ornithology 431
Appendix 2: Five Hundred Ornithologists 434
Image Credits 519
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ten Thousand Praises The bird blogs that I follow have all been a flurry with praise for Ten Thousand Birds. The mix of science, history, personality, and human interest is unique and on that people find highly appealing. I was going to wait until it came to my public library, but the anticipation finally got to me. I am actually so pleased to have this gorgeous book in my personal collection not only for its physical qualities but its intellectual value. Never in recent history has there been such a complete book at the history of ornithology! I love this book because its all about the process. Each chapter focuses on different areas of understanding birds and the history of advancements within that focus. If you looked into migration for example, you'll find the vast array of hypotheses and tests performed in the 20th century fascinating! I should start looking for a birding guide for my homeland of Vermont, but until then, I am totally satisfied with Sheri Amsel's beautiful Vermont Nature Guide.
Beautiful history, science and scholarship.