Essential Ornithology provides the reader with a concise but comprehensive introduction to the biology of birds, one of the most widely studied taxonomic groups. The book starts with the controversial question of the dinosaur origins of birds and their subsequent evolution. Development, anatomy, and physiology are then discussed followed by chapters devoted to avian reproduction, migration, ecology, and conservation. Sections dealing with aspects of bird/human relationships and bird conservation give the book an applied context.
Drawing extensively upon the wider scientific literature, this engaging text places the results of classical studies of avian biology alongside the most recent scientific breakthroughs. Useful case studies are presented in a concise and engaging style with the student reader foremost in mind. Key points are highlighted and suggestions for guided reading and key references are included throughout.
The text is certainly very readable, is bang up to date, and usefully provides 'key references' and 'concepts' as notes in the margin, where relevant. I also liked the 'flight path feature', which provides clear cross-referencing to other sections of the book with related topics. * Ian Carter, British Birds *
[A] well produced volume, and a useful reference for both university students and keener birdwatchers. * BBC Wildlife Magazine *
Combining the threads of biology, ecology, behaviour and conservation, this is an exceptional one-stop shop for anyone who wants to know more about birds. * BTO News *
...an excellent digest of its subject, combining as it does the long back catalogue of ornithological research with a pleasing range of recent developments ... a well-produced volume, and a useful reference for both university students and keener birdwatchers. * Dominic Couzens, BBC Wildlife *
1: Evolution of birds
2: Feathers and flight
3: Movement: migration and navigation
4: Eggs, nests and chicks
6: Foraging and avoiding predation
7: Populations, communities and conservation