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Nomadic Desert Birds : Adaptations of Desert Organisms - W. Richard J. Dean

Nomadic Desert Birds

Adaptations of Desert Organisms

Hardcover Published: 9th December 2003
ISBN: 9783540403937
Number Of Pages: 185

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My interest in the behaviour and movements of birds of arid and semi-arid ecosystems began when my wife, Sue Milton, and I were Roy Siegfried, Director, at that time, of the Percy approached by Prof. FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, to set up a project to investigate granivory in the South African Karoo. Sue and I spent some time finding a suitable study site, setting up accommodations and an automatic weather station at Tierberg, in the southern Karoo near the village of Prince Albert, and planning projects. Among our first projects was a transect where we noted plant phe­ nology, measured seed densities on the soil surface, counted birds, observed ant activity, measured soil surface temperatures and col­ lected whatever climate data we could at 40 sites along a 200-km oval route. Along the way, we became interested in the marked presence and absence of birds at certain sites - abundant birds one day, and very few birds at the same site a month later. Subsequent counts along fixed transects through shrublands confirmed that a number of bird species were highly nomadic over short and long distances, locally and regionally, leading to speculation on how widespread these movements were in the arid ecosystems of the world.

Industry Reviews

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)

Introductionp. 1
Arid and Semi-Arid Regionsp. 5
The Avifauna of Deserts and Semi-Desertsp. 5
Migrations and Movements of Desert Birdsp. 17
Movements in Desert and Semi-Desert Avifaunas: An Overviewp. 20
Migrants in Arid Ecosystemsp. 27
Residents in Arid Ecosystemsp. 29
How Sedentary Are "Resident" Birds?p. 31
Conclusionsp. 35
The Nomadic Avifaunap. 37
The Influence of Rainfall and Temperature on Movements in Birdsp. 37
Predictability of Movements by Non-migratory Birds in Arid Ecosystemsp. 43
Southern Africap. 51
North Africap. 53
Asiap. 55
North Americap. 59
South Americap. 61
Australiap. 66
Phylogeny of Nomadic Birdsp. 75
Conclusionsp. 78
Habitats and Densities of Nomadic Birdsp. 81
Habitatsp. 81
Patchiness in Time and Spacep. 92
Densities of Nomadic Birdsp. 97
Conclusionsp. 99
Food and Foragingp. 101
Food of Nomadic Birdsp. 101
Foraging Behaviourp. 118
Conclusionsp. 120
Reproduction, Moult and Mortalityp. 123
Nest Sites in Nomadic Birdsp. 124
A Case Study: Nest Site Selection in Wattled Starlings Creatophora cinerea, a Nomadic Insectivorep. 128
Nest Construction and the Importance of Nest Materials as Indicators of Resources for Breedingp. 130
Breeding Seasonsp. 132
Clutch Sizes and Nestling Periods in Arid and Semi-Arid South Africap. 134
Breeding Successp. 138
Moultp. 140
Conclusionsp. 142
The Conservation of Nomadic Desert Birdsp. 145
Appendixp. 149
Referencesp. 159
Subject Indexp. 177
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9783540403937
ISBN-10: 3540403930
Series: Adaptations of Desert Organisms
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 185
Published: 9th December 2003
Publisher: Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg Gmbh & Co. Kg
Country of Publication: DE
Dimensions (cm): 23.39 x 15.6  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.46

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