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How Birds Behave

How Birds Behave

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How Birds Behave. A comprehensive study of birds and their behaviours, for the avian obsessed and the curious. A great gift for aspiring ornithologists and animal lovers. 


This engaging book delves into the private lives of wild birds to reveal why they behave as they do.

Birds are intelligent, sociable creatures that exhibit a wide array of behaviours – from mobbing and mimicking to mating and joint nesting. Why do they behave as they do? Bringing to light the remarkable actions of birds through examples from species around the world, How Birds Behave presents engaging vignettes about the private lives of birds, all explained in an evolutionary context.

We discover how birds find food, relying on foraging techniques, tools and thievery. We learn about the courtship rituals through which birds choose, compete for, woo and win mates; the familial conflicts that crop up among parents, offspring and siblings; and the stresses and strains of nesting, including territory defence, nepotism and relationship sabotage. We see how birds respond to threats and danger – through such unique practices as murmurations, specific alarm calls, distraction displays and antipredator nest design. We also read about how birds change certain behaviours – preening, migration, breeding and huddling – based on climate. Richly illustrated, this book explores the increasing focus on how individual birds differ in personality and how big data and citizen scientists are helping to add to what we know about them.

Drawing on classic examples and the latest research, How Birds Behave offers a close-up look at the many ways birds conduct themselves in the wild.

224 pages.

Adult non-fiction, science/animals.

23cm x 16.5cm.

Published by CSIRO Publishing.

Written by Wentei Tong.

Wenfei Tong is a biologist, conservationist and nature guide. She is a Research Associate at the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, and the owner of Big Sky Safaris. She is the author of Bird Love: The Family Life of Birds (Princeton University Press).

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