Bird Love : The Family Life of Birds
Exploring the sex life of birds and their wide range of fascinating mating and parenting habits, this comprehensive study gives you a detailed insight into bird family life. Discover the amazing array of courtship techniques employed by birds around the world, such as ospreys bringing gifts of food in exchange for sex, male skylarks performing aerial acrobatics to impress females, or long-tailed widowbirds showing off their tails to advertise the quality of their genes. But it's not all about males seeking to impress or dominate females: sex roles can be reversed, and the book includes examples such as the black coucal, whose females leave the males to perform all childcare duties. The essential guide to bird family life, Bird Love is richly illustrated with stunning colour photographs, and regular Backyard Bird boxes in each chapter showcase familiar species from around the world. There is also an index and further reading at the back of the book for those wanting to learn more about the many different species of birds in this book!Bird Love covers a whole host of unique bird mating and parenting habits, from practical to peculiar, and is divided into sections on:Ecology and Mating Systems, Courtship, Nests and Eggs, Raising Chicks, Sex Role Reversals, Group Breeding, Brood Parasitism. From female hornbills who seal themselves in to their tree hollow nests, relying on their mates to deliver food through a narrow slit, to the eclectus parrots of Melanesia, whose females fight each other to secure a home due to the limited availability of nesting spots, and who can if succesful enjoy up to seven mates, this book is filled with wild stories of the lengths birds will go to survive and thrive in the wild. Varying levels of parental care are revealed, from both parents having to provide constant care to allowing an insurance chick to die to ensure at least one survives. And either sex can desert the nest in search of further matings to secure another clutch of chicks and the continuation of their family line. Brood parasitism, where birds such as cuckoos and cowbirds lay their eggs in other birds' nests, takes absentee parenting to the extreme and the book explores how these species have evolved to delegate all parental care. Alongside, it also shows how host species have cleverly developed a wide range of tactics to defend their nests and their own families. This complete guide is the ultimate study in the mating and parenting lives of birds of all kinds, and is the perfect gift for either a seasoned ornithologist or an amateur bird fancier. Stunning photographs accompany the deep scientific knowledge of author Wenfei Tong, making this a must have for anyone interestered in avian life!