Author: Scott Weidensaul Genre: Nature Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company ISBN: 9780393608915 Book Pages: 400 Format: PDF, ePub & Mobi
An exhilarating exploration of the science and wonder of global bird migration. In the past two decades, our understanding of the navigational and physiological feats that enable birds to cross immense oceans, fly above the highest mountains, or remain in unbroken flight for months at a stretch has exploded. What we’ve learned of these key migrations—how billions of birds circumnavigate the globe, flying tens of thousands of miles between hemispheres on an annual basis—is nothing short of extraordinary. Bird migration entails almost unfathomable endurance, like a sparrow-sized sandpiper that will fly nonstop from Canada to Venezuela—the equivalent of running 126 consecutive marathons without food, water, or rest—avoiding dehydration by "drinking" moisture from its own muscles and organs, while orienting itself using the earth’s magnetic field through a form of quantum entanglement that made Einstein queasy. Crossing the Pacific Ocean in nine days of nonstop flight, as some birds do, leaves little time for sleep, but migrants can put half their brains to sleep for a few seconds at a time, alternating sides—and their reaction time actually improves. These and other revelations convey both the wonder of bird migration and its global sweep, from the mudflats of the Yellow Sea in China to the remote mountains of northeastern India to the dusty hills of southern Cyprus. This breathtaking work of nature writing from Pulitzer Prize finalist Scott Weidensaul also introduces readers to those scientists, researchers, and bird lovers trying to preserve global migratory patterns in the face of climate change and other environmental challenges. Drawing on his own extensive fieldwork, in A World on the Wing Weidensaul unveils with dazzling prose the miracle of nature taking place over our heads.
Author: Scott Weidensaul Genre: Nature Publisher: Macmillan ISBN: 0865475911 Book Pages: 420 Format: PDF, ePub & Mobi
Scott Weidensaul follows hawks over the Mexican coastal plains, Bar-tailed Godwits that hitchhike on gale winds 7,000 miles nonstop across the Pacific from Alaska to New Zealand, and the Myriad Songbirds whose numbers have dwindled so dramatically in recent years.
A close look at one season in one key site that reveals the amazing science and magic of spring bird migration, and the perils of human encroachment. Every spring, billions of birds sweep north, driven by ancient instincts to return to their breeding grounds. This vast parade often goes unnoticed, except in a few places where these small travelers concentrate in large numbers. One such place is along Lake Erie in northwestern Ohio. There, the peak of spring migration is so spectacular that it attracts bird watchers from around the globe, culminating in one of the world's biggest birding festivals. Millions of winged migrants pass through the region, some traveling thousands of miles, performing epic feats of endurance and navigating with stunning accuracy. Now climate change threatens to disrupt patterns of migration and the delicate balance between birds, seasons, and habitats. But wind farms--popular as green energy sources--can be disastrous for birds if built in the wrong places. This is a fascinating and urgent study of the complex issues that affect bird migration.
The story of how the associate editor of Birding magazine set himself a lofty goal: to become the first person to see half the world’s birds in one year. In 2015, for 365 days, with a backpack, binoculars, and a series of one-way tickets, Noah Strycker traveled across forty-one countries and all seven continents, eventually spotting 6,042 species—by far the biggest birding year on record. This is no travelogue or glorified checklist. Noah ventures deep into a world of chronic sleep deprivation, airline snafus, breakdowns, mudslides, floods, war zones, ecologic devastation, conservation triumphs, common and iconic species, and scores of passionate bird lovers around the globe. By pursuing the freest creatures on the planet, he gains a unique perspective on the world they share with us—and offers a hopeful message that even as many birds face an uncertain future, more people than ever are working to protect them. “Birding Without Borders is light-hearted and filled with stories of exotic birds, risky adventures, and colorful birding companions.”—New York Times Book Review “Highly recommended for anyone interested in travel, natural history, and adventure.”—Library Journal “Even readers who wouldn’t know a marvellous spatuletail from a southern ground hornbill will be awed by Strycker’s achievement and appreciate the passion with which he pursues his interest.”—Publishers Weekly
Author: David Allen Sibley Genre: Nature Publisher: Knopf ISBN: 9780525520290 Book Pages: 240 Format: PDF, ePub & Mobi
The bird book for birders and nonbirders alike that will excite and inspire by providing a new and deeper understanding of what common, mostly backyard, birds are doing--and why "Can birds smell?" "Is this the same cardinal that was at my feeder last year?" "Do robins 'hear' worms?" In What It's Like to Be a Bird, David Sibley answers the most frequently asked questions about the birds we see most often. This special, large-format volume is geared as much to nonbirders as it is to the out-and-out obsessed, covering more than two hundred species and including more than 330 new illustrations by the author. While its focus is on familiar backyard birds--blue jays, nuthatches, chickadees--it also examines certain species that can be fairly easily observed, such as the seashore-dwelling Atlantic puffin. David Sibley's exacting artwork and wide-ranging expertise bring observed behaviors vividly to life. (For most species, the primary illustration is reproduced life-sized.) And while the text is aimed at adults--including fascinating new scientific research on the myriad ways birds have adapted to environmental changes--it is nontechnical, making it the perfect occasion for parents and grandparents to share their love of birds with young children, who will delight in the big, full-color illustrations of birds in action. Unlike any other book he has written, What It's Like to Be a Bird is poised to bring a whole new audience to David Sibley's world of birds.
Author: Scott Weidensaul Genre: Nature Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing ISBN: 9781938486890 Book Pages: 336 Format: PDF, ePub & Mobi
Part natural history, part poetry, Mountains of the Heart is full of hidden gems and less traveled parts of the Appalachian Mountains Stretching almost unbroken from Alabama to Belle Isle, Newfoundland, the Appalachians are one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world. In Mountains of the Heart, renowned author and avid naturalist Scott Weidensaul shows how geology, ecology, climate, evolution, and 500 million years of history have shaped one of the continent's greatest landscapes into an ecosystem of unmatched beauty. This edition celebrates the book's 20th anniversary of publication and includes a new foreword from the author.
Author: John Kricher Genre: Nature Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ISBN: 9781328787293 Book Pages: 360 Format: PDF, ePub & Mobi
A fascinating look at what birds do and why they do it Both casual and serious birdwatchers can take their skills to the next level with this detailed consideration of bird behavior. This book makes it possible to move beyond identifying birds to understanding some of the underpinning and meaning to what birds do, how they do it, and why they do it. Written in an easy-to-understand style, with an abundance of photos illustrating the behaviors, the book shows how flight, molt, migration, feeding, predation, social behavior, courtship, and nesting shape birds’ behaviors. Birds are everywhere, and easy to observe; this introduction to elements of bird behavior will connect readers more intimately with these remarkable and beguilingly perceptive animals.
Author: Michael Bond Genre: Science Publisher: Harvard University Press ISBN: 9780674247376 Book Pages: 272 Format: PDF, ePub & Mobi
A wise and insightful exploration of human navigation, what it means to be lost, and how we find our way. How is it that we can walk unfamiliar streets while maintaining a sense of direction? Come up with shortcuts on the fly, in places we’ve never traveled? The answer is the complex mental map in our brains. This feature of our cognition is easily taken for granted, but it’s also critical to our species’ evolutionary success. In From Here to There Michael Bond tells stories of the lost and found—Polynesian sailors, orienteering champions, early aviators—and surveys the science of human navigation. Navigation skills are deeply embedded in our biology. The ability to find our way over large distances in prehistoric times gave Homo sapiens an advantage, allowing us to explore the farthest regions of the planet. Wayfinding also shaped vital cognitive functions outside the realm of navigation, including abstract thinking, imagination, and memory. Bond brings a reporter’s curiosity and nose for narrative to the latest research from psychologists, neuroscientists, animal behaviorists, and anthropologists. He also turns to the people who design and expertly maneuver the world we navigate: search-and-rescue volunteers, cartographers, ordnance mappers, urban planners, and more. The result is a global expedition that furthers our understanding of human orienting in the natural and built environments. A beguiling mix of storytelling and science, From Here to There covers the full spectrum of human navigation and spatial understanding. In an age of GPS and Google Maps, Bond urges us to exercise our evolved navigation skills and reap the surprising cognitive rewards.
Author: David Barrie Genre: Science Publisher: The Experiment ISBN: 9781615195381 Book Pages: 320 Format: PDF, ePub & Mobi
“Just astonishing . . . Our natural navigational capacities are no match for those of the supernavigators in this eye-opening book.”—Frans de Waal, The New York Times Book Review Publisher's note: Supernavigators was published in the UK under the title Incredible Journeys. Animals plainly know where they’re going, but how they get there has remained surprisingly mysterious—until now. In Supernavigators, award-winning author David Barrie catches us up on the cutting-edge science. Here are astounding animals of every stripe: Dung beetles that steer by the light of the Milky Way. Ants and bees that rely on patterns of light invisible to humans. Sea turtles and moths that find their way using Earth’s magnetic field. Humpback whales that swim thousands of miles while holding a rocksteady course. Birds that can locate their nests on a tiny island after crisscrossing an ocean. The age of viewing animals as unthinking drones is over. As Supernavigators makes clear, a stunning array of species command senses and skills—and arguably, types of intelligence—beyond our own. Weaving together interviews with leading animal behaviorists and the groundbreaking discoveries of Nobel Prize–winning scientists, David Barrie reveals these wonders in a whole new light.
Author: James L. Gould Genre: Nature Publisher: Princeton University Press ISBN: 9780691140452 Book Pages: 294 Format: PDF, ePub & Mobi
Explores the methods by which animals navigate throughout the world, examining such examples as the monarch butterfly's use of an internal clock and the honey bee's reliance on the sun and mental maps.