Author: Mary Colwell
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
‘Focuses a razor light on the plight of one of our most iconic birds. Inspirational!’ Tim Birkhead Curlews are Britain’s largest wading bird, known for their evocative calls which embody wild places; they provoke a range of emotions that many have expressed in poetry, art and music.
The silver curlew
Author: Eleanor Farjeon
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
A lazy girl becomes the king's bride by implying that she had woven twelve skeins of cloth when actually she had eaten twelve dumplings. Incorporates the story of Tom Tit Tot.
'A magical book: an inimitable fusion of ornithology, literary anthology and autobiography.' Tom Holland When Alex Preston was 15, he stopped being a birdwatcher. Adolescence and the scorn of his peers made him put away his binoculars, leave behind the hides and the nature reserves and the quiet companionship of his fellow birders. His love of birds didn't disappear though. Rather, it went underground, and he began birdwatching in the books that he read, creating his own personal anthology of nature writing that brought the birds of his childhood back to brilliant life. Looking for moments 'when heart and bird are one', Preston weaves the very best writing about birds into a personal and eccentric narrative that is as much about the joy of reading and writing as it is about the thrill of wildlife. Moving from the 'high requiem' of Keats's nightingale to the crow-strewn sky at the end of Alan Garner's The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, from Ted Hughes's brooding 'Hawk in the Rain' to the giddy anthropomorphism of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, this is a book that will make you look at birds, at the world, in a newer, richer light. Beautifully illustrated and illuminated by the celebrated graphic artist Neil Gower, As Kingfishers Catch Fire is a book to love and to hold, to return to again and again, to marvel at the way that authors across the centuries have captured the endless grace and variety of birds. 'A joyful and a wondrous book' the Guardian
Orison for a Curlew
Author: Horatio Clare
The captivating story of the search through Europe for the Slender-billed curlew which stands on the brink of extinction
"Highly entertaining…Without being sentimental about it, Mr. Mabey gets us to look at life from the plants' point of view. His science is sound, he's witty, and his language is engaging." —Constance Casey, New York Times The Cabaret of Plants is a masterful, globe-trotting exploration of the relationship between humans and the kingdom of plants by the renowned naturalist Richard Mabey. A rich, sweeping, and wonderfully readable work of botanical history, The Cabaret of Plants explores dozens of plant species that for millennia have challenged our imaginations, awoken our wonder, and upturned our ideas about history, science, beauty, and belief. Going back to the beginnings of human history, Mabey shows how flowers, trees, and plants have been central to human experience not just as sources of food and medicine but as objects of worship, actors in creation myths, and symbols of war and peace, life and death. Writing in a celebrated style that the Economist calls “delightful and casually learned,” Mabey takes readers from the Himalayas to Madagascar to the Amazon to our own backyards. He ranges through the work of writers, artists, and scientists such as da Vinci, Keats, Darwin, and van Gogh and across nearly 40,000 years of human history: Ice Age images of plant life in ancient cave art and the earliest representations of the Garden of Eden; Newton’s apple and gravity, Priestley’s sprig of mint and photosynthesis, and Wordsworth’s daffodils; the history of cultivated plants such as maize, ginseng, and cotton; and the ways the sturdy oak became the symbol of British nationhood and the giant sequoia came to epitomize the spirit of America. Complemented by dozens of full-color illustrations, The Cabaret of Plants is the magnum opus of a great naturalist and an extraordinary exploration of the deeply interwined history of humans and the natural world.
Author: Gerry Cotter
Publisher: Shire Publications
This book describes how the curlew's habitat range has expanded considerably in the twentieth century and examines its lifestyle.
An ornithological quiz book packed with challenging questions for birders, based on the popular ‘Bird Brain of Britain’ contest at the annual BirdFair.
Last of the Curlews
Author: Fred Bodsworth, Murray Gell-Mann, W. S. Merwin
Publisher: Counterpoint LLC
In this conservation classic, originally published fifty-five years ago, Fred Bodsworth tells the story of a solitary Eskimo curlew’s perilous migration and search for a mate. The lone survivor comes to stand for the entirety of a species on the brink of extinction, and for all in nature that is endangered. This new paperback edition includes a foreword by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet W.S. Merwin and an afterword by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann.
The Ascent of Birds
Author: John Reilly
When and where did the ancestors of modern birds evolve? What enabled them to survive the meteoric impact that wiped out the dinosaurs? How did these early birds spread across the globe and give rise to the 10,600-plus species we recognise today ― from the largest ratites to the smallest hummingbirds? Based on the latest scientific discoveries and enriched by personal observations, The Ascent of Birds sets out to answer these fundamental questions. The Ascent of Birds is divided into self-contained chapters, or stories, that collectively encompass the evolution of modern birds from their origins in Gondwana, over 100 million years ago, to the present day. The stories are arranged in chronological order, from tinamous to tanagers, and describe the many dispersal and speciation events that underpin the world's 10,600-plus species. Although each chapter is spearheaded by a named bird and focuses on a specific evolutionary mechanism, the narrative will often explore the relevance of such events and processes to evolution in general. The book starts with The Tinamou's Story, which explains the presence of flightless birds in South America, Africa, and Australasia, and dispels the cherished role of continental drift as an explanation for their biogeography. It also introduces the concept of neoteny, an evolutionary trick that enabled dinosaurs to become birds and humans to conquer the planet. The Vegavis's Story explores the evidence for a Cretaceous origin of modern birds and why they were able to survive the asteroid collision that saw the demise not only of dinosaurs but of up to three-quarters of all species. The Duck's Story switches to sex: why have so few species retained the ancestral copulatory organ? Or, put another way, why do most birds exhibit the paradoxical phenomenon of penis loss, despite all species requiring internal fertilisation? The Hoatzin's Story reveals unexpected oceanic rafting from Africa to South America: a stranger-than-fiction means of dispersal that is now thought to account for the presence of other South American vertebrates, including geckos and monkeys. The latest theories underpinning speciation are also explored. The Manakin's Story, for example, reveals how South America's extraordinarily rich avifauna has been shaped by past geological, oceanographic and climatic changes, while The Storm-Petrel's Story examines how species can evolve from an ancestral population despite inhabiting the same geographical area. The thorny issue of what constitutes a species is discussed in The Albatross's Story, while The Penguin's Story explores the effects of environment on phenotype ― in the case of the Emperor penguin, the harshest on the planet. Recent genomic advances have given scientists novel approaches to explore the distant past and have revealed many unexpected journeys, including the unique overland dispersal of an early suboscine from Asia to South America (The Sapayoa's Story) and the blackbird's ancestral sweepstake dispersals across the Atlantic (The Thrush's Story). Additional vignettes update more familiar concepts that encourage speciation: sexual selection (The Bird-of-Paradise's Story); extended phenotypes (The Bowerbird's Story); hybridisation (The Sparrow's Story); and 'great speciators' (The White-eye's Story). Finally, the book explores the raft of recent publications that help explain the evolution of cognitive skills (The Crow's Story); plumage colouration (The Starling's Story); and birdsong (The Finch's Story)
100 Under 100
Author: Scott Leslie
Publisher: Harper Collins
Scientists estimate that the total biodiversity on Earth is between 10 million and 100 million species. Of these, just over 1.6 million and counting have actually been catalogued and described. One percent, or 16,306, of those species are threatened with extinction, about one-fifth of them critically. Of this group, some have vanishingly small populations in the double or single digits. A few species, including the Pinta Island giant tortoise and the Yangtze giant softshell turtle, sit squarely on the border of extinction in the wild with a population of one. In 100 Under 100, Scott Leslie tells the fascinating stories of species in far-flung places nobody ever hears about, like the northern hairy-nosed wombat, the Gorgan mountain salamander or the Irrawaddy river shark. Closer to home are the Vancouver Island marmot, the Wyoming toad and the Devil’s Hole pupfish. Leslie also tells stories of hopeful progress, as some of the rarest of the rare are back from the brink of extinction through the dedicated efforts of people around the world.
A stunning full-color photographic field guide of 285 species of North American songbirds and warblers, captured in glorious life-sized detail and featuring concise descriptions, location maps, and useful facts for both experienced birdwatchers and armchair ornithologists alike. Birds such as the Acadian Flycatcher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Indigo Bunting, Northern Mockingbird, Pyrrhuloxia, Rock Wren, Song Sparrow, Tree Swallow, and the Yellow Throated Warbler are known for their elaborate songs produced by their highly developed vocal organs. Warblers and Other Songbirds of North America is a breathtaking collection of 285 species of these beautiful, melodious creatures, the largest number of species in a single field guide about North American songbirds. Arranged by region and taxonomic order, every songbird is depicted life-sized; each photograph is accompanied by a short description with essential information on identification and the particular species, habits, and behavior. Every species entry also includes a map showing where the species can be found, as well as a fact grid listing key details such as common and scientific name, length, food, habitat, status, and voice. Inside you'll find fun facts, including: Songbirds are members of the order Passeriformes, the most varied group of birds both in terms of numbers of species and diversity of appearance and habit preferences. Songbirds have feet that allow them to perch with ease, with three toes pointing forward and one facing back. Songbirds are extremely vocal; some male species are among the finest songsters in the bird world. Every photograph is gloriously detailed and chosen to show each species’ unique identification features and typical postures. Packed in a convenient portable size, Warblers and Other Songbirds of North America is ideal for the experienced birdwatcher, the aspiring naturalist, and every bird lover.
The Eastern Curlew
Author: Harry Sadler
Publisher: Affirm Press
Every year around August, large flocks of Eastern Curlews leave their breeding grounds in the Arctic and embark on a perilous 10,000km journey to the coast of Australia. The birds cannot swim; if they become exhausted and fall into the ocean, they die. But it?s a journey they have taken for tens of thousands of years, tracing invisible flyways in the sky in what is one of the most spectacular mass migrations in the animal kingdom. Following the Eastern Curlew along its migratory path, award-winning nature writer Harry Saddler explores how these incredible birds have impressed themselves on the cultures of the countries they fly through, the threat to their survival posed by development, and the remarkable ways these birds and humankind may be entwined. The Eastern Curlew is a delightful and vivid portrait of a fascinating natural phenomenon.
The first bestselling novel in the compelling Duffy and Macintosh series, depicting our turbulent history as never before. "The home grown version of Wilbur Smith" The Sunday Age A stark and vivid novel of Australia's brutal past. An epic tale of two families, the Macintoshes and the Duffys, who are locked in a deadly battle from the moment squatter Donald Macintosh commits an act of barbarity on his Queensland property. Their paths cross in love, death and revenge as both families fight to tame the wild frontier of Australia's north country. PRAISE FOR THE SERIES "A rousing and revealing yarn" Weekend Australian "the historical detail brings the ... 19th century to rip-roaring life" The Australian "Watt's fans love his work for its history, adventure and storytelling" Brisbane News
"A GREAT BOOK." --THE NEW YORK TIMES "MARVELOUS." --THE TELEGRAPH "A RARE GLIMPSE OF A FLEDGLING DAVID ATTENBOROUGH IN THE WILD." --VANITY FAIR Living legend and presenter of BBC's Planet Earth series Sir David Attenborough tells the story of his early career as a broadcaster and a naturalist in his own words. In 1954, David Attenborough, a young television presenter, was offered the opportunity of a lifetime--to travel the world finding rare and elusive animals for the London Zoo's collection, and to film the expedition for the BBC for a new show called Zoo Quest. This is the story of those voyages. Staying with local tribes while trekking in search of giant anteaters in Guyana, Komodo dragons in Indonesia, and armadillos in Paraguay, he and the rest of the team contended with cannibal fish, aggressive tree porcupines, and escape-artist wild pigs, as well as treacherous terrain and unpredictable weather, to record the incredible beauty and biodiversity of these regions. Written with his trademark wit and charm, Adventures of a Young Naturalist is not just the story of a remarkable adventure, but of the man who made us fall in love with the natural world and taught us the importance of protecting it--and who is still doing so today.
The Wall of Birds
Author: Jane Kim, Thayer Walker
A celebration of the diversity and evolution of birds, as depicted in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's magnificent 2,500-square-foot Wall of Birds mural by artist Jane Kim. Part homage, part artistic and sociological journey, The Wall of Birds tells the story of birds' remarkable 375-million-year evolution. With a foreword by John W. Fitzpatrick, director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and full of lush photographs of gorgeous life-size birds painted in exacting detail, The Wall of Birds lets readers explore these amazing creatures family by family and continent by continent. Throughout, beautifully crafted narratives and intimate artistic reflections tell of the evolutionary forces that created birds' dazzling variety of forms and colors, and reveal powerful lessons about birds that are surprisingly relevant to contemporary human challenges. From the tiny five-inch Marvelous Spatuletail hummingbird to the monstrous thirty-foot Yutyrannus, The Wall of Birds is a visual feast, essential for bird enthusiasts, naturalists, and art lovers alike.