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Bird Nests and Construction Behaviour


  • Date Published: July 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521017640

£ 37.99

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About the Authors
  • Bird Nests and Construction Behaviour provides a broad view of our understanding of the biology of the nests, bowers and tools made by birds. It illustrates how, among vertebrates, the building abilities of birds are more impressive and consistent than for any other builders other than ourselves, yet birds seem to require no special equipment, and use quite uncomplicated behaviour. In doing so, the book raises general issues in the field of behavioural ecology including the costs of reproduction, sexual selection and the organisation and complexity of behaviour. Written for students and researchers of animal behaviour, behavioural ecology and ornithology, it will nevertheless make fascinating reading for architects and engineers interested in understanding how structures are created by animals.

    • Puts bird building abilities into context of all animal builders
    • Covers nests, bowers and tool-making by birds
    • Demonstrates how elegant yet temporary structures can be built with a simple behavioural repertoire, and how the building principles used are universal
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A stimulating read for scientists and birdwatchers alike.' Charles Deeming, BBC Wildlife

    'Mike Hansell's well-written book … provides an excellent overview … bird nests are beautiful and serve their purpose well. the same can also be said of this book.' Tore Slagsvold, Nature

    '… a scholarly written review on a marvellous subject. It is beautifully illustrated and makes fascinating reading. I recommend it to all students, researchers and amateur ornithologists interested in avian ecology and behaviour.' Tamás Székely, Trends in Ecology and Evolution

    '… a valuable book that will be of particular interest to ornithologists and would serve as a useful supplement in ornithology courses.' Charles R. Brown, Animal Behaviour

    ' … an interesting read and should have a broad appeal to all ornithologists.' Ibis

    'Hansell's book contains loads of information that will be both helpful to the scientist and interesting to the enthusiast. … is thorough, engaging, and fun to read. Hansell's book will be enjoyed by students of ornithology, animal behavior, ecology, and evolutionary biology. It will become a valuable part of the collections of university libraries, professional ornithologists, and those generally enthusiastic about all things avian.' Rebecca Jo Safran, Cornell University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2005
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521017640
    • length: 296 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • contains: 22 b/w illus. 12 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Animal builders and the importance of bird nests
    2. The clutch-nest relationship
    3. Standardising the nest description
    4. Construction
    5. The structure
    6. The cost of nest building
    7. The selection of a nest site
    8. Bowers, building quality and mate assessment
    9. The evolution of nest building

  • Author

    Mike Hansell, University of Glasgow

    Illustrated by

    Raith Overhill

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