Search Results: where-song-began-australia-s-birds-and-how-they-changed-the-world

Where Song Began

Australia's Birds and How They Changed the World

Author: Tim Low

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300226802

Category: Science

Page: 424

View: 6688

An authoritative and entertaining exploration of Australia’s distinctive birds and their unheralded role in global evolution Renowned for its gallery of unusual mammals, Australia is also a land of extraordinary birds. But unlike the mammals, the birds of Australia flew beyond the continent’s boundaries and around the globe many millions of years ago. This eye-opening book tells the dynamic but little-known story of how Australia provided the world with songbirds and parrots, among other bird groups, why Australian birds wield surprising ecological power, how Australia became a major evolutionary center, and why scientific biases have hindered recognition of these discoveries. From violent, swooping magpies to tool-making cockatoos, Australia’s birds are strikingly different from birds of other lands—often more intelligent and aggressive, often larger and longer-lived. Tim Low, a renowned biologist with a rare storytelling gift, here presents the amazing evolutionary history of Australia’s birds. The story of the birds, it turns out, is inseparable from the story of the continent itself and also the people who inhabit it.

Where Song Began

Australia's Birds and How They Changed the World

Author: Tim Low

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300221665

Category: Nature

Page: 424

View: 2324

An authoritative and entertaining exploration of Australia's distinctive birds and their unheralded role in global evolution Renowned for its gallery of unusual mammals, Australia is also a land of extraordinary birds. But unlike the mammals, the birds of Australia flew beyond the continent's boundaries and around the globe many millions of years ago. This eye-opening book tells the dynamic but little-known story of how Australia provided the world with songbirds and parrots, among other bird groups, why Australian birds wield surprising ecological power, how Australia became a major evolutionary center, and why scientific biases have hindered recognition of these discoveries. From violent, swooping magpies to tool-making cockatoos, Australia's birds are strikingly different from birds of other lands--often more intelligent and aggressive, often larger and longer-lived. Tim Low, a renowned biologist with a rare storytelling gift, here presents the amazing evolutionary history of Australia's birds. The story of the birds, it turns out, is inseparable from the story of the continent itself and also the people who inhabit it.

Where Song Began

Australia's Birds and How They Changed the World

Author: Tim Low

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0857976370

Category: Science

Page: 416

View: 4004

Renowned for its unusual mammals, Australia is a land of birds that are just as unusual, just as striking, a result of the continent's tens of millions of years of isolation. Compared with birds elsewhere, ours are more likely to be intelligent, aggressive and loud, to live in complex societies, and are long-lived. They're also ecologically more powerful, exerting more influences on forests than other birds. But unlike the mammals, the birds did not keep to Australia; they spread around the globe. Australia provided the world with its songbirds and parrots, the most intelligent of all bird groups. It was thought in Darwin's time that species generated in the Southern Hemisphere could not succeed in the Northern, an idea that was proven wrong in respect of birds in the 1980s but not properly accepted by the world's scientists until 2004 - because, says Tim Low, most ornithologists live in the Northern Hemisphere. As a result, few Australians are aware of the ramifications, something which prompted the writing of this book. Tim Low has a rare gift for illuminating complex ideas in highly readable prose, and making of the whole a dynamic story. Here he brilliantly explains how our birds came to be so extraordinary, including the large role played by the foods they consume (birds, too, are what they eat), and by our climate, soil, fire, and Australia's legacy as a part of Gondwana. The story of its birds, it turns out, is inseparable from the story of Australia itself, and one that continues to unfold, so much having changed in the last decade about what we know of our ancient past. Where Song Began also shines a light on New Guinea as a biological region of Australia, as much a part of the continent as Tasmania. This is a work that goes far beyond the birds themselves to explore the relationships between Australia's birds and its people, and the ways in which scientific prejudice have hindered our understanding.

Bird Minds

Cognition and Behaviour of Australian Native Birds

Author: Gisela Kaplan

Publisher: CSIRO PUBLISHING

ISBN: 1486300197

Category: Nature

Page: 280

View: 6662

In her comprehensive and carefully crafted book, Gisela Kaplan demonstrates how intelligent and emotional Australian birds can be. She describes complex behaviours such as grieving, deception, problem solving and the use of tools. Many Australian birds cooperate and defend each other, and exceptional ones go fishing by throwing breadcrumbs in the water, extract poisonous parts from prey and use tools to crack open eggshells and mussels. The author brings together evidence of many such cognitive abilities, suggesting plausible reasons for their appearance in Australian birds. Bird Minds is the first attempt to shine a critical and scientific light on the cognitive behaviour of Australian land birds. In this fascinating volume, the author also presents recent changes in our understanding of the avian brain and links these to life histories and longevity. Following on from Gisela’s well-received books on the Australian Magpie and the Tawny Frogmouth, as well as two earlier titles on birds, Bird Minds contends that the unique and often difficult conditions of Australia's environment have been crucial for the evolution of unusual complexities in avian cognition and behaviour.

Feral Future

The Untold Story of Australia's Exotic Invaders

Author: Tim Low

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226494197

Category: Science

Page: 394

View: 8179

A decade ago, Tim Low journeyed to the remote northernmost tip of Australia. Instead of the pristine rain forests he expected, he found jungles infested with Latin American carpet grass and feral cattle. That incident helped inspire Feral Future, a passionate account of the history and implications of invasive species in that island nation, with consequences for ecological communities around the globe. Australia is far from alone in facing horrific ecological and economic damage from invading plants and animals, and in Low's capable hands, Australia's experiences serve as a wake-up call for all of us. He covers how invasive species like cane toads and pond apple got to Australia (often through misguided but intentional introductions) and what we can do to stop them. He also covers the many pests that Australia has exported to the world, including the paperbark tree (Melaleuca) that infests hundreds of thousands of acres in south Florida.

The New Nature

Author: Tim Low

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 1743772165

Category: Nature

Page: 416

View: 7213

Winner of the NIB Waverley Award for Literature. Forget about wilderness, Tim Low says, nature lives in our cities and gardens, exploiting everything we do. Many endangered species now live in industrial zones and cities. In our forests, native creatures have become pests. Fifteen years on, The New Nature continues to challenge the way we view the interactions between human beings and nature, and pushes us to review our relationship with Australia's wilderness.

The Robin

A Biography

Author: Stephen Moss

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1473546109

Category: Nature

Page: 208

View: 2150

'There is no doubt that Moss’s book, with its charming cover and quaint illustrations, will make it into many a stocking this year' The Times No other bird is quite so ever-present and familiar, so embedded in our culture, as the robin. With more than six million breeding pairs, the robin is second only to the wren as Britain’s most common bird. It seems to live its life alongside us, in every month and season of the year. But how much do we really know about this bird? In The Robin Stephen Moss records a year of observing the robin both close to home and in the field to shed light on the hidden life of this apparently familiar bird. We follow its lifecycle from the time it enters the world as an egg, through its time as a nestling and juvenile, to the adult bird; via courtship, song, breeding, feeding, migration – and ultimately, death. At the same time we trace the robin's relationship with us: how did this particular bird – one of more than 300 species in its huge and diverse family – find its way so deeply and permanently into our nation’s heart and its social and cultural history? It’s a story that tells us as much about ourselves as it does about the robin itself.

Hand Guide to the Birds of New Zealand

Author: Hugh Robertson,Barrie Heather

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198508311

Category: Nature

Page: 168

View: 919

This is a more portable, updated edition of the original Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. The original edition was published in two parts; the first containing an identification guide with color plates and distribution maps, the second giving more detailed information on the biology and ecology of the species described. The current book combines the two sections into one book of plates, maps, short descriptions, introduction and a section on where to find the birds. It is a smaller, more manageable guide - perfect for field work and birding for pleasure.

Australian Magpie

Biology and Behaviour of an Unusual Songbird

Author: Gisela Kaplan

Publisher: CSIRO PUBLISHING

ISBN: 0643098577

Category: Science

Page: 152

View: 8325

The warbling and carolling of the Australian magpie are familiar to many although few of us recognise that it ranks among the foremost songbirds of the world. Its impressive vocal abilities, its propensity to play and clown, and its willingness to interact with people, make the magpie one of our most well-known birds. This insightful book presents a comprehensive account of the behaviour of one of Australia's best-loved icons. It reveals the extraordinary capabilities of the magpie, including its complex social behaviour, in a highly readable text. The author brings together much of what we know about the magpie’s biology and behaviour, including her latest research on magpie vocalisation as well as aspects of anatomy, physiology, development and health not published previously.

Silent Spring

Author: Rachel Carson

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 9780618249060

Category: Nature

Page: 378

View: 7082

Discusses the reckless annihilation of fish and birds by the use of pesticides and warns of the possible genetic effects on humans.

Island Home

A Landscape Memoir

Author: Tim Winton

Publisher: Milkweed Editions

ISBN: 1571319581

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 256

View: 9293

A wild, rhapsodic celebration of Australia and its landscape, from one of its finest writers

The Biggest Estate on Earth

How Aborigines Made Australia

Author: Bill Gammage

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 174331132X

Category: History

Page: 434

View: 2843

Reveals the complex, country-wide systems of land management used by Aboriginal people in presettlement Australia Across Australia, early Europeans commented again and again that the land looked like a park, with extensive grassy patches and pathways, open woodlands, and abundant wildlife. Bill Gammage has discovered this was because Aboriginal people managed the land in a far more systematic and scientific fashion than most people have ever realized. For more than a decade, he has examined written and visual records of the Australian landscape. He has uncovered an extraordinarily complex system of land management using fire, the life cycles of native plants, and the natural flow of water to ensure plentiful wildlife and plant foods throughout the year. Aboriginal people spent far less time and effort than Europeans in securing food and shelter, and this book reveals how. Once Aboriginal people were no longer able to tend their country, it became overgrown and vulnerable to the hugely damaging bushfires Australians now experience. With details of land-management strategies from around Australia, this book rewrites the history of the continent, with huge implications for today.

Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away

Author: Christie Watson

Publisher: Other Press, LLC

ISBN: 159051467X

Category: Fiction

Page: 448

View: 7310

Winner of the 2011 Costa First Novel Award When their mother catches their father with another woman, twelve year-old Blessing and her fourteen-year-old brother, Ezikiel, are forced to leave their comfortable home in Lagos for a village in the Niger Delta, to live with their mother’s family. Without running water or electricity, Warri is at first a nightmare for Blessing. Her mother is gone all day and works suspiciously late into the night to pay the children’s school fees. Her brother, once a promising student, seems to be falling increasingly under the influence of the local group of violent teenage boys calling themselves Freedom Fighters. Her grandfather, a kind if misguided man, is trying on Islam as his new religion of choice, and is even considering the possibility of bringing in a second wife. But Blessing’s grandmother, wise and practical, soon becomes a beloved mentor, teaching Blessing the ways of the midwife in rural Nigeria. Blessing is exposed to the horrors of genital mutilation and the devastation wrought on the environment by British and American oil companies. As Warri comes to feel like home, Blessing becomes increasingly aware of the threats to its safety, both from its unshakable but dangerous traditions and the relentless carelessness of the modern world. Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away is the witty and beautifully written story of one family’s attempt to survive a new life they could never have imagined, struggling to find a deeper sense of identity along the way.

The Hunters

The Precarious Lives of New Zealand's Birds of Prey

Author: Debbie Stewart,Deborah S. Stewart

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780143771685

Category: Birds of prey

Page: 256

View: 592

From an extinct giant eagle and an owl that sounded like the devil, to the morepork we hear calling at night, the falcon that appears on our $20 note and the hawks we see swooping on the grisly remains of dead critters on the road, this book takes a close look at these fascinating birds and the people who are working to keep the species that are still with us safe. Filled with facts and great stories of rescued birds being nursed back to health, this book also has many amazing close-up photographs. Find out about the ancient art of falconry, how damaged feathers critical for flying can be replaced with temporary ones, how you can help an injured bird, and how birds can be released back into the wild.

A Guide to the Cockroaches of Australia

Author: David Rentz

Publisher: CSIRO PUBLISHING

ISBN: 1486300375

Category: Nature

Page: 328

View: 2070

Cockroaches! Even a mere mention of the word causes many people to recoil in horror. However, of the hundreds of species of cockroaches (or blattodeans as they are known) found in Australia, only a small number of them give the group a bad name. Just a few species that are commonly found in homes, restaurants and hospitals are responsible for thousands of dollars in expenditure to comply with health standards. A Guide to the Cockroaches of Australia is a comprehensive account of most of the 550 described species found in Australia. The book reveals their diversity and beauty, it looks in detail at their morphology, habitats and ecology, and explains how to collect and preserve them. Importantly, it will allow pest controllers, students and researchers to reliably identify most of the common pest species as well as the non-pest cockroaches. It will also, perhaps, go some way towards elevating the reputation of these much-maligned insects, and promote further study of them. 2014 Whitley Award Commendation for Field Guide.

Wild Food Plants of Australia

Author: Tim Low

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780207169304

Category: Aboriginal Australians

Page: 240

View: 8218

Tim Low has provided a truly reliable guide to our edible flora, making identification easy. Thus it is a perfect companion for bushwalkers, naturalists, scientists and, with emphasis on wild food cuisine, gourmets. Low describes more than 180 plants - from the most tasty and significant plant foods of southern and eastern Australia to the more important and spectacular inland and tropical foods. Distribution maps are provided with each description plus notes on how these plants were used in the past and can be used today. Beautifully illustrated with colour photographs and line drawings there is also a guide to poisonous and non-poisonous plants, and information on introduced food plants, the nutrients found in wild food plants, on bush survival, and how to forage for and cook with wild plants.

Field Guide to the Birds of Australia

Author: N.A

Publisher: Penguin Books

ISBN: 9780670072316

Category: Birds

Page: 381

View: 6579

Birdscaping Australian Gardens

Author: George Adams

Publisher: Viking

ISBN: 9780670078707

Category: Bird attracting

Page: 368

View: 7077

Wake up to the beautiful sound of birdsong every day. Discover how to identify the most common garden birds, and how to choose, grow and maintain the native plants that will attract them to your backyard. From acacias to eucalypts, and from honeyeaters to kookaburras, this essential guide will help transform any garden across Australia into an avian paradise. Featuring plant and bird directories illustrated with superb colour photographs and line drawings, as well as comprehensive planting tables and expert advice, this book has all you need to create a refuge for birds - and so preserve Australia's amazing natural heritage and biodiversity. 'This book is a masterpiece - a must-have tool in every gardener's wheelbarrow.' Costa Georgiadis, ABC's Gardening Australia

Welcome to Subirdia

Sharing Our Neighborhoods with Wrens, Robins, Woodpeckers, and Other Wildlife

Author: John M. Marzluff

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300210302

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 2436

Welcome to Subirdia presents a surprising discovery: the suburbs of many large cities support incredible biological diversity. Populations and communities of a great variety of birds, as well as other creatures, are adapting to the conditions of our increasingly developed world. In this fascinating and optimistic book, John Marzluff reveals how our own actions affect the birds and animals that live in our cities and towns, and he provides ten specific strategies everyone can use to make human environments friendlier for our natural neighbors. Over many years of research and fieldwork, Marzluff and student assistants have closely followed the lives of thousands of tagged birds seeking food, mates, and shelter in cities and surrounding areas. From tiny Pacific wrens to grand pileated woodpeckers, diverse species now compatibly share human surroundings. By practicing careful stewardship with the biological riches in our cities and towns, Marzluff explains, we can foster a new relationship between humans and other living creatures—one that honors and enhances our mutual destiny.

One Wild Bird at a Time

Portraits of Individual Lives

Author: Bernd Heinrich

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 054438640X

Category: Nature

Page: 224

View: 7666

The acclaimed scientist's encounters with individual wild birds, yielding “marvelous, mind-altering” (Los Angeles Times) insights and discoveries In his modern classics One Man’s Owl and Mind of the Raven, Bernd Heinrich has written memorably about his relationships with wild ravens and a great horned owl. In One Wild Bird at a Time, Heinrich returns to his great love: close, day-to-day observations of individual wild birds. There are countless books on bird behavior, but Heinrich argues that some of the most amazing bird behaviors fall below the radar of what most birds do in aggregate. Heinrich’s “passionate observations [that] superbly mix memoir and science” (New York Times Book Review) lead to fascinating questions — and sometimes startling discoveries. A great crested flycatcher, while bringing food to the young in their nest, is attacked by the other flycatcher nearby. Why? A pair of Northern flickers hammering their nest-hole into the side of Heinrich’s cabin deliver the opportunity to observe the feeding competition between siblings, and to make a related discovery about nest-cleaning. One of a clutch of redstart warbler babies fledges out of the nest from twenty feet above the ground, and lands on the grass below. It can’t fly. What will happen next? Heinrich “looks closely, with his trademark ‘hands-and-knees science’ at its most engaging, [delivering] what can only be called psychological marvels of knowing” (Boston Globe). An eminent biologist shares the joys of bird-watching and how observing the anomalous behaviors of individual birds has guided his research. Heinrich (Emeritus, Biology/Univ. of Vermont; The Homing Instinct: Meaning and Mystery in Animal Migration, 2014, etc.) smoothly describes how studying the daily lives of birds in their natural environments allows him to experience their world vicariously. Now retired and living in a cabin in the Maine woods, he devotes himself to closely observing “his avian neighbors, visitors, and vagrants, and keep[ing] daily records throughout spring, summer, fall, and winter.” Every year, he welcomes a pair of broad-wing hawks who feast at a vernal pond populated by frogs, spring peepers, and salamanders while refurbishing their old nest. Unusually, they provide a fern cover on the nest, which they update on a daily basis after their chicks hatch. Heinrich also includes anecdotes from an earlier time when he still lived in Vermont. Awakened one morning by the loud drumming of a male woodpecker on a nearby apple tree, the author wondered if perhaps he was seeking to attract a female. Surprisingly, when a female was drawn to the sound, he stopped drumming and flew away. The same behavior was repeated the following day. The author’s observations led him to conclude that the bird's drumming was not part of a mating ritual but rather a noisy advertisement of his nest-building skills. Vireos nesting near his cabin allowed him to observe how they deliberately reduced the number of eggs they were hatching to accommodate the reduced food supply after an unseasonal freeze. Heinrich explains that bird-watching has been an important part of his life since he was a boy on his family's farm. When he was 6, they moved from Germany to Maine. Finding familiar birds nesting “immediately made this place our home,” he writes. An engaging memoir of the opportunities for doing scientific research without leaving one's own backyard. (Kirkus)

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