Thursday, October 20, 2011


1) Coulson, John C.. The Kittiwake. 2011. T&AD Poyser. Hardbound: 304 pages. Price: 50.00 GBP (about $79.05 U.S.).

SUMMARY: Returning to its breeding sites in the spring after a winter spent far out at sea, the Kittiwake is a familiar sight around the coasts of Britain and Europe. A pale, medium-sized gull with a 'gentle' expression and bright yellow bill, the Kittiwake has been the subject of behavioural research since the late 1950s - one of the longest running studies in the world. In this Poyser Monograph, John Coulson summarises these decades of research, revealing amazing insights into the life of these gulls, with wider implications for the behavioural ecology of all colonial birds. There are sections on life at sea, nest-site selection, breeding biology, feeding ecology, colony dynamics, moult, survivorship and conservation.
     This book is essential for academics working on colonial species, and is also of great interest to birders who want to learn more about these elegant cliff-dwelling birds.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for anyone interested in this species!

2) Dutson, Guy. Birds of Melanesia: Bismarcks, Solomons, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia. 2011. Helm Field Guides. Paperback: 447 pages. Price: 40.00 GBP (about $63.24 U.S.).
SUMMARY: This new Helm Field Guide covers the species-rich Melanesia region of the south-west Pacific, from New Caledonia and the Solomons through the Bismarcks to Vanuatu, an increasingly popular destination for tours and travellers and one that has never before had complete field-guide coverage. The cover star is the Kagu, the region's most iconic bird species and a highly sought-after endemic of New Caledonia.
     Superb colour plates illustrate the 650 species that occur in the region, allied with concise identification text and a series of distribution colour bars.
     For anyone travelling to this far-flung Pacific region, this book is indispensable.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for birders interested in the region! This title will be co-published in North America by Princeton University Press in March 2012.

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