Tuesday, November 8, 2016

New Titles

1) Eaton, James A., Bas van Balen, Nick W. Brickle, and Frank E. Rheindt. Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago: Greater Sundas and Wallacea. 2016. Lynx Edicions. Hardbound: 496 pages. Price: $75.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: 1,399 species, 578 endemics and 16 undescribed species. 2,424 illustrations and 1,339 distribution maps.
     The first ornithological field guide covering the vast chain of the Indonesian archipelago, with over 2,500 illustrations, describes all 1,417 bird species known to occur in the region, including 601 endemics, 98 vagrants, eight introduced species and 18 species yet to be formally described. Together these represent over 13% of global bird diversity. In addition, all subspecies from the region are described.
     The guide fully encompasses the biogeographic regions of the Greater Sundas (Sumatra, Borneo, Java and Bali) and Wallacea (Sulawesi, the Moluccas and the Lesser Sundas), plus all satellite islands. This region spans an arc of over 4,000 km along the Equator, including Brunei, East Timor, the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak and most of the territory of the Republic of Indonesia.
The authors' vast experience and knowledge of the region's birds brings together the latest taxonomic insights, knowledge of distribution, field identification features, vocalizations and more to create an indispensable reference for anyone with an interest in the avifauna of this fabulously diverse region.
RECOMMENDATION: A MUST have for anyone birding the region!

2) Denny, Mark. Long Hops: Making Sense of Bird Migration. 2016. University of Hawaii Press. Paperback: 241 pages. Price: $29.99 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: In Long Hops, physicist Mark Denny explains, in a clear, conversational style, the science of bird migration―from the intricacies of bird aeronautics to the newly unraveled mysteries of their magnetic compasses. While providing wherever possible examples of indigenous Hawaiian species, the book surveys the migration phenomenon as a whole, showing that birds are breathtaking works of engineering with spectacular capabilities for long-distance flights. Each year thousands of these hardy migrants fly 2,500 miles nonstop from Alaska to Hawai‘i. How do they endure such marathon journeys, and how on earth do they know which direction to travel over featureless ocean? In fact, many migratory journeys, in all parts of the world and performed by birds as small as warblers and as large as swans, cover much longer distances.
     After answering the “who, why, where, when” questions, Denny focuses on the questions of how: how researchers study bird migration; how they gather data from old-fashioned bird banding, high-tech satellite tracking, and other techniques; and―above all―how the birds do it. Throughout the book, concepts such as the physics of bird flight and the role of physical geography on navigation are explained in a relatively math-free way. Denny also examines past adaptations migrating birds have made to changing environments and the challenges they face in the future, as the world beneath them faces rapid climate change exacerbated by human activity.
RECOMMENDATION: A good overview on the subject.

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