Friday, June 28, 2019
1) Bond, Alan B. and Judy Diamond. Thinking Like a Parrot: Perspectives from the Wild. 2019. The University of Chicago Press. Hardbound: 267 pages. Price: $35.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: People form enduring emotional bonds with other animal species, such as dogs, cats, and horses. For the most part, these are domesticated animals, with one notable exception: many people form close and supportive relationships with parrots, even though these amusing and curious birds remain thoroughly wild creatures. What enables this unique group of animals to form social bonds with people, and what does this mean for their survival?
In Thinking like a Parrot, Alan B. Bond and Judy Diamond look beyond much of the standard work on captive parrots to the mischievous, inquisitive, and astonishingly vocal parrots of the wild. Focusing on the psychology and ecology of wild parrots, Bond and Diamond document their distinctive social behavior, sophisticated cognition, and extraordinary vocal abilities. Also included are short vignettes—field notes on the natural history and behavior of both rare and widely distributed species, from the neotropical crimson-fronted parakeet to New Zealand’s flightless, ground-dwelling kākāpō. This composite approach makes clear that the behavior of captive parrots is grounded in the birds’ wild ecology and evolution, revealing that parrots’ ability to bond with people is an evolutionary accident, a by-product of the intense sociality and flexible behavior that characterize their lives.
Despite their adaptability and intelligence, however, nearly all large parrot species are rare, threatened, or endangered. To successfully manage and restore these wild populations, Bond and Diamond argue, we must develop a fuller understanding of their biology and the complex set of ecological and behavioral traits that has led to their vulnerability. Spanning the global distribution of parrot species, Thinking like a Parrot is rich with surprising insights into parrot intelligence, flexibility, and—even in the face of threats—resilience.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with a keen interest in parrot biology.
Thursday, June 20, 2019
1) Still, Robert et al.. Europe's Sea Mammals Including the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands and Cape Verde: A field guide to the whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals. 2019. Princeton University Press. Flexibound: 208 pages. Price: $24.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: A state-of-the-art photographic identification guide to Europe’s whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals.
This cutting-edge photographic identification guide to Europe’s sea mammals―the only such guide of its kind―covers the 39 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises and 9 species of seals found in the region, which spans the eastern Atlantic from Iceland to Macaronesia, and the Mediterranean, Caspian and Baltic seas. Written and illustrated by a team of professional tour guides with extensive experience presenting the region’s sea mammals, the guide features more than 180 color photographs, maps and graphics, highlights key identification features and includes information on the range, ecology, behaviour and conservation status of each species. Produced with the marine conservation charity ORCA, the book presents mapping data from a decade of surveys, which shows both current distribution and changes over time.
Europe’s Sea Mammals is an essential companion for whale watchers and anyone else who is interested in this enigmatic group of mammals.
- The only photographic guide dedicated to this popular whale-watching region
- Features more than 180 color photos, maps and graphics
- Highlights key identification features and provides essential information on the range, ecology, behaviour and conservation status of each species