Saturday, September 28, 2019

New Titles

1) Toms, Mike. Garden Birds. 2019. William Collins. Paperback: 452 pages. Price: $50.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Gardens make a significant contribution to the amount of urban green space and are the main contributors to urban biodiversity. Birds are one of the most visible components of this urban biodiversity, and many of us enjoy attracting wild birds into our gardens.
     This timely addition to the New Naturalist Library examines the ways in which birds use gardens, revealing the many new discoveries that are being made and explaining why individual species of bird use gardens in the ways that they do. Why, for example, do Blackcaps now winter in UK gardens – favouring those in the southwest and those that are urban in nature – and why do Siskins increase their use of garden feeders on damp winter days? With a growing human population, the process of urbanisation is set to continue and it is important to recognise the impacts that urbanisation will have on bird populations and the community of species making a living within the built environment.
     Although many people do not regard themselves as birdwatchers, most of those who seek to attract wild birds into their gardens do so because they enjoy watching them. Some have taken their interest further by becoming involved in citizen science projects that have helped to develop our understanding of how and why birds use our gardens and the resources that they provide. This research demonstrates the role that gardens play in the ecology of many wild bird populations and reveals insights that continue to fascinate a growing audience, increasingly interested in the wildlife that lives alongside them.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in the garden birds of Great Britain and/or collect the New Naturalist series.

2) Tarboton, Warwick and Michele Tarboton. A Guide To The Dragonflies & Damselflies of South Africa. 2019. Struik Nature. Paperback: 224 pages. Price: $23.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: In this fully revised edition of A Guide to Dragonflies & Damselflies of South Africa, all 164 species known to occur in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland are described and illustrated, grouped according to family (six dragonfly and six damselfly families). The species entries feature scans of live insects (close-up and side-view images) and photographs of specimens in their natural environment and showing key behaviors. Detailed descriptions focus on size, identifying features and occurrence. An introductory chapter unpacks the life cycle, behavior, biology and breeding of this fascinating group of insects.
     Presented in a classic field guide format, this revised edition now also features:
• Expanded annotations to all illustrations, highlighting diagnostic features to
ensure accurate identification
• New distribution maps
• Additional color plates and photographs

     Beautifully presented, informative and authoritative, this book will appeal to anyone with an interest in South Africa’s insect life, and to nature lovers in general.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those with an interest in the Odonata of the region.