A Dictionary of Birds

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Bloomsbury Publishing, Jun 27, 2013 - Nature - 700 pages
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A Dictionary of Birds enlists contributions from over 280 ornithologists and other specialists from around the world. Major, authoritative articles cover the field of modern ornithology and related subjects, many of them running to several thousand words. In addition there are articles on all the bird families, almost all of which are illustrated by a representative species. There are also numerous short entries defining special terms, application of names, etc. The total gives a text of over 800,000 words, supported by more than 500 photographs, drawings and diagrams.

The photographs have been selected under the guidance of Eric Hosking to illustrate different activities of birds, and Robert Gillmor has assembled a collection of over 200 drawings of birds, almost all of which were specially drawn for the Dictionary.

Compiled for the British Ornithologists' Union, this new work is in line of succession from Newton's A Dictionary of Birds of 1896 and Landsborough Thomson's A New Dictionary of Birds published in 1964 (2nd impression 1965) and now long out of print. This new dictionary, encyclopaedic in treatment, is destined to be a major reference in any ornithologist's library; and its editors and contributors, most of whom gave their time and knowledge freely, have earned the thanks and acclaim of users for many years to come.

Frances James, President of the American Ornithologists' Union, writes in her preface of "the role the dictionary will play in fostering communications among nations. For students it will serve as an entrance to the present status of the field. For scientists it will serve as a research tool and a bridge between disciplines."

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About the author (2013)

NlCK DAVIES is Professor of Behavioural Ecology at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Pembroke College. He was born on the Lancashire coast, where night- jars and pink-footed geese inspired his passion for birdwatching from an early age. After a first degree at Cambridge, he did his doctorate at the Edward Grey Institute, Oxford University, studying the territorial behaviour of Pied Wagtails. He then returned to the Zoology Department at Cambridge, where he did his famous work on the variable mating system of the Dunnock. For the past fifteen years he has studied the interactions between the Common Cuckoo and its hosts, and his students have worked on other brood parasites, including cuckoos in Africa, cowbirds in South America, and the Moorhen, a species that para- sitises its own kind. His previous books include Dunnock Behaviour and Social Evolution and (with John Kreb) An Introduction to Behavioural Ecology. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and his awards include the Medal of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour and a Cambridge University Teaching Prize.

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