Tuesday, May 25, 2010

revised and updated edition of the Birds of Peru

The Revised and Updated Edition of the Birds of Peru, (2010, Princeton University Press) is a worthy successor to the original edition. A country with an amazing 1,817 species of birds surely needs a comprehensive guide to portray them, and this book ably accomplishes this task. The authors (Thomas S. Schulenberg, Douglas F. Stotz, Daniel F. Lane, John P. O’Neill, and the late Theodore A. Parker III) have or had vast experience with the avifauna and the extraordinary geography of Peru. Encompassing this breadth of information is no small task - the diversity of species is stunning, as of course are many of the birds themselves. I direct you to the 121 hummingbird species as only one example, or the tanagers as another, or the wide array of parrot, manakin, or flycatcher species as further proof.

The majority of Peru’s birds are permanent residents, but both boreal and austral migrants are well-represented. Considering the size of the geographic region that contains all of these species is made more remarkable by the range of habitats, from Amazonian forests, to montane, elfin, dry, white-sand, and Polylepis forests, mangroves, savanna, puna (dry grasslands at high elevations), paramo (humid grasslands at high elevations), marshes, lakes, seacoast, bamboo, bogs, and the special category known as “treefall gaps.” Peru varies topographically from the low Amazonian Basin, to the high Andes. This guide manages to say something about all of these factors and how bird species relate to them.

The plates are amazingly thorough, again considering the extent of the task involved in covering more than 1,800 species. Each facing page has a species account and map. The text for each species is limited to about one-sixth of the page, and the maps are small, but these features make this 664-page volume a real “use-in-the-field” book. It’s quite an accomplishment.

Highly recommended for anyone venturing to this part of the world - how will they top this?

See more at the website of Princeton University Press, at this link.

Monday, May 24, 2010

the importance of urban forests for birds

Research demonstrates the importance of urban forests for birds: see this link.

climate change and birds - Forest Service research

Information regarding research on climate change and its effects on birds from the Climate Change Resource Center of the U.S.D.A. Forest Service is available at this link.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

bog flora in May - eastcentral Wisconsin

It's that time of year when a walk into a Wisconsin bog will provide views of these special plants: in this case the starflower (Trientalis borealis) - not only found in bogs; the moccasin flower or pink lady's slipper (Cypripedium acaule), and the wild calla (Calla palustris ). These plants were seen near the boardwalk in Spruce Lake Bog in Fond du Lac County.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Partners in Flight - and Bird Conservation

Saving Our Shared Birds: Partners in Flight Tri-National Vision for Landbird Conservation, is a new report, issued online and in hardcopy formats. Go to this website to read either the complete report, or an overview.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The most important threat to bird populations...

"The most serious threat facing animal populations today is habitat destruction.
Rampant urbanization in the eastern United States has caused declines or regional disappearance in many songbird populations." To follow up on this information, go to the Urban Ecology webpage of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Purple Martin news

Find some news about an effort to help Purple Martins at the Purple Martins in Wisconsin blog.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

help birds on the Gulf after oil spill

Help oiled birds in the Gulf after the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill by going to the website of the International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC).

Saturday, May 1, 2010

alternative birding and conservation news

International Migratory Bird Day news can be found here.

Remember the following IMBD activities:
a) at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve on May 8th (see more at this link)
b) other WI locations; info at this link...


News from Bird Studies Canada can be found here.


Living Bird is Cornell's magazine and also a website.