Avian Biology. Volume VI.-Edited by Donald S. Farner, James R. King, and Kenneth C. Parkes. 1982. Academic Press, New York. 490 p.
This volume appears seven years after its predecessor (noticed in Condor 77:521), in a move to treat some of the important subjects not previously covered and to update material that has significantly advanced since earlier volumes. It contains chapters on avian mating systems (Lewis W. Oring), avian migration systems (Sidney A. Gauthreaux, Jr.) social organization in the nonreproductive season (H. Ronald Pulliam and George C. Millikan), the uropygial gland (Jiirgen Jacob and Vincent Ziswiler), stomach oils [of procellariiforms] (Jiirgen Jacob), the glycogen body (Louis D. De Gennaro), domestication in birds (Roland Sossinka) and respiration and the control of breathing (Peter Scheid). In preparing these reviews, the authors have not merely compiled and organized, but have also synthesized their information so as to develop new insights. Authoritative and detailed, these articles will be benchmarks for their fields. Illustrated; lists of references at the end of each chapter; indexes.
Avian incubation: egg temperature, nest humidity, and behavioral thermoregulation in a hot environment.-Gilbert S. Grant. 1982. Ornithological Monographs No. 30, American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, DC. Paper cover. 75 p. $9.00 prepaid ($7.00 to AOU members). Source: Assistant to the Treasurer of the AOU, Glen E. Woolfenden, Department of Biology, University of South F1orida, Tampa, FL. 33620.
Lesser Nighthawks and several charadriiform species nest in the area of the Salton Sea in southeastern California. The nesting environment of this artificial saline lake, below sea level, is extremely arid, hot, and subjected to intense sunlight. In order to learn how birds cope with these harsh conditions while protecting their eggs and young, Grant observed and experimented with eight species. Comparing Salton Sea birds with those on the coast, he examined the timing of breeding and the humidity and thermal microenvironment of the nest-egg complex. In addition, he investigated the birds' thermoregulatory behavior, paying particular attention to belly-soaking and its consequences. This monograph is an excellent continuation of the long series of studies at UCLA of the ways by which nesting birds adapt to desert environments. Graphs, photographs, and references.
A comparative study of the appendicular musculature of penguins (Aves: Sphenisciformes).-Donald 0. Schreiweis. 1982. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology No. 341, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. Paper cover. 46 p. No price given.
The appendicular muscles of penguins have long been investigated, yet this report is the first to be based on a family-wide study. Using the Crested Penguin (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus) as a type, each of the wing and leg muscles is carefully described and then compared with the condition in the five other genera. These accounts are illustrated with many anatomical drawings. Numerical analysis of the data is found to support the present classification within the order. The findings will interest systematists and students of locomotor morphology.
The Fossil Vertebrate Record of Australasia.-Edited by P. V. Rich and E. M. Thompson. 1982. Privately published. 759 p. $Aust. 20.00. Source: Dr. P. V. Rich, Earth Sciences Dept., Monash Univ., Clayton, Vic., 3168, Australia.
This book is the first comprehensive volume that summarizes and illustrates the fossil vertebrates of Australia, New Guinea, and New Zealand. It is largely organized taxonomically, each of the 18 chapters discussing some aspect of a particular class or order of animals. Two chapters are partly or entirely devoted to fossil birds. The volume is furnished with indexes to Australian fossil vertebrates, abstracts in four foreign languages, and maps of Australian vertebrate fossil localities.
The Life of Birds. Third edition.-Joel Carl Welty. 1982. Saunders College Publishing, Philadelphia. 754 p. $27.50.
The revision of this familiar textbook of ornithology just seven years after the last edition (noticed in Condor 77: 522) is a tribute to the progress of the science, the author's industriousness, and the market for such books. The character, organization, and bulk of the material are unchanged. Details have been extensively revised, however, especially in the chapters on reproduction, numbers of birds, ecology, and migration. That this edition is 130 pages longer than its predecessor is due to a change of format more than the addition of material. Certainly, one can find topics whose treatment is less up-to-date than one would like (e.g., vocalizations, community structure, and the early evolution of birds). Nevertheless, this remains the most readable, modem, comprehensive, and well-balanced introductory text currently available. Furthermore, advanced students and teachers, should they deign to consult it, will find the book often a good source for elusive facts and references.
The Living Bird. Nineteenth Annual of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology 1980-81.-Edited by Mary Heimerdinger Clench. 1982. Laboratory of Ornithology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. 164 p. Paper cover. $21.25 postpaid.
The nine articles in this volume span a variety of New World birds: from the Boreal Owl to the Hooded Grebe of Patagonia, and from Hawaiian thrushes to the Pearl Kite in Trinidad. The major piece is a survey of the tyrant flycatchers by Melvin A. Traylor, Jr. and John W. Fitzpatrick. In addition, the volume is generously illustrated in color and black-and-white, mostly paintings and drawings. These specimens of bird art maintain TLB's reputation as far-and-away the most handsome ornithological periodical. Altogether, the package of scientific content, careful editing, and outstanding illustrations that Clench has produced is equal in quality, if not size, to those prepared by her forerunners, Olin Sewall Pettingill, Jr. and Douglas A. Lancaster.
Regrettably, the Cornell Laboratory has announced that it will suspend publication of the series with this issue, in order to use its resources for a new magazine, The Living Bird Quarterly (see below). It is hoped that TLB in its traditional format will resume publication in the future, probably as an occasional journal rather than as an annual. Not for nothing does the tailpiece of the present volume carry a drawing of a Phoenix.
The Living Bird Quarterly.-In the summer of 1982 the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology started publication of this new magazine for its members. It is intended to have a wider appeal than TLB, yet occupy a niche not presently filled by any other American publication, a sort of Natural History Magazine about birds. As Sewall Pettingill originally conceived its predecessor, the Quarterly "will present varied articles, each significant and stimulating. The journal writes neither down to the amateur ornithologist, bird watcher or bird hobbyist, nor writes up to the professional ornithologist or biologist." The two issues thus far bear that out. Limited to 24 pages (and a format close to that of Audubon), each contains a few articles up to four pages in length, a non-technical resume of an interesting piece of recent research, and news and notes about people and happenings at the Laboratory. Color photographs and paintings, many of them first-rate, are used abundantly, on the covers and inside, giving the magazine instant eye appeal. In order to join the Laboratory and receive the magazine (basic membership $25.00) write to: Laboratory of Ornithology, Cornell University, P.O. Box 223, Etna, NY 13062.
The Country Journal Book of Birding and Bird Attraction.- Alan Pistorius. 1981. W.W. Norton & Company, New York. 274 p. $15.95.
A truly fine gift to whet an interest in birds and birding. In the same readable, informative style of Country Journal magazine, the book provides a blend of traditional widsom and modern scientific thought, without trying to cover all aspects of all subjects. An introductory chapter puts the seasonal biology of birds in perspective and progresses into the subject of feeders and feeding. The Christmas Count and the Big Day, are highlighted for the lessons they teach about the role of the amateur observer in ornithology, and provide direction for the enthusiastic beginner. Bird distribution is treated through a discussion of avian atlases. Nesting boxes and other ways of attracting birds are treated with humor and sensitivity for the species discussed. Since the book is written with the conditions of an "extended Northeast" in mind, readers who live elsewhere will have to enjoy this very pleasant book while understanding that it may not apply in all matters to their region. Bibliography, index. Pen-and-ink drawings by Don Almquist.-J. Tate.
The Birdwatcher's Dictionary.-Peter Weaver. 1981. T. & A. D. Poyser Ltd., Calton, England. 155 p. $17.50. Source: Buteo Books, P.O. Box 481, Vermillion, SD 57069.
If you think that American birders use a language unto themselves, this book will convince you that the British provide more than a different accent to that language. This glossary of more than I, I 00 words and their definitions is just what elitist birders need to duly impress and confound their fellows. A great deal of fun can be had, for example, with "twitching" and "ringing," "flows and mosses" (listing, banding and two types of marsh). Ornithological words are well represented and generally well defined so that the book's utility is clear. Appendix A contains abbreviations, including those of the many British conservation organizations. Appendix B is a cross-comparison of British, North American, and scientific names; while Appendix D provides the entire British and Irish list of birds. Appendix C shows the high level of British concern for bird life with the Birdwatcher's Code of Conduct. Pen-and-ink drawings; black-and-white figures and maps.-J. Tate.
Birds at Risk/ A Comprehensive World-survey of Threatened Species.-Ralph Whitlock. 1981. Moonraker Press, Great Britain. 159 p. $30.00. Source: Humanities Press, Inc., Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716.
The timing of this book to coincide with the 1982 reauthorization of the Endangered Species Act in the United States is appropriate. Except for the introduction, which presents an emotional, but largely unsupported view that early man was responsible for wholesale extinctions due to his predatory efficiency, the story of thoughtless overexploitation is well told. A chapter on birds with restricted ranges (islands and island-habitats) is confusing, at least in part due to lack of cross-reference to the fine maps. Environmental changes, especially those hastened by man, are discussed in two chapters. The final chapter argues that examination of those species that are doing well will better prepare us for the management and conservation of all species. A fine idea, but, unfortunately, so little specific detail is provided that the argument is not convincing. The attractive photographs and paintings, many of them in color, make this an interesting coffee-table book. Maps, bibliography, index.- J. Tate.
Avian Use of Sheyenne Lake and Associated Habitat in Central North Dakota.-Craig A. Faanes. 1982. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Resource Publication No. 144. 24 p. Paper cover. No price given.
This modest little document is important far beyond its title or size, owing to the imminent destruction of the location under study. The study area is the planned site of the Lonetree Reservoir, the principal water-regulation reservoir for the Garrison Diversion Unit of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The methods of study are thorough (census plots stratified by habitat within randomly selected 16.2-ha tracts), the data analysis is statistical, and the descriptive material is convincing. Both the high populations and diversity of birdlife are unusual. Faanes attributes this to the "close interspersion of many native habitats, several of which are unique in North Dakota." The information in this report is important for resource-management decisions, since at full capacity, the reservoir will occupy 8,128 ha that are now wetlands, upland native prairie, woodlands and cropland. The author clearly shows that the area is biologically rich, and in many ways unique. His study raises the crucial question as to whether the flooding of these habitats represents the best biological and sociological decision. Annotated species list, appendix of common and scientific names of plants mentioned, maps.-J. Tate.
Birds of New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands. Volume 1.-F. Hannecart and Y. Letocart. 1980. Les Editions Cardinalis. 150 p. No price given. Source: 67 Route de Ouemo, P.O. Box 229, Noumea, New Caledonia.
This volume deals with the more common birds of the island of New Caledonia (approximately 1,770 km E of Australia) and its offshore islands (Loyalty Islands and the Isle of Pines). A planned second volume will deal specifically with the Loyalty Islands (Ouvea, Lifou, Mare), and with hard-tofind species. Just under 70 species are illustrated, with excellent photographs by the authors. Each species occupies facing pages, with a full-page photograph opposite one to three smaller photographs and both French and English descriptions. The accounts lack meaningful information and the English versions further suffer in translation. Some of the full-page photographs have been turned 90° from their captions, giving the disconcerting impression that some baby birds are about to fall from the nest, and that some adults are perched on their heads. References are sparse and incomplete. Indexes of photographs and scientific names, color map.-J. Tate.
Proceedings of the Northeastern Breeding Bird Atlas Conference.- Edited by Sarah B. Laughlin. 1982. Vermont Institute of Natural Science, Woodstock, VT. 122 p. Paper cover. $12.00 postpaid. Source: V.I.N.S., Woodstock, VT 05091.
Over the past decade, many counties, states, and provinces in the U.S. and Canada have followed European examples in undertaking grid-based atlases of their breeding birds. In order to share information and attack common problems, a conference of representatives of surveys in the northeast (where most of the effort has been thus far) was held in November 1981, hosted by the Vermont Institute of Natural Science. Its proceedings included summaries of 12 state and provincial projects, but were chiefly practical reports on all aspects of organizing and carrying out a breeding bird atlas. Particular attention was given to formulating recommendations for standardized codes of breeding criteria and for choosing an atlas grid. While the conference was immediately beneficial to the atlases represented, its deliberations will be invaluable to future sponsors of such projects.
Steps Toward Better Scientific lllustrations.-Arly Allen. 1982. Allen Press, Lawrence, Kansas. 36 p. Paper cover. $3.00 ($2.00 apiece when five or more copies are ordered together). Source: Allen Press, Inc., P.O. Box 368, Lawrence, KS 66044.
"The preparation of illustrations for scientific articles demands the same professional attention required in the preparation of the text. This booklet deals with some of the problems of preparing photographs and artwork to achieve the best printed results at the least cost [and with the least delay]." It is not a complete manual but a brief and practical guide to designing scientific illustrations in consideration of modem engraving and printing processes. The revised edition has been reprinted after several years when it was unavailable. If you intend to submit an illustrated manuscript to a journal, instruct yourself with this booklet, along with the books by Day and MacGregor (noticed in Condor 82:75, 258).
The Genus Paradisaea-Display and Evolution.-Mary LeCroy. 1981. American Museum Novitates No. 2714, American Museum of Natural History, New York. 52 p. Paper cover. $3.55. Source: Library, A.M.N.H., Central Park West at 79th St., New York, NY 10024.
This paper gives a detailed analysis of the known displays of the Paradisaea birds of paradise, most of which are considered polygynous, arena-displaying species with no pair bond. On this basis, it then discusses evolution within the genus and the evolution of non-pair-bond polygyny in these and other groups of birds (e.g., manakins, cotingas, and Ruffs). LeCroy's ideas offer food for thought to those who are interested in social structure and mating systems. The late Tom Gilliard would be pleased to see how far his light has carried. Illustrations, references.
The Cotingas/Bellbirds, Umbrellabirds and Other Species.-David Snow. 1982. British Museum (Natural History) and Comstock Publishing Associates, a division of Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY. 203 p. $45.00.
In size, appearance, social habits, and feeding, the cotingas are among the most diverse and remarkable of passerine families. This book brings together everything known about their natural history, drawn from the literature and the considerable field experience of the author and his wife. Four introductory chapters give an extremely interesting overview of the group as a whole: its evolution, classification, distribution, feeding habits, sociobiology, coloration and display structures, breeding, and annual cycle. There follow the species accounts (65 species in 25 genera as recognized here) with the customary subsections. They report fascinating observations on behavior and ecology, and point out many topics for worthwile investigation. Every species is illustrated in color, thanks to many fine plates by Martin Woodcock. Ranges are shown in distribution maps; wing features and display postures appear in pen-and-ink drawings. Appendixes furnish details on taxonomy, nomenclature, and distributional records. References, index. Besides its usefulness as a reference about cotingas themselves, this book should appeal to those who are interested in such broader topics as the evolution of the neotropical avifauna, the co-evolution of birds and plants, and the relationship between special structures and displays.