"This illustrated book vividly depicts the most threatened birds on Earth. It provides up-to-date information from BirdLife International on the threats each species faces, and the measures being taken to save them. Today, 590 birds species are classified as Endangered or Critically Endangered, or now only exist in captivity. This landmark publication features stunning photographs of 515 of these species--including the results of a prestigious international photographic competition organized specificallyfor this book. This is the first time that images of many of these birds have been published. It also showcases meticulously accurate illustrations by acclaimed wildlife artist Tomasz Cofta for the 75 speciies of which no photographs are known to exist.
• Real-life scientific adventure • A thought-provoking exploration of how the Endangered Species Act works--and how it fails Thirty years ago, researchers discovered a previously unknown species of bird in the rain-soaked and remote mountains of Hawaii. As they studied the creature--which sported a black mask and was called the po'ouli--they soon learned that its population was shrinking quickly, and they worked frantically to find out what was killing the species and how they might prevent its extinction. This fast-paced account of their work, done in one of the world's most inhospitable environments, describes a stirring fight for survival. It also illustrates the challenge of protecting endangered species in a rapidly changing world.
Almost two hundred species of birds have become extinct in the past 400 years, and a similar number today are in imminent danger of following them. The world's conservationists are leading the fight to prevent the demise of these remaining critically endangered birds, with a fair degree of success. This new book examines the process and issues concerning extinction - how and why it happens and what can be done about it. Whilst man is to blame for many of the causes, such as persecution and habitat loss, species have become extinct on a regular basis since life began. After several thought-provoking introductory chapters, the book showcases about 20 species on the brink of extinction from around the world and describes the work that is being undertaken to save them. Some are success stories, but a few are not. This is a subject close to the hearts of all birders and ornithologists and this book, written by a team of leading conservationists, will strike a chord in most of them.
The inspiring story of David Wingate, a living legend among birders, who brought the Bermuda petrel back from presumed extinction Rare Birds is a tale of obsession, of hope, of fighting for redemption against incredible odds. It is the story of how Bermuda’s David Wingate changed the world—or at least a little slice of it—despite the many voices telling him he was crazy to try. This tiny island in the middle of the North Atlantic was once the breeding ground for millions of Bermuda petrels. Also known as cahows, the graceful and acrobatic birds fly almost nonstop most of their lives, drinking seawater and sleeping on the wing. But shortly after humans arrived here, more than three centuries ago, the cahows had vanished, eaten into extinction by the country’s first settlers. Then, in the early 1900s, tantalizing hints of the cahows’ continued existence began to emerge. In 1951, an American ornithologist and a Bermudian naturalist mounted a last-ditch effort to find the birds that had come to seem little more than a legend, bringing a teenage Wingate—already a noted birder—along for the ride. When the stunned scientists pulled a blinking, docile cahow from deep within a rocky cliffside, it made headlines around the world—and told Wingate what he was put on this earth to do. Starting with just seven nesting pairs of the birds, Wingate would devote his life to giving the cahows the chance they needed in their centuries-long struggle for survival — battling hurricanes, invasive species, DDT, the American military, and personal tragedy along the way. It took six decades of obsessive dedication, but the cahow, still among the rarest of seabirds, has reached the hundred-pair mark and continues its nail-biting climb to repopulation. And Wingate has seen his dream fulfilled as the birds returned to Nonsuch, an island habitat he hand-restored for them plant-by-plant in anticipation of this day. His passion for resuscitating this “Lazarus species” has made him an icon among birders, and his story is an inspiring celebration of the resilience of nature, the power of persistence, and the value of going your own way.
In 1990, a group of Cambridge scientists arrived at the Plains of Nechisar in Ethiopia, where they collected more than two dozen specimens and saw more than three hundred species of birds and a plethora of flora and fauna. As they were gathering up their findings, a wing of an unidentified bird was packed into a brown paper bag. It was to become the most famous wing in the world.Experts were mystified. The wing was entirely unique. After much discussion, a new species was announced: Nechisar Nightjar, or Camprimulgus Solala, which means "only wing." And so birdwatchers like Vernon began to dream. Twenty-two years later, he joins an expedition of four to find this rarest bird in the world. In this gem of nature writing, Vernon captivates and enchants as he recounts the searches by spotlight through the Ethiopian plains, and allows the reader to mediate on nature, exploration, our need for wild places, and the human compulsion to name things. Rarest Bird is a celebration of a certain way of seeing the world, and will bring out the explorer in in everyone who reads it.
Rare Birds of North America is the first comprehensive illustrated guide to the vagrant birds that occur throughout the United States and Canada. Featuring 275 stunning color plates, this book covers 262 species originating from three very different regions--the Old World, the New World tropics, and the world's oceans. It explains the causes of avian vagrancy and breaks down patterns of occurrence by region and season, enabling readers to see where, when, and why each species occurs in North America. Detailed species accounts describe key identification features, taxonomy, age, sex, distribution, and status. Rare Birds of North America provides unparalleled insights into vagrancy and avian migration, and will enrich the birding experience of anyone interested in finding and observing rare birds. Covers 262 species of vagrant birds found in the United States and Canada Features 275 stunning color plates that depict every species Explains patterns of occurrence by region and season Provides an invaluable overview of vagrancy patterns and migration Includes detailed species accounts and cutting-edge identification tips