By: Lawton Shurtleff and Christopher Savage
232 pages, 280 col photos, 8 maps
This is a story of conservation told through the natural histories of two of the world's most fascinating birds, the Wood Duck of North America and the Mandarin of Asia. The only two species in their genus (Aix), these Northern Wood Ducks are native to different continents but have long been kept together in captivity. Now, for the first time in history, they are also flying together side by side in a small area of northern California. This rare circumstance has given the authors the opportunity to observe the Northern Wood Duck's close relationship and is the starting point of this informative book. The opening chapters explain how the Wood Duck and the Mandarin came to inhabit the Pacific Flyway and explain their extraordinary similarities. Subsequent chapters discuss the distinctive histories of the two species, describing the birds throughout the seasons in their native flyways. The successful work done to protect the North American Wood Duck, which has made a remarkable recovery from near extinction, is analysed, and the beginning efforts to protect the Mandarin, whose existence in East Asia is seriously threatened, is also discussed.
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