388 pages, 125 b/w illus, figs, 93 tabs
In the past two centuries, cowbirds have increased in numbers and extended their range across North America, while many of the native songbird species whose nests they parasitize to raise their young have declined. This timely book collects forty essays by most of the principal authorities on the biology and management of cowbirds. The book's goals are to explore the biology of cowbirds, the threats they pose to host species and populations, and the management programs that are being undertaken to minimize these threats. The book is organized into five sections, each with an extended editors' introduction that places the contributions in a broad, up-to-date setting. The sections cover: the changing abundance of cowbirds and the ways in which their numbers can be estimated; host choice by cowbirds, the negative effects of cowbirds on particular host species, and the daily patterns of cowbird behavior; behavioral interactions between cowbirds and specific host species; patterns of cowbird abundance and host use across varying landscapes; and management programs designed to control cowbirds and protect threatened songbirds. James N. M. Smith teaches at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Terry L. Cook works for the Nature Conservancy in Seattle. Stephen I. Rothstein teaches at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Scott K. Robinson holds joint appointments at the Illinois Natural History Survey and the University of Illinois, Champaign. Spencer G. Sealy teaches at the University of Manitoba.
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