Books  Ornithology  Biology, Ecology & Behaviour 

Bird Nests and Construction Behaviour

By: Michael Hansell

280 pages, 22 b/w photos, 80 figs, 12 tabs

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Jul 2005 | #156002 | ISBN: 0521017645
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £36.99 $49/€42 approx
Hardback | Aug 2000 | #106184 | ISBN: 0521460387
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £92.99 $122/€106 approx

About this book

Provides a broad view of our current understanding of the biology of the nests, bowers and tools made by birds. It illustrates how, among vertebrates, the building abilities of birds are more impressive and consistent than for any builders other than humans, yet birds seem to require no special equipment and use quite uncomplicated behaviour. In doing so, the book raises general issues in the field of behavioural ecology including the costs of reproduction, sexual selection and the organisation and complexity of behaviour. bird nests are beautiful and serve their purpose well. The same can also be said of this book.' Tore Slagsvold, Nature

"A stimulating read for scientists and birdwatchers alike."
- Charles Deeming, BBC Wildlife

"Mike Hansell's well-written book [...] provides an excellent overview [...] bird nests are beautiful and serve their purpose well. the same can also be said of this book."
- Tore Slagsvold, Nature

"[...] a scholarly written review on a marvellous subject. It is beautifully illustrated and makes fascinating reading. I recommend it to all students, researchers and amateur ornithologists interested in avian ecology and behaviour."
- Tamas Szekely, Trends in Ecology and Evolution

"[...] a valuable book that will be of particular interest to ornithologists and would serve as a useful supplement in ornithology courses."
- Charles R. Brown, Animal Behaviour

"[...] an interesting read and should have a broad appeal to all ornithologists."
- Ibis

"Hansell's book contains loads of information that will be both helpful to the scientist and interesting to the enthusiast. [...] is thorough, engaging, and fun to read. Hansell's book will be enjoyed by students of ornithology, animal behavior, ecology, and evolutionary biology. It will become a valuable part of the collections of university libraries, professional ornithologists, and those generally enthusiastic about all things avian."
- Rebecca Jo Safran, Cornell University


1. Animal builders and the importance of bird nests; 2. The clutch-nest relationship; 3. Standardising the nest description; 4. Construction; 5. The structure; 6. The cost of nest building; 7. The selection of a nest site; 8. Bowers, building quality and mate assessment; 9. The evolution of nest building; Bibliography; Index.

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