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Synthesises and analyses the masses of data on the behavioural ecology of harriers, offering an intriguing comparison of breeding systems among harriers in the northern and southern hemispheres. It includes a new phylogeny of the harriers, based on the most recent DNA findings, and is illustrated throughout with original line drawings of these impressive birds.
Preface; 1. Introduction: Changing perspectives - from natural history to behavioural ecology; 2. Evolution and peculiarities of the harriers; 3. Aerial displays: Mate choice and reverse dimorphism; 4. Of mice and harriers: Who wins the arms race?; 5. Mating patterns: Polygyny and deception; 6. Copulation patterns and sperm depletion; 7. Sex ratio and egg size manipulation; 8. Food and reproduction in the tropics; 9. Clutch size and latitude; 10. Synthesis; References; Index
"[R]emarkably compact, written in an engaging and easily accessible style ... rich with fascinating ideas on the evolution and ecology of a spectacular group of birds. We recommend that anyone with even a passing interest in how and why birds do what they do, as well as all those who take the study of behaviour, ecology and evolution more seriously, should add this volume to their bookshelves."--Africa Birds and Birding