328 pages, 13 b/w photos, 26 illustrations, 18 tables
Shorebirds are model organisms for illustrating the principles of ecology and excellent subjects for research. Their mating systems are as diverse as any avian group, their migrations push the limits of endurance, and their foraging is easily studied in the open habitats of estuaries and freshwater wetlands.
This comprehensive text explores the ecology, conservation, and management of these fascinating birds. Beginning chapters examine phylogenetic relationships between shorebirds and other birds, and cover shorebird morphology, anatomy and physiology. A section on breeding biology looks in detail at their reproductive biology.
Because shorebirds spend much of their time away from breeding areas, a substantial section on non-breeding biology covers migration, foraging ecology, and social behavior. The text also covers shorebird demography, population size and management issues related to habitat, predators and human disturbances. Throughout, it emphasizes applying scientific knowledge to the conservation of shorebird populations, many of which are unfortunately in decline.
"Anyone seeking a current and comprehensive reference on the ecology and conservation of shorebirds will find Colwell's effort outstanding. It provides a sorely needed companion to the numerous identification guides that have been published recently for this diverse and fascinating group of birds."
- Robert Gill, Project Leader, Shorebird Research, USGS
"With their subtle beauty and amazing migrations, shorebirds continue to inspire and connect people across the planet. Amateur and professional shorebird enthusiasts will now be able to get the big picture from Colwell's authoritative and highly readable volume on a diverse and exciting group of birds, emblematic of many endangered habitats."
- Theunis Piersma, University of Groningen
Part 1: Evolutionary Relationships, Anatomy and Morphology, and Breeding Biology
- Systematics, Phylogeny and Phylogeography
- Morphology, Anatomy and Physiology
- Mating Systems
- Breeding Biology
Part 2: Nonbreeding Ecology and Demography
- Foraging Ecology and Habitat Use
- Shorebirds as Predators
- Spatial Ecology and Winter Social Organisation
- Population Biology
Part 3: Management and Conservation
- Habitat Conservation and Management
- Managing Predatos
- Manging Human Disturbance
- Education and Outreach
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Mark A. Colwell, Professor in the Wildlife Department at Humboldt State University, has been studying shorebirds for nearly thirty years.