Volume 1, Foundations and Patterns, starts by discussing the general approach followed by avian community ecologists: why they ask the questions they do and what philosophical and methodological approaches they have used to answer such questions. Most of the book is devoted to a critical evaluation of what is known about the nature and organisation of bird communities.
Volume 2, Processes and Variations, discusses the ways in which bird community patterns have been interpreted. It describes how ecologists have gone about identifying the factors believed to influence the patterns of organisation of bird communities and examines how the complexity and variability of natural environments may influence efforts to discern and understand the nature of these communities.
`These are lively and multifaceted volumes. Their quality and breadth of information guarantee that they will be a standard source and guide to avian ecologists in the years ahead.' Dolph Schluter in Ecology