Why is the Red-backed Shrike nicknamed "the butcher bird"? When and why do the Birds of Paradise of New Guinea turn themselves upside down while hanging on a twig? Which birds offer each other presents of water-weed? And how long does it take a Swallow to fly from its winter quarters in Africa back to its nest-site in Europe?
This book provides answers to the many questions that arise when watching the often mystifying behaviour of birds. From commonplace, day-to-day activities such as feeding and roosting to the more unusual displays involved in courtship and nest-building, this book provides a fascinating insight into the diversity of the bird world. Dramatic examples of bird behaviour are drawn from every continent, highlighting the truly cosmopolitan nature of birds and explaining such amazing avian achievements as migration and mimicry.
Illustrated with nearly 200 colour photographs, "The Private Life of Birds" offers both experts and new enthusiasts alike an intricate understanding of bird behaviour, movement, distribution and population.