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Look Inside Bird Song

Bird Song
Biological Themes and Variations

2nd Edition


  • Date Published: August 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108469227

£ 29.99

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About the Authors
  • Bird song is one of the most remarkable and impressive sounds in the natural world, and has inspired not only students of natural history, but also great writers, poets and composers. Extensively updated from the first edition, the main thrust of this book is to suggest that the two main functions of song are attracting a mate and defending territory. It shows how this evolutionary pressure has led to the amazing variety and complexity we see in the songs of different species throughout the world. Writing primarily for students and researchers in animal behavior, the authors review over 1000 scientific papers and reveal how scientists are beginning to unravel and understand how and why birds communicate with the elaborate vocalizations we call song. Highly illustrated throughout and written in straightforward language, Bird Song also holds appeal for amateur ornithologists with some knowledge of biology.

    • New topics include interactive playback, new pathways and gene expression in the brain and chorusing
    • Includes a wealth of clearly explained and illustrated examples, that are useful for both teaching and research
    • Offers a modern evolutionary and functional interpretation that will enable the reader to understand why bird song is a good model for scientific study
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… the well-known authors and experts, Professor C. K. Catchpole and Professor P. J. B. Slater thoroughly achieve their stated aims in this excellent book … having read it avidly from cover to cover, I think it is an excellent read … if … you are at all interested in why and how birds vocalise, go out and buy this book.' Wildlife Sound

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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: August 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108469227
    • length: 347 pages
    • dimensions: 257 x 180 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.68kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The study of bird song
    2. Production and perception
    3. How song develops
    4. Getting the message across
    5. When do birds sing?
    6. Recognition and territorial defence
    7. Sexual selection and female choice
    8. Themes and variations
    9. Variation in time and space.

  • Authors

    C. K. Catchpole, Royal Holloway, University of London
    C. K. Catchpole is currently Professor of Animal Behaviour at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has written, broadcast and researched on many aspects of bird ecology and behaviour for more than thirty years and published over 100 books, articles and scientific papers. He has studied birds in many parts of the world and has been a visiting researcher at the Max-Planck-Institute for Ornithology in Germany and the California Academy of Sciences in the USA.

    P. J. B. Slater, University of St Andrews, Scotland
    P. J. B. Slater is Kennedy Professor of Natural History at the University of St Andrews. He is a former Editor of Animal Behaviour and of Advances in the Study of Behavior, and is a Past President of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour, which awarded him its medal in 1999. In 1991 he was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He is the author of around 150 scientific papers and several books, and has been studying acoustic communication, largely in birds, for thirty years.

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