How Birds Migrate

i-76891fc7febc8891ce44d8624c2b0bcd-howbirdsmigrate_altnernativecover-thumb-250x397-65213.jpgAs part of Migration Week (inspired by this post), I'm covering migration related books (mainly having to do with birds). How Birds Migrate by Paul Kerlinger (with Illustrations by Pat Archer), Second Edition, is an affordable, up to date (2009 publication) comprehensive and intelligently written book. It is written for the general public but is not dumbed down.

The thing about bird migration is that there are many facets to the behavior. There are different kinds of birds, with respect to the nature of their flight, body size, etc (think albatross vs. hummingbird). There are many kinds of landscapes across which birds migrate (terrestrial regions of varying degrees of habitability vs. open ocean). Migrations may vary in length or even fidelity to the process, with some birds in a given population doing it, others not. And, of course, there are numerous mechanisms involved in the process, with some subset of those mechanisms being used by any given bird species.

The best way to think about migration is probably as a collection of strategies using a collection of tools by a diversity of bird species.

This book does a good job at slicing and dicing the problem of migration up into bite size bits, and presents this information with numerous case studies that personalize (or should I say, birdize) the discussion.

The book is available on the Kindle but I'm not sure I would like that version, given the importance of the excellent illustrations.

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