Stray Feathers: Reflections on the Structure, Behaviour and Evolution of Birds
by Penny Olsen, Leo Joseph
Edition: 1st ed., 2011
Stray Feathers showcases some of the remarkable adaptations of Australian birds. A brief introduction describes how evolution shapes form and function, followed by a series of vignettes illustrating the wondrous variety of forms and functions shaped by evolution. For example, did you know that Barn Owls can hunt in absolute darkness and that cuckoos commence incubation before their egg is laid?
Sections include anatomy and physiology; the senses; giving voice; tongues talking; plumage; getting around; finding and handling food; optimizing foraging and feeding; reducing competition; using "tools"; communicating; quality vs quantity; courtship; nests; parental care; chicks; and living together.
The book is superbly illustrated with black and white drawings of a range of birds, making it a worthy addition to the bookshelves of bird lovers everywhere.
* Gives the reader a deeper understanding of the role of evolution in shaping the form and function we so often admire in birds
* Superb illustrations