Birds and their Feathers
Following on from The Egg, Britta Teckentrup has created another bird book with a difference, approaching the subject via plumology – bird feather science.
Its ninety or so pages are packed with fascinating feathery facts.
Each double spread is devoted to a particular aspect including feather development, structure, types of feather, colour – did you know flamingos are pink thanks to the carotenoid pigment in the crustacea they eat?
She also looks at wing types, flying strategies, heat regulation and many more topics relating to form and function,
with the final pages devoted to how humans have been inspired by, and exploited, feathers in creating myths, dreams of human flight, for decoration and warmth, a feather was even taken to the moon.
The subject allows full reign to Britta’s amazing artistic talent and her beautiful paintings are a delight to peruse and gaze upon in wonder.
A book for the family bookshelf, for bird lovers, art lovers and school collections.
Taking a more conventional approach but also well worth getting hold of is
A World of Birds
Big Picture Press
In her follow up to Urban Jungle wildlife enthusiast Vicky Woodgate starts with some general ornithological information giving facts about classification, anatomy, flight and eggs.
She then takes readers on a whistle stop tour of seven locations around the world – North America, Central and South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, Oceania and Antarctica – wherein we learn about different bird species, some resident, others migratory. Every one of the 75 birds selected is representative of its wider family, the author explains.
Each geographical section begins with a map of the location along with a brief description of the climate, habitats and conservation issues.
The first location is North America, which, with habitats as varied as tropical rainforest, hot deserts and frozen plains has a huge number of different species, partly because it encompasses four major migration routes.
All the other sections too have both resident and migratory species, though Antarctica, has the most challenging conditions for its wildlife and thus fewer avian species.
Central and South America in contrast has an enormous variety of birds and new species are still being discovered although sadly, due to human action, some of the most beautiful such as the Macaws are now on the endangered species list.
The same is true of some of those featured in the African section the continent of Africa being home to some of the world’s largest and most colourful birds.
Europe is home to many species that have adapted to urban environments; Asia, with its varied climates and habitats has, despite the fact that many Asian cultures revere birds, a big problem with the pet trade and hence a fair number of threatened species, whereas the biggest threat in Oceania is that from introduced and invasive bird species – an issue conservationists are earnestly tackling.
Beautifully illustrated and packed with fascinating information, this is a book pore over, to immerse yourself in and enjoy.