The Cornell Lab of Ornithology Handbook of Bird Biology is massive in size and information. Thus, we’ve decided to break down the review of it into two equal parts. This is part 2 of 2. See part one
After making our way through 5 chapters (and a supplemental one), the final 5 chapters are equally entertaining as the first and just as jam-packed with bird-related information.
- Chapter 6 – Understanding Bird Behavior
- Chapter 7 – Vocal Behavior
- Chapter 8 – Nests, Eggs, and Young: Breeding Biology of Birds
- Chapter 9 – Individuals, Populations, and Communities: The Ecology of Birds
- Chapter 10 – Bird Conservation
The second half of the Handbook of Bird Biology is easily our favorite. The topics discussed are more in line with our learning curve: bird behavior and bird conservation especially. Chapter 7 is accompanied by the included CD with 71 tracks of interesting bird sounds. The text references the tracks to help better relate how birds communicate.
The CD included is amazing in itself
As a website with a heavy focus on bird conservation, the final chapter is especially worthwhile. The information provided is straightforward yet not doom-and-gloom. The textbook essentially ends with a piece on “Never Give Up”.
“Do not ever resign yourself to the idea that the battle is lost, or that it cannot be won… Although we have used our powers to damage ecosystems and destroy birds for centuries, within the last few decades we have also begun to master our powers to heal and protect… Fortunately, if we enjoy birds we can always have great fun along the way, because birds will never be far from the center of our focus.” – 10-116: Handbook of Bird Biology
Overall we give this important textbook 10 out of 10 feathers. Even at around $100.00, it is a great investment for every birder and conservationist.