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Bird Populations (Collins New Naturalist Library, Book 124) [Kindle Edition]

Ian Newton
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £35.00
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Book Description

In the latest addition to the New Naturalist series, Ian Newton explores bird populations and what causes their fluctuation – food supplies, competitors, predators, parasites, pathogens and human activity.

The combination of a rapidly expanding human population, a predominantly utilitarian attitude to land, central government policy on land use and increasing mechanisation have combined to promote massive changes in land use in recent decades than at any previous comparable period. These developments have in turn brought huge changes in bird habitats and populations; some species dependent on the old landscapes declined, while others have increased. Over the same period, changing public attitudes to wildlife allowed previously scarce bird species to recover from past onslaughts, while climate warming has promoted further changes.

In this seminal new work, Ian Newton sets out to explain why different bird species are distributed as they are, and changed over the years in the way that they have. The regular watching and study of birds now provides a source of recreation and pleasure for very large numbers of people, while continued monitoring of bird numbers can also alert us to impending environmental problems. For all of us, a world with fewer birds would be a poorer place.


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Review

Winner of the British Ecological Society's ‘Marsh Ecology Book of the Year’ Award

‘This book is a landmark edition in an already outstanding natural history series, and will make an extremely valuable and treasured addition to the library of anyone serious about birds and their biology.’ Seabirds

Praise for Ian Newton’s previous New Naturalist Bird Migration:

‘Truly outstanding – the product of a lifelong inquiry into the annual travels of birds.’ Guardian

‘The New Naturalist series strikes gold with this insight into ultimate avian journeys.’ BBC Wildlife

‘… a work of authority.’ The Daily Telegraph

About the Author

Ian Newton is an ornithologist and applied scientist, and a leading expert on bird ecology and biogeography, specialising in finches, waterfowl and birds of prey, especially the sparrowhawk. He graduated from Bristol University and gained his doctorate in finch behaviour at Oxford, followed by research on bullfinch damage in orchards. He joined the NERC in 1967, initially studying population ecology of geese and finches, followed by the impact of pesticides on birds of prey. He has written two previous New Naturalist volumes, Finches (1972) and Bird Migration (2010).


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 75061 KB
  • Print Length: 608 pages
  • Publisher: William Collins (29 Aug. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BVT56G2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #526,149 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Ian Newton is an ornithologist and applied scientist, and a leading expert on bird ecology and biogeography, specialising in finches, waterfowl and birds of prey, especially the sparrowhawk. He graduated from Bristol University and gained his doctorate in finch behaviour at Oxford, followed by research on bullfinch damage in orchards. He joined the NERC in 1967, initially studying population ecology of geese and finches, followed by the impact of pesticides on birds of prey. He has written two previous New Naturalist volumes, 'Finches'(1972) and 'Bird Migration' (2010).

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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great clarity 9 Feb. 2014
By mia
Format:Hardcover
Prof Ian Newton FRS has been described as the UK's greatest living ornithologist and there is nothing in this book to dent that assessment.

In his clear and precise way, Ian Newton explains the factors that affect, determine and regulate bird population levels. There are plenty of examples which illustrate the general principles.

As Ian writes - much of our understanding of animal population regulation is based on studies of birds although the principles are much more widely applicable.

This is not the easiest of reads, but that's because compensatory mortality and density dependence are not the easiest of subjects. Ian provides the most accessible account of those difficult subjects that the birdwatcher eager to understand whether sparrowhawks are wiping out songbirds, for example, is likely to find (and, they aren't - see page 165).

The fact that bird populations go up and down but often within quite narrow limits compared with what might be possible is such a commonplace of our lives that we tend not to realise that it is as interesting as it really is. A pair of Blue Tits can lay 10 eggs and rear all the young successfully so why aren't we knee-deep in Blue Tits (pecking at our ankles and shins) after a few years? Thank heavens for disease, predators, cold winter nights, interspecific competition, lack of nesting sites and winter food shortages I say!As Blue Tit numbers increase then some of these mortality factors bite harder and if Blue Tit populations decline then they bite less hard (on average) - that's population regulation through density dependence. And you only die once - if the Sparrowhawk gets you then the winter food shortage can't - in fact, your death has made life a tiny bit easier for everyone else when the food bottleneck arrives.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better than NN on Bird Migration 21 July 2015
Format:Hardcover
I read the NN on Bird Migration by Ian Newton and gave it 5 stars. I think this book is even better. It is very clearly written and provides much food for thought regarding the many different pressures that can affect bird population sizes. Since many of these pressures can be applied to other types of animal, the book works as a general introduction to population biology- but without the maths. The two books (Bird migration+ Bird populations) give an excellent overview of why bird numbers vary both in time and location.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An extremely well researched production 10 Aug. 2015
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An epic and extremely well researched production by one of the best scientists in world of ornithological science.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 3 Nov. 2014
By Ruth
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Arrived quickly and brand new as advertised
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 17 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Clear and comprehensive account of the author's and of other scientists' work on the subject.Up there with the best of NN. The paperback edition is well produced and even for such a thick book shouldn't cause problems. Highly recommended.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good read 1 Sept. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
very informative book, good read
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