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Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World
 
 

Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World [Print Replica] [Kindle Edition]

Eugene M. McCarthy
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Review

Extremely useful reference...essential reading for biologists interested in the evolution of birds. (Tim Birkhead, Ibis)

Fine piece of work...a must for all those interested in hybridisation and speciation in birds." Contributions to Zoology

"McCarthy...has done an admirable job...Anyone interested in avian hybridism will need the handbook...provides an excellent resource for serious birders and ornithologists." Western Birds.

"An invaluable addition to every biological reference library and to all ornithologists with the slightest potential interest in or need for avian hybrid information" The Emu.

"The Handbook of Avian Birds is an impressive accomplishment, one that can be equally savoured by browsing birders and appreciated by serious students of one of the biggest birding challenges out there. Highly recommended." Ricj Wright, Editor American Birding Association

"It runs to nearly 600 pages and will be of interest to conservation biologists, for example, who eant to know if an introduced bird is likely to hybridise with native ones." (Graeme Kirk, Cage and Aviary Birds)

This book is an essential resource for banders, museum curators, and the serious birder. For researchers in conservation, ecology and evolution, the book is a treasure trove of the occurrence and frequency of hybrids that could be used for preliminary comparative studies. Journal of Field Ornithology (Vol. 77, issue 2), Spring 2006.

"There is a high level of accuracy for individual reports in addition to the extent of the overall survey; it seems to indeed come as close to a complete compilation as is humanly possible. I have not met Dr. McCarthy, but after reviewing innumerable cases, I have a vision of a monkish figure variously cloistered in the ancient stacks of academic libraries and hunched before a computer terminal, compiling case after case with detail and accuracy that would guarantee his deliverance to a state of (academic) grace! I am sure my vision is a bit exaggerated, but it is an amazing compilation."—William S. Moore, Professor of Biology, Wayne State University

Product Description

With more than 5,000 works cited, Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World is the greatest compendium of information ever published on hybridization in birds. Worldwide in scope, it provides information on all reported avian crosses, not only those occurring in captivity, but also in a natural setting (approximately 4,000 crosses are covered). This book is a basic reference, intended both for the serious birder and the professional biologist. McCarthy's work fills a need for reference material that takes into account the last half century of data. It will be of interest to workers in a wide variety of fields, ranging from animal behavior to genetics, ecology, zoology, and systematics. In fact, it will make fascinating reading for anyone interested in birds and the natural world.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 11045 KB
  • Print Length: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (21 Jan 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005NJSAH8
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World 6 Aug 2009
Format:Hardcover
How many hybrid birds do you think there are? It's a tougher question than you might imagine. A quick check of my notebooks shows that in the last year I have seen a couple of dodgy-looking Ferruginous-type Ducks, some weird Canada x Barnacle Geese and number of bizarre-looking pheasants. Not many then - but I think you will be surprised to know that about 4000 hybrid forms have been recorded from around the world. This book lists them all, using 5000 references to ensure comprehensive coverage.

A total of 4000 types of pairing seems huge when you think that there are only about 10,000 species out there, but actually it is quite small when you realise that the number of possible alternative pairings for each species is very large. This book lists both natural hybrids from the wild and those that have occurred in captivity, and the author has been careful to delete any inaccuracies discovered in previously published literature.

One of the most and famous hybrids in the USA is known as "Brewster's Warbler", which adorns the cover of this scholarly book. This bird was first noted back in the 1870s, but for years American ornithologists argued over its true origins. It is now known that this bird is in fact a regularly-occurring hybrid between Golden-winged Warbler and Blue-winged Warbler. Indeed the matter gets worse, because "Brewster's" Warblers have been known to go onto breed successfully with other warblers that then create offspring that are known as "Lawrence's Warbler". This handbook is packed with information such as this

Another well-known hybrid is "Cox's Sandpiper" which was first noted in Australia in the early 1990s.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Where is the skvader? 28 July 2012
Format:Hardcover
"Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World" is a bizarrely brilliant reference work listing all known hybrids between different species of birds. Or at least all known to the compiler, Eugene M. McCarthy (any relation to the left-leaning liberal senator?). The list of literature consulted is extremely large, and something tells me Mr. McCarthy has either spent most of his spare time collecting information on hybrids from obscure ornithology journals...or he had at least a dozen people helping him. Nothing wrong with that. It's not often a book that mostly consists of bird names in long columns can be called fascinating!

Of course, some crosses are "better" than others. Most readers probably wouldn't know what to think of a cross between the Usambara Nightjar and the Abyssinian ditto, or between a King Cormorant and an Imperial Cormorant. (Perhaps we could give it the vernacular name Princess Cormorant?) The occasional hybrids between Tawny Owls and Ural Owls, said to occur right here in Sweden, don't move me either. In my book, most owls look the same anyway. However, even a bad bird-watcher like me sometimes gets the drift, as when McCarthy tells us that a cross between a Red Crossbill and a Bullfinch has been reported, and that it changed hands for 2,500 dollars. Ah, that I *can* believe! I also noted that the book contains an entire appendix listing Canary crosses only. It seems canaries sleep around with pretty much everybody who is somebody in finch high society...

Of course, the most fascinating part of the book is the appendix about unconfirmed or extremely dubious hybrids. How about Mallard x Domestic Fowl? A German headmaster claimed in 1862 that he had observed such a hybrid.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good 16 Feb 2012
By sig
Format:Hardcover
This is very useful of my ornithological life! Author is createve new-way of systematic accounts. My country ornithologists have not such works.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Impressing work! 20 July 2010
Format:Hardcover
I am impressed by the collection ov bird hybrids and how fertile they are.
I have worked whith gene flow between related species and have great help by this book!

Tomas Tymark, Sweden
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where is the skvader? 21 July 2012
By Ashtar Command - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World" is a bizarrely brilliant reference work listing all known hybrids between different species of birds. Or at least all known to the compiler, Eugene M. McCarthy (any relation to the left-leaning liberal senator?). The list of literature consulted is extremely large, and something tells me Mr. McCarthy has either spent most of his spare time collecting information on hybrids from obscure ornithology journals...or he had at least a dozen people helping him. Nothing wrong with that. It's not often a book that mostly consists of bird names in long columns can be called fascinating!

Of course, some crosses are "better" than others. Most readers probably wouldn't know what to think of a cross between the Usambara Nightjar and the Abyssinian ditto, or between a King Cormorant and an Imperial Cormorant. (Perhaps we could give it the vernacular name Princess Cormorant?) The occasional hybrids between Tawny Owls and Ural Owls, said to occur right here in Sweden, don't move me either. In my book, most owls look the same anyway. However, even a bad bird-watcher like me sometimes gets the drift, as when McCarthy tells us that a cross between a Red Crossbill and a Bullfinch has been reported, and that it changed hands for 2,500 dollars. Ah, that I *can* believe! I also noted that the book contains an entire appendix listing Canary crosses only. It seems canaries sleep around with pretty much everybody who is somebody in finch high society...

Of course, the most fascinating part of the book is the appendix about unconfirmed or extremely dubious hybrids. How about Mallard x Domestic Fowl? A German headmaster claimed in 1862 that he had observed such a hybrid. It could swim, but would soon turn back to the shore, and swam only if it could reach bottom with its outstretched legs. Another report is from 1834 by Arthur Biggs of the Cambridge Botanic Garden. These hybrids couldn't swim, had difficulty eating and had legs like hens. Mallard x Guineafowl and Superb Lyrebird x Domestic Fowl are two other dubious crosses we all wish would be true. There's also a report from 1731-38 about a hybrid between a European Goldfinch and a Barn Swallow. Finally, the senator lists an obviously phony rumor that the Chilean poultry breed Araucana is the result of matings between Domestic Fowl and Tinamous. While both Araucanas and Tinamous lay blue eggs, Tinamous are - despite their deceptively fowl-like appearance - actually ratites. They are related to ostriches rather than to chicken... The idea of a ratite breeding true with the hens in your backyard is appealing but, alas, a fable.

Speaking of urban legends, I was reminded of an old Swedish hoax when browsing this book. When I was a kid, a museum in Stockholm displayed a stuffed "skvader", said to be a cross between a pheasant and a hare! According to Wikipedia, a similar animal is still on display in another Swedish town, Sundsvall. Their version is a cross between a hare and a Wood Grouse. (Perhaps my memory fails me and it's really the same specimen.) The bizarre creature is a joke, based on a tall tale by a hunter who claimed to have shot such an animal in 1874. I suppose this was a bit too much for a serious, scientific reference work...

Even without the skvader, I believe "Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World" is well worth a high five!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard reading but extremely excelent material! 12 Jan 2009
By David E. Cummings - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This has got to be the most exhaustive gathering of material on Avian Hybrids I have ever seen! Having been working with small birds, quail,pigeons, parrots and doves for over 45 years, I wish I would have had something like this years ago. Once you realize that the code to understanding the book is in the front pages you can easily understand which birds hybridize in fertile or non fertile crosses. I am especially in to pesserines and Dr. McCarthy's list of Canary crosses is absolutely awesome! Some I had never considered and some I had experienced yet had been accused of lying. I knew I was not and he presents the truth that others have had the same results as I! That is so cool!
I would recommend that any one who is into hybridizing any kind of bird, from ducks, to canaries, turkeys to black birds, you have got your listing here and this will save you years and years of work. Yours in the sport: D. David E. Cummings--Kanaryman Aviaries and Research Foundation
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