Parrots of the Wild explores recent scientific discoveries and what they reveal about the lives of wild parrots, which are among the most intelligent and rarest of birds. Catherine A. Toft and Tim Wright discuss the evolutionary history of parrots and how this history affects perceptual and cognitive abilities, diet and foraging patterns, and mating and social behavior. The authors also discuss conservation status and the various ways different populations are adapting to a world that is rapidly changing. The book focuses on general patterns across the 350-odd species of parrots, as well as what can be learned from interesting exceptions to these generalities. A synthetic account of the diversity and ecology of wild parrots, this book distills knowledge from the authors' own research and from their review of more than 2,400 published scientific studies. The book is enhanced by an array of illustrations, including nearly ninety color photos of wild parrots represented in their natural habitats. Parrots of the Wild melds scientific exploration with features directed at the parrot enthusiast to inform and delight a broad audience.
Catherine A. Toft was Professor Emerita in the Department of Evolution and Ecology at the University of California, Davis at the time of her death in December 2011. She was coeditor of Parasite-Host Associations: Coexistence or Conflict? Timothy F. Wright is Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at New Mexico State University. He has studied parrots in the wild and in the laboratory for more than twenty years.
Foreword by James D. Gilardi Preface and Acknowledgments PART I: The World of Parrots: Introducing the Psittaciformes 1. What Are the Parrots and Where Did They Come From? The Evolutionary History of the Parrots PART II: The Functional Parrot: Physiology, Morphology, and Behavior 2. The Thriving Parrot: The Foods and Beaks of Parrots 3. The Sensible Parrot: How Parrots Perceive and Use Information 4. The Thinking Parrot: The Brains of Parrots and How They Use Them PART III: The Lives of Parrots: Mating, Life History, and Populations 5. Sex and Marriage: The Mating Systems of Parrots 6. From the Cradle to the Grave: The Life History of Parrots 7. Populations of Parrots: Conservation and Invasion Biology Epilogue: Themes and Threads Uniting the Chapters of This Book Notes Bibliography Index