Bird courtship and display can be one of the most captivating events in the natural world. This attractive and informative book looks at natural selection and why birds have evolved different reproduction strategies, examining territories, birdsong, displays and dealing with rivals. It also looks at different bird lifestyles, including monogamy, polygamy, polyandry, promiscuity and communal arrangements, as well as the importance of plumage, including why males are usually brighter and how special plumage features have evolved.
The Mating Lives of Birds then focuses on some of the most spectacular bird displays, including Bittern (`booming', territorial and mating call); Superb Lyrebird (amazing tail feathers, posture display in special arena); grouse (leks, special calls, plumage features); Golden Eagle (pendulum flight with both male and female); cranes (dancing displays); Ruddy Duck (drumming noises, bubbling effects); puffins (bill colours change for breeding season); egrets (elaborate display plumes); frigatebirds (inflatable throat-pouch display), birds-of-paradise (outrageous plumage, hanging displays, vocalization); Ruff (special breeding plumage, `jousting' between males at leks) and phalaropes (role reversal, female brighter and proactive in display).
This evocatively written and richly illustrated title will be an essential addition to the library of any keen birdwatcher.