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How Birds Migrate Paperback – August 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books; 1st edition (August 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811724441
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811724449
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,535,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This is an excellent, popular, yet authoritative explanation of bird migration by the former director of Cape May Bird Observatory. The widely published Kerlinger (The Book of Owls, Univ. of Texas Pr., 1993) is an authority on owl and hawk migration and is widely published. Here he confronts the mystery and complexity of the unbelievable travels of birds: how and why, for example, a hummingbird that weighs one-sixth of an ounce flies from breeding grounds in New Hampshire to winter in Costa Rica. A major virtue is the insertion of hundreds of "case studies" to illustrate the author's analysis and points set off from the rest of the text. Worldwide in scope, the book's chapters concern how migration is studied, why it takes place, barriers, rest stops, flocking behavior, speed and distance, navigation, conservation, mechanics of flight, flight height and strategy, and day and night migrations. A provocative inquiry; highly recommended.
Henry T. Armistead, formerly with Thomas Jefferson Univ. Lib., Philadelphia
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

This appeared some time ago but deserves ongoing mention as an excellent discussion of the mysteries of migration. Each chapters here focuses on a single aspect of migration, revealing the unusual complexity underlying questions about bird migration processes. Ornithologist Kerlinger provides a lively blend of case study questions and scientific answers which include plenty of maps for at-a-glance details. A fine presentation. -- Midwest Book Review

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By algo41 on October 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
Kerlinger is a true scientist, and an avid birdwatcher with a passion for his subject. I don't share his passion, and found some of his case histories neither interesting nor illuminating. There is also a bit of needless repetition. I would still very much recommend this book. Bird migrations are remarkable, and most of us have at least some interest in the habits of the birds around us. This is a well organized book, and it is built around scientific inquiry, and observation, and the theories that result. There is still much to be learned, which is both good and bad. Sometimes there are interesting alternative theories, and sometimes Kerling has to simply point to gaps in knowledge. The production values are high, ie. the various typesets and illustrations. While "finding the way" is the most important chapter from my viewpoint, it turns out there are many other issues related to migration. Incidentally, in the "Finding the Way" chapter, there is one important omission: Kerlinger brings up the subject of straight line routes vs. great circle routes, gives evidence that at least sometimes birds use the longer straight line routes, then writes (p.149): "Some migrants do seem to use great circle routes, but ....". What follows the "but" is off topic, and in fact great circle routes never explicitly come up again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
Bird migration is one of the most fascinating topics in ornithology. Many books have been published about the subject from general overviews to huge scientific volumes. As the Paul Kerlinger writes in the preface, he hopes "to fill a gap in the literature that exists between technical and popular presentations".
This, I think, he did successfully. The book is easy two read while containing a huge amount of detail about one of the greatest phenomenons in nature.
The book covers why birds migrate, how scientists study migration, why some birds migrate by day and others by night, the importance of rest stops along the migration route, how birds find the ways, how high they fly and much more.
I especially liked the chapter on bird flight. This is a complex topic and not easy to explain but the author did a great job here.
I also liked the chapter on conservation of migratory species which is getting a lot of attention today by leading conservation organisations.
The main focus of the book is on North American and European species. There is not much about Asian species or the migration of birds within the tropics. This is understandable though, as most migration research has been done on European and North American species.
I also l liked that the authors often discusses bird migration from an evolutionary point of view and also explains where there are still gaps in our knowledge on how bird migration evolved.

What could be better? The 2nd edition, which is reviewed here, was published in 2009 but apparently not much was done to bring it completely up to date.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Israel Ramirez on November 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every aspect of bird migration is systematically and carefully covered. All the explanations are clear and concise. The treatment is mostly nontechnical but many technical terms are introduced and clearly defined. Migration in North America is emphasized but relevant data from Europe is effectively introduced.

The illustrations (mostly simple drawings) do an excellent job of clarifying complex issues as well as enhancing the appearance of the book. However, because there are so many big illustrations, they also make the book seem lengthier than it really is.

The author has real concern for the future of the birds whose travels are made increasingly difficult by modern civilization and over development. The author also has a sense of humor. Nevertheless, the prose often comes off as a dull or plain, the kind of prose found in journal articles rather than in popular books.

I am non-ornithologist so I can't judge the quality of the science but it looks very professional to me. Where the author sees disagreement in the literature he concisely describes the rationale for each point of view and indicates his own preference.
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By 5/0 on January 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
"How Birds Migrate" by Paul Kerlinger (Stackpole Books 1995)

Any birder and especially those with a keen interest in migrations should have this terrific book. Paul Kerlinger is an eminent ornithologist and former Director at the Cape May Bird Observatory. His book is an amazing treatise upon the many aspects of migration from the why/where/ when/how to methods of study to conservation to weather. There is so much easy-reading and fascinating information packed into this gem of barely 200 pages that a person could read it a dozen times and achieve an increased understanding, and awe, of bird migration every time. In a nutshell, this is Prime Stuff.
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Format: Paperback
Paul Kerlinger was director of the New jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory for seven years and offers a revised edition considering migration. Case studies and drawings explain the basics of flight, flight strategy, and the science involved in bird migration processes, offering a survey of scientific investigations into bird patterns. Any general lending library will find this a fine acquisitions.
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