Cover image for The bird almanac : the ultimate guide to essential facts & figures of the world's birds
The bird almanac : the ultimate guide to essential facts & figures of the world's birds
Bird, David Michael.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Toronto : Firefly Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
xvii, 460 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL673 .B572 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
QL673 .B572 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Besides a mammoth listing of bird species worldwide, The Bird Almanac includes detailed information on all aspects of avian physiology -- including anatomy, reproduction, and disease -- as well as a complete guide to all aspects of the ornithological community, from organizations and societies to resources on the Internet. This easy-access reference features line drawings, charts, tables, and lists of recommended gear.

Author Notes

Professor David Bird is a well-known ornithologist who teaches at McGill University and is the Director of the Avian Science and Conservation Centre. A columnist for The Gazette of Montreal and Bird Watcher's Digest, he is also the editor/author of several books on wildlife

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Bird's fact-filled book meets a need in the world of birding. It begins with a world checklist of birds, adapted from Charles G. Sibley and Burt L. Monroe's Distribution and Taxonomy of Birds of the World (CH, Jul'91) and several other sources. After the checklist and a classification section, there is a section on anatomy, physiology, and reproduction of birds; interesting illustrations are found in this part. A section follows on mortality, threatened and endangered birds, and presidents of major ornithological and bird-watching societies in Canada, the US, and the UK. Another part presents awards, record holders in the birding world, and aids for bird-watchers such as birding gear and optical equipment. Several pages are devoted to attracting birds to one's backyard. A final portion offers resources for both bird lovers and ornithologists and a thorough glossary. This book should provide hours of enjoyment for anyone interested in birds. A must for any bird book collection. All levels. C. J. Pollard; Los Angeles Unified School District

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xvi
World Checklist of Birdsp. 1
American and British Equivalencies in Names of Birdsp. 214
Classification of the Class Avesp. 215
Traditionalp. 215
DNA-DNA Hybridizationp. 219
Suggested Fossil History of Birdsp. 224
Anatomyp. 226
Terms for Anatomical Characteristics of Birdsp. 226
Billp. 226
Tailp. 226
Wingp. 227
Legs and Feetp. 227
General Anatomical Referencesp. 228
Skeletonp. 229
Topographyp. 230
Measurementsp. 231
Physiologyp. 232
Circulatory Systemp. 232
Heartp. 232
Heart Weight of Selected Bird Species Relative to Body Weightp. 232
Approximate Blood Volumes for Selected Bird Speciesp. 233
Approximate Heartbeat Rates of Selected Adult Birds at Restp. 233
Approximate Erythrocyte (Red Corpuscle) Numbers in Selected Bird Speciesp. 234
Approximate Total Plasma (or Serum) Proteins, "Albumins," "Globulins," and "A/G" Ratio in Various Species of Birdsp. 234
Approximate Number of Leukocytes and Thrombocytes in Bird Bloodp. 235
Digestive Systemp. 236
Respiratory Systemp. 237
Approximate Breathing Rates of Resting Birds Relative to Body Weightp. 237
Air Sacsp. 237
Relative Respiratory Volumes in the Chickenp. 238
Urogenital Systemp. 238
Male and Female Urogenital Systemp. 238
Approximate Total Body Water of Some Selected Bird Species Relative to Body Weightp. 239
Metabolism and Thermoregulationp. 239
Metabolic Rates of Selected Bird Species Relative to Body Weightp. 239
Deep-Body Temperature of Selected Bird Species Relative to Body Weightp. 240
Sensesp. 241
Brainp. 241
Eyeballp. 241
Approximate Hearing Range of Various Bird Speciesp. 242
Frequency Ranges of Song Signals in Selected Bird Speciesp. 242
Sizes of Tympanic Membranes and Columellas in Selected Bird Species Relative to Body Areap. 243
Approximate Numbers of Taste Buds in Selected Bird Speciesp. 243
Flightp. 244
Wingp. 244
Featherp. 245
Major Adaptations of Birds for Flightp. 245
Feather Tractsp. 246
Generalized Flight Feather Counts of Selected Bird Groupsp. 247
Plumages and Moltsp. 248
Approximate Wing-Beats per Second in Selected Bird Speciesp. 248
Wing Loading in Selected Bird Speciesp. 249
Suggested Weight-Carrying Capacities of Selected Bird Speciesp. 250
Flight Morphology of Selected Species of Soaring Birdsp. 250
Flight Speeds for Selected Bird Species Relative to Mass, Aspect Ratio, and Wing Loadingp. 251
Minimum Daily Flight Distance of Selected Migrating Raptorsp. 251
Flight Speeds of Banded Wild Birds During Migration Between Two Locationsp. 252
Average Flight Speeds of Selected Bird Species During Daytime and Evening, Measured by Doppler Radarp. 252
Abilities of Birds to Return to the Site of Capture After Transport to a Distant, Unfamiliar Release Sitep. 253
Average Air Speeds and Ground Speeds of Some Migrating Hawksp. 253
Mean Altitudes Flown by Migrating Raptors in Autumnp. 253
Circling Performance of Selected Bird Speciesp. 254
Reproductionp. 254
Territoryp. 254
Relative Territory Sizes in Selected Bird Speciesp. 254
Initiation of Singing Before Sunrise in Selected Bird Speciesp. 255
Song-Type Repertoires in Selected Species of Songbirdsp. 255
Classifications of Nest Typep. 256
Gametesp. 256
Spermatozoap. 256
Approximate Number of Sperm-Storage Tubules in Selected Bird Speciesp. 257
Sperm-Storation Duration, Sperm Numbers, Clutch Size and Spread of Laying in Selected Bird Speciesp. 257
Eggp. 258
Nutritional Composition of a Chicken Eggp. 258
Egg-Layingp. 258
Approximate Egg-Laying Intervals in Some Birdsp. 258
Egg Patternsp. 259
Egg Shapesp. 260
Egg Weight as a Proportion of Female Body Weightp. 261
Incubationp. 261
Duration of Incubation of Selected Bird Speciesp. 261
Estimated Clutch Sizes, Incubation Periods, and Ages at Fledging in Selected Groups of Birdsp. 262
Average Periods on and off the Nest for Ten Species of Incubating Female Songbirdsp. 264
Hatchingp. 264
Maturity of Young Birds at Hatchingp. 264
Embryonic Developmentp. 265
A Comparison of Organs of Precocial and Altricial Young at Hatchingp. 266
Sex Ratiosp. 266
Sample Sex Ratios in Selected Species of Adult Wild Birdsp. 266
Mortalityp. 267
Longevityp. 267
Longevity Records for Wild Birdsp. 267
Potential Average Longevity of Songbirds Seen in North American Backyardsp. 268
Maximum Known Ages of Selected Species of Captive Birdsp. 269
Annual Adult Survival in Selected Bird Speciesp. 269
Estimated Annual Mortality Rate of Selected Bird Speciesp. 270
Relative Annual Human-Related Mortality of Birds in the United Statesp. 270
Frequencies of Diseases in Wild Birdsp. 271
Relative Occurrence of Aspergillosis in Wild Birds in North Americap. 271
Relative Occurrence of Avian Cholera in Wild Birdsp. 271
Reported Occurrence of Avian Pox in Wild Birds in North Americap. 272
Frequency of Botulism in Major Groups of Wild Birdsp. 272
Relative Occurrence of Chlamydial Infections in Wild Birds in North Americap. 272
Comparative Susceptibility of Eight Waterfowl Species to Duck Plaguep. 273
Relative Frequency of Nasal Leech Infestations in Selected Groups of Migratory Birdsp. 273
Relative Occurrence of Three Types of Salmonellosis in Selected Bird Speciesp. 273
Relative Frequency of Grossly Visible Forms of Sarcocystis in Selected Groups of North American Migratory Birdsp. 274
Relative Frequency of Trichostrongylid Nematodes in the Gizzards of Selected Groups of North American Migratory Birdsp. 274
Susceptibility to Oiling in Major Groups of Wild Birdsp. 274
Threatened and Endangered Bird Speciesp. 275
Canada as of 1997/98p. 275
United States as of 1997/98p. 275
Birds of Conservation Importance in the United Kingdomp. 277
Mascot Birdsp. 279
National Birdsp. 279
Canadian Provincial Birdsp. 279
State Birds (United States)p. 279
Assemblages of Birdsp. 280
Records in the Bird Worldp. 281
Anatomyp. 281
Locomotionp. 281
Physiologyp. 282
Reproductionp. 282
Human Relatedp. 283
History of Who's Who in Bird Biology and Conservationp. 284
Presidents of Major Ornithological Societiesp. 316
Canadap. 316
Society of Canadian Ornithologistsp. 316
United Statesp. 316
American Ornithologists' Unionp. 316
Cooper Ornithological Societyp. 316
Wilson Ornithological Societyp. 317
Association of Field Ornithologistsp. 317
Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.p. 317
The Colonial Waterbird Societyp. 318
United Kingdomp. 318
British Ornithologists' Unionp. 318
Presidents of Major Bird-Watching Societiesp. 318
United Statesp. 318
American Birding Associationp. 318
United Kingdomp. 318
Royal Society for the Protection of Birdsp. 318
Distinguished Awards Won by Ornithologistsp. 319
Society of Canadian Ornithologistsp. 319
Doris Huestis Speirs Awardp. 319
American Ornithologists' Unionp. 319
William Brewster Memorial Awardp. 319
Elliott Coues Awardp. 320
British Ornithologists' Unionp. 320
Founder's Gold Medalp. 320
Union Medalp. 320
Godman-Salvin Medalp. 321
Bird Watching Record Holdersp. 321
World 7000 Clubp. 321
Top 500+ Birdwatchers in the U.K. and Irelandp. 322
American Birding Association Area 800 Clubp. 322
Canada 475 Clubp. 322
New Jersey Audubon Society's World Series of Birdingp. 322
Urmer-Stone Cup Award Recipientsp. 322
Ward World Bird-Carving Championsp. 323
United States Federal Duck Stamp Artistsp. 326
Bird-Watchingp. 327
American Birding Associationp. 327
Code of Birding Ethicsp. 327
Royal Society for the Protection of Birdsp. 329
Birdwatchers' Code of Conductp. 329
Checklist of Birding Gearp. 330
Optical Equipmentp. 331
Twenty Tips for Choosing Binocularsp. 331
Optical Terminologyp. 332
Attracting Birds to the Backyardp. 333
Housingp. 333
Specifications for Nestboxes for Cavity-Nesting Birdsp. 333
Dimensions of Nesting Shelvesp. 334
Ten Tips for Installing a Purple Martin Housep. 334
Nest Material Offerings for Birdsp. 334
Plantsp. 335
Fruit-Bearing Plants for North American Birdsp. 335
Garden Flowers for North American Birdsp. 335
Typical Characteristics of Flowers Pollinated by Hummingbirdsp. 335
Flowering Plants for Hummingbirdsp. 336
Shrubs and Trees for North American Birdsp. 336
Characteristics of Preferred Nesting Trees of Some North American Woodpeckersp. 337
Feedingp. 338
Twenty Tips for Setting up a Backyard Programp. 338
Feeder Preferences for North American Backyard Birdsp. 339
Most Widely Recommended Seed Typesp. 340
Alternative Seed-Nut Offeringsp. 340
Most Widely Recommended Non-Seed Foodsp. 340
Food Preferences of Common Feeder Birds of North Americap. 341
Ten Tips for Setting up a Hummingbird Feederp. 342
Favorite Recipes for the Birdsp. 342
Ten Tips for Installing a Bird Bathp. 343
Dimensions of Nesting Shelvesp. 344
Ten Tips for Installing a Purple Martin Housep. 344
Nest Material Offerings for Birdsp. 344
Resources for Bird Loversp. 345
Ornithological and Bird-Watching Organizationsp. 345
Worldp. 345
Africap. 346
Asiap. 346
Europep. 348
North Americap. 353
Australasiap. 358
South and Central America, Caribbeanp. 359
Bird-Banding Organizationsp. 360
Europep. 360
Australasiap. 363
Middle Eastp. 363
North Americap. 363
Internet Links to Worldwide Birdingp. 365
Discussion Groupsp. 366
Rare Bird Reportsp. 366
Mailing Listsp. 367
Regionalp. 367
Subject-Orientedp. 369
Birding Hotlinesp. 371
Canadap. 371
United Statesp. 371
United Kingdomp. 374
Government Organizationsp. 374
North Americap. 374
United Kingdomp. 375
Bird Journals and Magazinesp. 375
Africap. 375
Australasiap. 376
Europep. 376
Asiap. 380
North Americap. 380
Central America and the Caribbeanp. 383
Middle Eastp. 383
Virtual or Internet Magazinesp. 384
Bibliographic Services on the Subject of Birdsp. 384
Videos of Birdsp. 385
Asiap. 385
Africap. 385
Europep. 385
North Americap. 386
Oceaniap. 388
South and Central Americap. 388
World/Generalp. 388
Audio Recordings of Birdsp. 389
Africap. 389
Asiap. 389
Europep. 390
Middle Eastp. 392
North Americap. 392
Oceaniap. 393
South and Central Americap. 394
World/Generalp. 397
CD-ROMs on Birdsp. 398
Commercial Outlets for Books and Software on Birdsp. 401
Birding Festivals in North Americap. 402
Januaryp. 402
Februaryp. 403
Marchp. 404
Aprilp. 404
Mayp. 405
Augustp. 406
Septemberp. 406
Octoberp. 407
Novemberp. 407
Decemberp. 408
Tour Operatorsp. 408
Africap. 408
Asiap. 408
Russiap. 409
Europep. 409
South and Central Americap. 409
Oceaniap. 411
North Americap. 412
Worldwidep. 415
Hawk-Watching Sitesp. 417
Top Thirty Watchsites with at Least 10,000 Migrant Raptors Annuallyp. 417
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Flight Statisticsp. 418
Golden Gate Raptor Observatory Flight Statisticsp. 418
Resources for Ornithologistsp. 419
Optical Equipmentp. 419
Bird Sound Recording and Amplification Devicesp. 422
Bird Nest Recording Equipmentp. 423
Netting for Capturing Wild Birdsp. 423
Telemetry Gear for Tracking Birdsp. 423
Satellite Tracking Centers for Birdsp. 425
DNA Sexing of Birdsp. 425
Specialized Video Camera Recorders for Birdsp. 426
Bird Courses and Volunteer Opportunities Related to Birdsp. 426
Glossaryp. 427