Cover image for Bird migration
Bird migration
Alerstam, Thomas.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Fågelflyttning. English
Publication Information:
Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Physical Description:
vii, 420 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
General Note:
"Originally published in Swedish as Fågelflyttning by Bokförlaget Signum in 1982"--T.p. verso.
The journeys of birds and the ideas of man -- The rotating world of migratory birds -- Summer and winter quarters -- The migratory journey -- Orientation and navigation.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL698.9 .A4413 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The aim of this book is to give a general overview of the whole subject of bird migration. After a chapter describing the Earth's climate and ecosystem, the book is divided into three main sections. The first presents the life histories and migratory habits of nine different ecological categories of birds. The second section deals with the course and timing of the flight journeys, flight behavior, fuel economy, flocking, and the hazards from disorientation and predation. The final section covers the ways that birds navigate and shows that this process is still by no means fully understood.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Alerstam's book, translated from Swedish, is a thorough study of bird migration. The author begins with a background chapter describing the earth, its climate, and ecosystems. The book is then divided into three main sections: the first presents life histories and migratory habits of nine different ecological categories of birds; the second deals with the course and timing of flight journeys; and the final section discusses the ways in which birds navigate and find their way. Throughout the book, one finds illustrations maps, sketches, and tables. There is an excellent bibliography and index. A superior book on bird migration, recommended for all libraries.-C. J. Pollard, Los Angeles Unified School District

Table of Contents

1 The journeys of birds and the ideas of man
2 The rotating world of migratory birds
3 Summer and winter quarters, Birds in wetlands, Birds which forage on lake and sea bottom, Birds which feed on terrestrial plants, Birds which feed on fish, Birds which obtain food at the water's surface, Birds of prey, Insect-eaters, Seed-eaters, Omnivorous birds, The evolution of bird migration
4 The migratory journey, Methods of studying bird migration, Flight speed, Migration in flocks, Soaring flight, Flight altitude, Fat as flight fuel, Diurnal and nocturnal migration, Weather and wind, Dangers during the migration
5 Orientation and navigation, The sensory world of birds, Different compasses, How do birds find the right migration route?