Gatherings of Angels

Gatherings of Angels - Gardening Book

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Gatherings of Angels
Migrating Birds and Their Ecology

by Hugh Wiberg

ISBN 0-8014-8401-4
208pages; 5 13/16 x 8 11/16
3 8-page color inserts; Paperback.

"Any birder, naturalist, or natural history enthusiast will treasure this informative and interesting book that will serve as both reference book and inspirational reading."
-Dan R. Kunkle, Wildlife Activist

The migration of birds has forever amazed and confounded onlookers. How do birds find their way to their destinations? How do they withstand the dangers and rigors of long-distance flight? The survival of migrant birds is increasingly threatened by environmental degradation and manmade hazards; their protection is more critical than ever. Gatherings of Angels offers first-hand accounts by leading experts who convey the beauty and excitement of migration while communicating important messages about avian conservation. The book features twenty-four pages of stunning color photographs with additional black-and-white photographs throughout.

Two chapters of background information on migration precede chapters that focus on different species or groups of birds and the localities essential to their survival--from the spring flights of songbirds across the Gulf of Mexico to the massing of sandhill cranes on the Platte River. The authors discuss the timing of migrant travel; the routes followed; and the concentration of birds in stop-over sites, locations that must be preserved if they are to have secure resting spots with fresh water and ample food to fuel their journey.

From the Preface

"Twice each year, billions of birds, entire species, swarm across the globe, traveling thousands of miles as they follow the sun to populate regions that are habitable for only part of each year. The spatial scope of these migrations exceeds all other biological phenomena. So fantastic are they that ancient civilizations devised a host of myths to explain the periodic appearance and disappearance of such vast numbers of animals. Those apocryphal stories were concocted in part because what we now know to be true seemed then so completely beyond the pale. It seemed more likely that swallows buried themselves in the mud at the bottoms of ponds than that they flew all the way from Europe to Africa and back twice each year. But the truth turned out to be more amazing than the myth."

About the Author
KENNETH P. ABLE is Professor of Biology at the State University of New York, Albany.

About this Author