Seleccionar página

Life of the Tanager Hardcover Alexander F. Skutch. Comstock Publishing Associates, 1989


During his life Alexander Skutch may well have established himself as the preeminent authority on neotropical birds, having devoted most of his life to the study of (primarily) birds in Central America and northern South America; his name was at one time virtually synonymous with Costa Rican ornithology.

Skutch was a diligent researcher and observer, and his attention to detail yielded insights about aspects of neotropical bird life that might have otherwise remained subject to conjecture for decades or more. But his popular writings are not dry academic monographs; Alexander Skutch loved the birds he studied and the tropical habitats in which he studied them, and that love is reflected in a style of writing that combines scientific precision with almost poetic eloquence.

As in the other volumes in a series of occasional volumes (covering hummingbirds, American flycatchers, pigeons, and woodpeckers), this work synthesizes Skutch’s ornithological precision with an affectionate examination of the known (as of 1989) aspects of the life histories of birds that were at that time treated as members of a single taxonomic family consisting of 230 species found exclusively in the New World. Included are informative observations regarding tanagers, shrike-tanagers, ant-tanagers, mountain-tanagers, bush-tanagers, thrush-tanagers, palm-tanagers, magpie-tanagers, honeycreepers & dacnises, euphonias & chlorophonias, and conebills.

The writing is entertaining and informative. The illustrations by Dana Gardner are (as would be expected) very good, and they’re not simply “field guide art”. Twenty-six species are depicted in color portraits, portrayed “in nature”, and numerous line drawings (figures) usefully supplement the text.

Tables document known incubation patterns, clutch size, incubation periods, nestling (fledging) periods, parental feeding rates, and nesting success (alarmingly low, with threats from predators and brood parasites, among others).

Interestingly, at least three different publishers produced volumes in this “series”.. Subtle differences distinguish each volume from others in the “series”, but for the most part all five volumes conform to a familiar and accessible format.

Sin existencias

Categorías: ,


Alexander F. Skutch has spent more than 40 years studying Neotropical birds, mostly in southern Costa Rica, where he makes his home. In this charming book he observes the habits of the tanagers, a family of some 230 species of brightly colored, predominantly fruit-eating birds of the New World.Skutch describes many of the unusual things he has seen tanagers do, and details their behavior: how they forage and feed, vocalize, interact with one another, court, and breed. He tells how they nest, care for their young, and defend against predators, and shows them in such daily activities as grooming and sleeping. His final chapter is devoted to the present status of tanagers in relation to humans and the destruction of their physical environment. Dana Gardener has provided 19 black-and-white drawings of various species, and a set of 24 of his watercolors illustrate the brilliant colors of the birds and of the tropical vegetation they inhabit..Written in Skutch’s inimitable style, Life of the Tanager conveys eloquently his views on conservation, ecology, and evolution. It is sound natural history, sprinkled with a unique blend of personal observation and theoretical reflection. It will be treasured by both amateur birders and professionals.

  • Editorial ‏ : ‎ Comstock Publishing Associates; 1st Edition. (15 Abril 1989)
  • Idioma ‏ : ‎ Inglés
  • Tapa dura ‏ : ‎ 152 páginas
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0801422264
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0801422263
  • Edad de lectura ‏ : ‎ A partir de 18 años
  • Peso del Artículo ‏ : ‎ 2.01 onzas
  • Dimensiones ‏ : ‎ 9.3 x 0.69 x 12.42 pulgadas