Cranes: A Natural History Of A Bird In Crisis

by Janice Hughes

Firefly Books | June 10, 2011 | Hardcover

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The history, habits, life and lore of a resourceful and iconic bird.

Long in neck, leg and wing, cranes are imposing wading birds that are among the largest and tallest of the world''s bird families. Cranes are found on all continents except South America and Antarctica. They are typically associated with open wetland and grassland habitats, where their bright plumage, graceful proportions and convivial nature are displayed in elaborate dancing and duet calling. Those species that breed in the northern regions of North America and Eurasia undertake long migrations each spring and fall. Cranes choose life-long mates and are devoted parents that raise their young with both tenderness and determination.

Cranes traces the history of these fascinating birds from their early origins in the Mesozoic Era to the present day. The book covers anatomy, feeding habits, mating rituals, habitats, caring for the chicks, migration and seasonal movements. A special section is devoted to cranes in myth and folklore. Species profiles are included, along with range maps and conservation status of:

  • Black-crowned crane
  • Red-crowned crane
  • Black-necked crane
  • Sandhill crane
  • Blue crane
  • Sarus crane
  • Brolga
  • Siberian crane
  • Demoiselle crane
  • Wattled crane
  • Eurasian crane
  • White-naped crane
  • Grey crowned crane
  • Whooping crane
  • Hooded crane.

Emphasis is given to the whooping crane as a case study of the environmental and human pressures that threaten the existence of all family members. Through the tireless efforts of many dedicated researchers and volunteers, this species is slowly being brought back from the edge of extinction. Operation Migration, the project to establish a migratory population of whooping cranes in the eastern United States, is profiled in a special chapter of Cranes.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 256 pages, 4.33 × 3.35 × 0.39 in

Published: June 10, 2011

Publisher: Firefly Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 155407343X

ISBN - 13: 9781554073436

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– More About This Product –

Cranes: A Natural History Of A Bird In Crisis

by Janice Hughes

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 256 pages, 4.33 × 3.35 × 0.39 in

Published: June 10, 2011

Publisher: Firefly Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 155407343X

ISBN - 13: 9781554073436

Read from the Book

Introduction If science fiction were reality, humans would be the consummate terraformers, modifying other worlds to support their own existence. Yet in our more tangible 21st-century tragedy, we humans have not stretched out our hands to the stars to sustain the burgeoning masses, we have merely fed unsustainably upon our home resources. The victims of our actions are not alien races, but the two million plant and animal species with which we share this small blue planet. Since human survival became a dominant ecological process on earth a hundred millennia ago, other species have inevitably borne the burden of our extravagances. The first evidence of this occurred during the cyclical glaciations of the Pleistocene epoch, when over 80 percent of the world''s megafauna -- animals greater than 100 pounds (44 kg) -- disappeared from the face of the earth. Extraordinary creatures such as mammoths, giant ground sloths and saber-tooth cats fell systematically, coincident not with climatic change but with the arrival of humans. These extinctions were followed by the loss of island species -- moas, elephant birds, giant lemurs -- that had evolved in secluded paradise, blissfully ignorant of a predator''s needs. Anything that was large enough to feed a family or slow enough to kill with little effort was eaten to extinction. Soon, however, humans would invent the means to take down those animals once too swift or too wily to grace the dinner table. We also learned to adapt the land f
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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1
The Natural History of Cranes

Chapter 2
The Decline of the Whooping Crane

Chapter 3
Recovery of the Whooping Crane: Population

Chapter 4
Recovery of the Whooping Crane: Migration

Chapter 5
Summing Up

Chapter 6
Species Profiles

Appendices
References
Index
Photo Credits

From the Publisher

The history, habits, life and lore of a resourceful and iconic bird.

Long in neck, leg and wing, cranes are imposing wading birds that are among the largest and tallest of the world''s bird families. Cranes are found on all continents except South America and Antarctica. They are typically associated with open wetland and grassland habitats, where their bright plumage, graceful proportions and convivial nature are displayed in elaborate dancing and duet calling. Those species that breed in the northern regions of North America and Eurasia undertake long migrations each spring and fall. Cranes choose life-long mates and are devoted parents that raise their young with both tenderness and determination.

Cranes traces the history of these fascinating birds from their early origins in the Mesozoic Era to the present day. The book covers anatomy, feeding habits, mating rituals, habitats, caring for the chicks, migration and seasonal movements. A special section is devoted to cranes in myth and folklore. Species profiles are included, along with range maps and conservation status of:

  • Black-crowned crane
  • Red-crowned crane
  • Black-necked crane
  • Sandhill crane
  • Blue crane
  • Sarus crane
  • Brolga
  • Siberian crane
  • Demoiselle crane
  • Wattled crane
  • Eurasian crane
  • White-naped crane
  • Grey crowned crane
  • Whooping crane
  • Hooded crane.

Emphasis is given to the whooping crane as a case study of the environmental and human pressures that threaten the existence of all family members. Through the tireless efforts of many dedicated researchers and volunteers, this species is slowly being brought back from the edge of extinction. Operation Migration, the project to establish a migratory population of whooping cranes in the eastern United States, is profiled in a special chapter of Cranes.

About the Author

Janice Hughes is a biology professor at Lakehead University. A member of the Society of Conservation Biologists and the American Ornithologists'' Union, she is also the author of The Royal Ontario Museum Field Guide to the Birds of Ontario. She lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Janice Hughes

Editorial Reviews

Easily the best account of America''s effort to save from extinction the whooping crane, one of our rarest and, arguably, most beautiful birds. Over the years there have been several book-length accounts of these efforts.... None of these is as complete as this book. Additionally, it is the most up-to-date, bringing the story of the whooping crane''s recovery program up to the late summer of 2006.... This splendid book...is decorated with over 80 of the most spectacular crane photographs ever assembled in one place. My only regret about this book is that I hadn''t written it.
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