The Migration Ecology of Birds


  • Ian Newton, Monks Wood Research Station, Abbots Ripton,Cambs, U.K.

This book presents an up-to-date, detailed and thorough review of the most fascinating ecological findings of bird migration. It deals with all aspects of this absorbing subject, including the problems of navigation and vagrancy, the timing and physiological control of migration, the factors that limit their populations, and more. Author, Ian Newton, reveals the extraordinary adaptability of birds to the variable and changing conditions across the globe, including current climate change. This adventurous book places emphasis on ecological aspects, which have received only scant attention in previous publications. Overall, the book provides the most thorough and in-depth appraisal of current information available, with abundant tables, maps and diagrams, and many new insights. Written in a clear and readable style, this book appeals not only to migration researchers in the field and Ornithologists, but to anyone with an interest in this fascinating subject.
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Ornithologists, ecologists, physiologists, biologists interested in animal movements, amateur naturalists, serious bird-watchers and bird-ringers.


Book information

  • Published: November 2007
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-517367-4


"A remarkably detailed and highly readable account of this vast literature. The whole book is packed with clearly described examples, many of which are presented in fully referenced summary tables which will prove invaluable to researchers...This book describes many of these developments but sets them within a much broader historical context of published studies of bird migration. This context is both highly informative and provides a powerful basis for understanding current and future changes to migratory populations...Ian Newton has a deep and thorough knowledge of the science of ornithology, and it is to our great benefit that he has spent his recent years writing a series of books that summarize and structure this huge body of literature in such accessible and readable formats. At over 900 pages and including a detailed glossary and extensive reference list, this book will be of great value to researchers in this field, but it is also an excellent source of information for anyone interested inthemany fascinating aspects of bird migration."

"The many charts, figures and graphic illustrations in the book give new views on the migratory phenomenon and on the incredible adaptive ability of birds to the variations and changing circumstances like the warming climate, to cite one example. The text is clear and is not solely interesting to researchers but also all those who are intrigued by the extraordinary migration of birds."--ALUADA, the journal of the Societet d’Etudes Ornithologiques de France

Table of Contents

PrefaceChapter 1 IntroductionChapter 2 MethodologyPART 1: THE MIGRATORY PROCESSChapter 3 Migratory flightChapter 4 Weather effects and other aspectsChapter 5 Fuelling the flightsChapter 6 Incredible journeysChapter 7 Raptors and other soaring birdsChapter 8 Speed and duration of journeysChapter 9 Finding the wayChapter 10 VagrancyPART 2: THE TIMING AND CONTROL OF MIGRATIONChapter 11 Annual cyclesChapter 12 Control mechanismsPART 3: LARGE SCALE MOVEMENT PATTERNSChapter 13 Geographical patternsChapter 14 Seasonal occupation of breeding areasChapter 15 Sex and age differences in migrationChapter 16 Variations on a migratory themeChapter 17 Site fidelity and dispersalChapter 18 Irruptive migrations: boreal seed-eatersChapter 19 Irruptive migrations: owls, raptors and waterfowlPART 4: EVOLUTION OF MOVEMENT PATTERNSChapter 20 Evolutionary aspectsChapter 21 Recent changes in bird migrationsChapter 22 Biogeographical legaciesChapter 23 Distribution patternsPART 5: MIGRATION SYSTEMS AND POPULATION LIMITATIONChapter 24 The Palaearctic-Afrotropical migration system Chapter 25 The Nearctic-Neotropical migration systemChapter 26 Population limitation – breeding and wintering areasChapter 27 Population limitation – conditions on stopoverChapter 28 Mass mortality of migrants GlossaryBibliographyIndex