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.

Key Features

* Hot ecological aspects include: various types of bird movements, including dispersal and nomadism, and how they relate to food supplies and other external conditions * Contains numerous tables, maps and diagrams, a glossary, and a bibliography of more than 2,700 references * Written by an active researcher with a distinguished career in avian ecology, including migration research


Ornithologists, ecologists, physiologists, biologists interested in animal movements, amateur naturalists, serious bird-watchers and bird-ringers.

Table of Contents

Preface Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Methodology PART 1: THE MIGRATORY PROCESS Chapter 3 Migratory flight Chapter 4 Weather effects and other aspects Chapter 5 Fuelling the flights Chapter 6 Incredible journeys Chapter 7 Raptors and other soaring birds Chapter 8 Speed and duration of journeys Chapter 9 Finding the way Chapter 10 Vagrancy PART 2: THE TIMING AND CONTROL OF MIGRATION Chapter 11 Annual cycles Chapter 12 Control mechanisms PART 3: LARGE SCALE MOVEMENT PATTERNS Chapter 13 Geographical patterns Chapter 14 Seasonal occupation of breeding areas Chapter 15 Sex and age differences in migration Chapter 16 Variations on a migratory theme Chapter 17 Site fidelity and dispersal Chapter 18 Irruptive migrations: boreal seed-eaters Chapter 19 Irruptive migrations: owls, raptors and waterfowl PART 4: EVOLUTION OF MOVEMENT PATTERNS Chapter 20 Evolutionary aspects Chapter 21 Recent changes in bird migrations Chapter 22 Biogeographical legacies Chapter 23 Distribution patterns PART 5: MIGRATION SYSTEMS AND POPULATION LIMITATION Chapter 24 The Palaearctic-Afrotropical migration system Chapter 25 The Nearctic-Neotropical migration system


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© 2008
Academic Press
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About the author

Ian Newton

Dr. Ian Newton is respected world-wide both as a biologist with a special interest and expertise in this subject and as a communicator. He is a seasoned and popular key note speaker at National and International meetings, and his talks are often the high point of conferences.Ian Newton was born and raised in north Derbyshire. He attended Chesterfield Boys Grammar School, followed by the universities of Bristol and Oxford. He has been interested in birds since boyhood, and as a teenager developed a particular fascination with finches, which later led to doctoral and post-doctoral studies on these birds. Later in life he became known fore his penetrating field studies of bird populations, notably on raptors. He is now a senior ecologist with the Natural Environment Research Council, and visiting professor of ornithology at the University of Oxford. Most of his research has been in Scotland, but he has also spent a sabbatical year with the Canadian Wildlife Service, studying waterfowl, and is a frequent visitor to research groups in the United States and elsewhere. He has published more than 200 scientific papers on birds, and several books, including Finches (1972), Population Ecology of Raptors (1979), The Sparrowhawk (1986), and Lifetime Reproduction in Birds (edited, 1989). He has served as President of the British Ecological Society, Vice-president of the British Ornithologists' Union, and is honorary member of the American Ornithologists' Union. He has received several prestigious awards for research and conservation, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1993. He is married, and has two sons and a daughter.

Affiliations and Expertise

Monks Wood Research Station, Abbots Ripton,Cambs, U.K.


"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