Starlings and Mynas

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Princeton University Press, 1999 - Nature - 285 pages
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The starling family contains some of the most common and some of the rarest birds in the world--ranging from the ubiquitous Common Starling to species restricted to single islands in the South Pacific. Starlings and Mynas is the first comprehensive, one-volume guide to all 114 members of the family.


The main text of the book presents descriptions and illustrations of every species and many distinctive subspecies. It offers extensive information about identification, ecology, and behavior, complemented by thirty-two color plates and distribution maps. The authors also reexamine the classification of starlings in the light of up-to-date knowledge of the birds' ecology and behavior. In the introduction, the authors outline their general approach to the family and provide an overview of the birds' distribution, breeding, behavior, ecology, habitat, and moult. They also review the birds' fascinating interactions with humans, explaining how starlings and mynas have been scorned as pests, used for food, valued as pets and as mimics, and even had religious significance in different parts of the world. With its combination of precise, scientific observations and colorful contextual information, this book will become the definitive guide to this diverse family of birds.

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About the author (1999)

Chris Feare has studied birds and their interactions with man for thirty years, and began research on starlings in 1974. He has traveled widely in search of starlings and to study bird pest problems, and currently runs his own consultancy. He is a Visiting Professor at Leeds University. The seed of this book was sown during the writing of his 1984 monograph, The Starling, and the project gained momentum when he and Adrian Craig met by chance while examining starlings in the Natural History Museum at Tring, Hertfordshire. Adrian Craig started research on African starlings at Rhodes University (South Africa) in 1980. Bishopbirds were the subject of his MSc and PhD theses at, respectively, the University of Cape Town and the University of Natal. He is currently Associate Professor in Zoology at Rhodes University. He has also served on the council of BirdLife South Africa, and edited its journal, Ostrich, for twelve years.

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