By Alexander F. Skutch, Dana Gardner

Captivated whereas nonetheless younger by way of the elegance and great quantity of the tropics, Alexander Skutch, world-renowned ornithologist and writer of twelve books on tropical birds, resolved to commit his lifestyles to its research and interpretation. For good over part a century, he has painstakingly saw the creatures that encompass him, rather the birds, and he has proposal lengthy and deeply - possibly greater than so much naturalists - in regards to the value of this plentiful lifestyles. during this reflective account of lifestyles within the tropics, Skutch deals readers either his observations and his interpretations of what he has skilled. He brings a considerate, unequaled voice to the outline of the area he has grown to grasp and comprehend, an international thought of forbidding via such a lot northerners and nonetheless mostly unexplored.

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From warm lowlands it extends upward to about 8,500 feet (2,600 meters) in Guatemala and 10,000 feet (3,050 me- Page 7 White-tipped Dove incubating in the scrambling fern, Dicranopteris pectinata Page 8 ters) in Venezuela. Absent from the West Indies, it lives on islands along the Venezuelan coast, including Trinidad and Tobago. Over much of their range, White-tipped Doves are most abundant in the drier regions, but here in southern Costa Rica they are numerous in clearings in heavy rain forests.

298 86-25079 ISBN 0-87745-163-x Title page: diurnal moths, Urania fulgens, on unrolling fern frond No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, without permission in writing from the publisher. Page v Contents Preface vii 1. The Foundations of Tropical Splendor 1 2. A Valiant Dove 6 3. The Birth of Beauty 14 4. Castlebuilders 23 5. Parental Care and Family Life in Birds and Mammals 40 6. A Charming Thief 47 7.

If ever the day arrives when man, fascinated by the discoveries and practical achievements of the sciences, ceases to wonder and speculate about the great, perennial questions that are beyond the purview of our sciences, something precious will have departed from the human spirit. When the name of an organism is capitalized, the scientific designation is given in the index. Page 1 1. The Foundations of Tropical Splendor I look over a wide green landscape flooded with brilliant tropical sunshine, from the clamorous mountain torrent below me to distant craggy summits.

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