From Publishers Weekly
Kroodsma, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, shares what he's learned from more than three decades of recording and analyzing the songs of birds in this intriguing, instructional book. Using "sonagrams" (also known as sound spectrograms, they plot a sound's frequency over time), he illustrates the songs of 30 birds, from the familiar American robin to the exotic three-wattled bellbird of Costa Rica. He considers how birds acquire their songs (some species learn them; others have their tunes "encoded somehow in nucleotide sequences of the DNA"), what makes the songs unique, what functions they serve, and how they've evolved. No two species sound alike, of course, but groups of birds within each species have their own dialects, and individual birds have their own repertoires as well. A CD of the bird songs discussed is included, as are descriptions of the recording equipment Kroodsma used and explanations on how to make similar recordings and "sonagrams." Kroodsma is a warm, encouraging guide to the world of birdsong, and his enthusiasm is contagious. Illus.
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About the Author
A retired biology professor at the University of Massachusetts, Donald Kroodsma's work on bird song is legendary. His book The Singing Life of Birds won the 2006 John Burroughs Medal Award and the American Birding Association's Robert Ridgway Distinguished Service Award for excellence in publications pertaining to field ornithology. In 2003 the American Ornithologits' Union called him the reigning authority on the biology of avian vocal behavior." Kroodsma received his Ph.D. at OregonState University and has traveled all over North and South America researching bird song. He is a Fellow of the American Ornithologists' Union and the Animal Behavior Society and has published hundreds of academic and popular articles."
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