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The Wood Duck and the Mandarinby Lawton L Shurtleff
Synopses & Reviews
This is a story of conservation told through the natural histories of two of the world's most fascinating birds, the Wood Duck of North America and the Mandarin of Asia. The only two species in their genus (Aix), these Northern Wood Ducks are native to different continents but have long been kept together in captivity. Now, for the first time in history, they are also flying side by side in the wild in a small area of northern California. This rare circumstance has given Lawton L. Shurtleff and Christopher Savage the opportunity to observe the Northern Wood Ducks' close relationship and is the starting point of this informative and beautifully rendered book.
The opening chapters tell how the Wood Duck and the Mandarin came to inhabit the Pacific Flyway and explain their extraordinary similarities. Subsequent chapters discuss the distinctive histories of the two species and describe the birds throughout the seasons in their native flyways. The Mandarins' place in Asian art and literature is the subject of Chapter Five. The final chapter illuminates the successful work done to protect the North American Wood Duck, which has made a remarkable recovery from near extinction, and the beginning efforts to protect the Mandarin, whose existence in East Asia is seriously threatened.
Stunning full-color photographs by renowned wildlife photographers, along with photographs by the authors, capture the exquisite beauty of these much revered birds. Detailed maps show the Wood Ducks' territory in North America and the Mandarins' territory in East Asia and Great Britain. Three appendices—plans for building nestboxes, instructions for banding birds, and lists of books and conservation organizations—and a thorough index are valuable resources in a book that will delight bird-lovers and general readers alike.
Book News Annotation:
A narrative on the natural history and conservation of the wood duck of North America and the mandarin of Asia, tracking them through the seasons and across diverse terrain. Color photos show the ducks in their natural habitat, courting, nesting, raising their young, and migrating between breeding and wintering grounds. For general readers.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This is a story of conservation as told through the natural histories of two of the world's most beautiful and fascinating birds. Of the more than one hundred species of ducks in the world, the Wood Duck of North America and the Mandarin of Asia are among the most magnificent in appearance and the most remarkable in behavior. The only two species in their genus, these two Northern Wood Ducks breed, nest, and winter in the northern hemisphere, seeking out protective forests, quiet rivers, and secluded lakes. The Wood Duck and the Mandarin, the first book ever devoted to these two species, tracks both throughout the seasons and across diverse terrain.
"The Wood Duck and the Mandarin is filled with colorful images and is beautifully written."—Roger Tory Peterson, author, artist and photographer
"I have painted both species, and of course, all eyes (especially artists') revel in the glory of the males' plumage. However, the subtlety and form of the females display a classic elegance which suggests the wild and velnerable wooded wetlands of this world."—Robert Bateman, author and conservationist
"The two authors aspire to achieve the preservation of these two species in the wilds for the joy of future generations. A wonderful collection of cultural and biological material."—Sir Peter Scott, author, artist and conservationist
"Not only is the test most lucid, replete with vignettes, but the exquisite colored photographs portray the beauty and behavior of these most colorful ducks conveying the intimacy of their lives as seen firsthand by the authors."—Frank Bellrose, author and waterfowl research biologist
Includes bibliographical references (p. 224-226) and index.
About the Author
Lawton L. Shurtleff has studied and photographed Northern Wood Ducks at his ranch in northern California for the past twenty-five years. Christopher Savage has researched and written about the Mandarin for more than forty years. He served as the first Chair of the World Pheasant Association and of the International Trust for Nature Conservation. He resides alternately in Japan and England.
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