Synopses & Reviews
Renowned naturalist Alexander F. Skutch 's critically acclaimed book The Minds of Birds first introduced a controversial review of bird behavior. Now, in possibly his last book on birds, he reflects on a memorable career brimmed with discovery and controversy.Trogons, Laughing Falcons, and Other Neotropical Birds looks at the lifetime dedication of an expert naturalist who for seventy years has studied birds in tropical America, from Mexico to Peru and Venezuela. A pair of Violaceous Trogons, the only New World birds known to nest in an arboreal ants' nest; a pair of Laughing Falcons, the only raptors that might be called friends of small birds; hummingbirds who learn the songs they repeat in courtship assemblies that attract females; soaring kites that catch insects with their feet instead of their bills, as flycatchers do; and other notable birds are covered in "vintage" Skutch style.Skutch also tells of the only wild birds he has ever raised from eggs, two Gray-headed Chachalacas who became strongly attached to their foster parents. These and other unpublished observations on Neotropical birds, plus accounts published long ago in journals not now widely available, updated by new observations and interpretations, will add to the famous Skutch literature. His lifetime of conscientious observation and the information he imparts are invaluable and compelling.Complemented with intricate line drawings, Trogons, Laughing Falcons, and Other Neotropical Birds, an imperative addition to any ornithologist's literary collection, blends solid natural history with entertaining reading.
About the Author
Alexander F. Skutch wrote more than twenty-five books on birds and nature, including The Minds of Birds, also published by Texas AandM University Press. He lived and worked in Costa Rica for many years.