This book is intended for all bird enthusiasts, conservationists and ornithologists, the informed reader and the collector of fine works of Africana. Vultures have always evoked a strong response in people, whether it be one of reverence, as in the Ancient Egyptians or the present day "vulture watchers", or of aversion, as shown by some of the explorers and hunters of the last century. In this book, Dr Peter Mundy and his fellow authors set out to answer every conceivable question on the biology and lifestyles of these birds, in a text that is a refreshing departure from traditional bird monographs in terms of its lively and contentious style. The book, nevertheless, remains comprehensive in its approach and is full of new insights from a combination of the authors' personal experiences and a thorough review of all the available literature. The book is divided naturally into four parts. First, the vultures are introduced, from the evolutionary standpoint, both globally and in an African context, so that the world's 22 species are grouped and defined. Then, the African vultures are placed under the spotlight. Each specie's account encompasses the history of the bird's discovery, its complete identification, distribution and preferred habitats. Its behaviour, foraging and feeding, breeding and current conservation status are examined in detail. The third part reveals the diversity within this group of scavenging birds by taking a comparative look at their foraging, feeding, socializing and breeding habits. The final section documents the interrelationship of vultures and humans in Africa and modern-day conservation issues and strategies are discussed in depth. Each species is illustrated by Duncan Butchart in a watercolour painting of the adult in its habitat. Over 100 of his pencil sketches also adorn the text. More than 130 photographs, many from leading wildlife photographers, capture the birds throughout the continent: we see them flying, feasting or fighting at a carcass, in "threat" postures, or relaxing after feeding, on their nests and rearing their young and through the eyes of history, in the paintings of the San and of the ancient Egyptians. A unique feature is the reproduction of 18th and 19th century "type specimen" paintings. In addition, numerous maps and diagrams lend visual immediacy to the absorbing text.
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"A classic work...which will become the standard bearer of vulture science in Africa." -- The Bird Book Review
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Book Description Academic Press, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110125105851