By Stephen Moss

This RSPB-endorsed publication solutions all these burning questions about birds that newbies and specialists alike may well ask themselves as they pass approximately their birding. How do geese continue their toes from freezing in wintry weather? Why do not swallows remain in Africa? Are birds quite dinosaurs, or have been dinosaurs quite birds? How is it made up our minds no matter if fowl species might be 'split' or 'lumped'? Taking a 'questions and solutions' strategy, each one particular query ends up in a solution which expands the subject less than dialogue, in order that all points of chicken lifestyles and the pastime of birding are coated. The scientifically rigorous solutions jointly shape a magnificent and engaging physique of bird-related details. This hugely readable e-book will intrigue someone with an curiosity in birds. ''Concise and informative, in a chatty daily style...a nice booklet for dipping into.'' Birds ''Packed with hundreds of thousands of questions that anybody generally attracted to birds may ask, every one spoke back in an easy-to-understand demeanour. very good for someone, new to birdwatching or not.'' BTO information

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What is an ‘order’? g. g. parrots, owls, buntings – see below). There are somewhere between 23 and 28 orders, depending on whose opinion you follow. The scientific name of an order always ends in ‘-iformes’. Orders range in size from those containing a single species, such as Opisthocomiformes (the unique Hoatzin of South America), to the largest order of all, Passeriformes, which contains almost 6,000 species – over half the world’s total. What is a ‘passerine’? A passerine is a member of the order Passeriformes.

This is my cousin Aegithalos caudatus caudatus. He’s from Norway. The trinomial naming system works in all languages, but can be somewhat long-winded. 43 EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT BIRDS... BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK! What do ‘lumping’ and ‘splitting’ mean? These are birders’ slang for what happens when two formerly distinct species are reclassified as a single one (lumping), or two subspecies are given full status as separate species (splitting). In recent years splitting has become far more frequent.

Why do you rarely see a dead bird? Considering that millions of birds die each year, it is amazing how few dead ones we come across. Many die out of sight of human beings, while others are killed and eaten, leaving little or no evidence. Decay and decomposition can also be very rapid, especially in warm climates. 31 EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT BIRDS... BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK! INTELLIGENCE How intelligent are birds? ‘Bird-brained’ is a very unjust insult, since birds are mostly pretty smart.

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