By David S. Wilcove

For an individual whose watched the sequence Planet Earth and sat in awe because the nice migrations of Earth traverse environmental extremes, this booklet provides the tale at the back of the picture. Mammals, birds, fish or even bugs tackle gigantic journies and feature built complicated rituals in doing so. the writer brings to lifestyles his personal studies with the various grandest migrations and likewise explains why those migrations are declining quickly. This booklet is an highbrow examine the complexity and fragility that's the nice migrations. it is a needs to learn for these drawn to biology, conservation, animal habit and maybe, sheds a section extra gentle at how even the smallest fence designed through guy could be devistating to platforms that experience tailored and depend upon ideal numbers to exist.

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More predators mean a greater likelihood those offspring will be killed. Song sparrows, robins, and other species that do not have to gear up for a long migration can produce as many as three clutches per year, increasing the chances that at least some of their offspring will survive long enough to reach maturity and breed. In North America, the brown-headed cowbird poses a different sort of threat to songbirds. Members of the blackbird family, cowbirds are brood parasites, laying their eggs in the nests of other species at the expense of the hosts’ own eggs and offspring.

14 Today Haiti is almost devoid of trees, having destroyed 97 percent of its original forest cover; Cuba has converted over threequarters of its forests to sugarcane and other crops; the Dominican Republic has lost 71 percent of its forests, and Mexico has lost half. 15 Thanks to recent advances in biogeochemistry, scientists are 31 IN THE AIR able to show how changes in wintering habitats can affect populations of North American songbirds on their breeding grounds. For example, American redstarts nest in deciduous forests in the United States and Canada and winter in Latin America and the Caribbean.

By consuming fruit and subsequently defecating the seeds, the birds ensure that 42 EMPTY SKIES the seeds are carried to new locations away from the parent tree, to places where they have a better chance of growing. Male bellbirds are especially useful in this regard because, after dining at a fruiting tree, they typically return to a favored perch in the canopy from which they spend hours and hours calling and defecating. Because bellbirds favor perches along the edges of openings or gaps in the canopy, the seeds they defecate are more likely to wind up in an open, sunny area.

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