By Fred A. Ryser

ISBN-10: 087417080X

ISBN-13: 9780874170801

Birds have consistently been of willing curiosity to guy, for the reason that their good looks, track and engaging behaviour are conspicuously displayed and will be seen and heard through even the main informal observer. This booklet, the results of over thirty years of analysis, is the main finished ever released at the assorted poultry lifetime of the nice Basin.

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Extra resources for Birds of the Great Basin: a natural history

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This serves a variety of functions; for example, it acts as a warning signal; enhances a movement or posture in a threat, territorial, courtship, or copulatory display; acts as a signaling device to enable flocking birds to maintain visual contact, particularly when flying; and attracts others to the site where a foraging bird has located food. But does color stop here? Does it merely function in the visual world to demote or promote conspicuousness? No, it does more than meets the eye. Color also plays a role in the heat economy of birds.

There is horizontally distributed environmental diversity because the topography, moisture conditions, and soil often vary greatly from one spot to the next-creating a patchwork of vegetation. Vertical stratification and horizontal patchiness within an area support a variety of life-styles among birds. In shrublands the ground-level vegetation is available for nesting, feeding, sleeping, loafing, and courting purposes. Above the ground there are usually several layers of shrubs available for these purposes.

In general, the montane environments are colder than the desert ones. Although ice may form during the nights, there are relatively few cold spells during the desert winter when ice is thick enough on ponds and sloughs to deny access to swimming waterfowl or support the weight of human ice skaters. The larger bodies of water-such as Great Salt Lake, Pyramid Lake, Lake Tahoe, and Walker Lake-never freeze over. Nor do the hot springs in geothermal areas. However, the small montane lakes, ponds, and streams will be closed by ice and snow all winter long.

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