A Concise History of Ornithology

Michael Walters

View Inside Price: $27.00


October 12, 2005
255 pages, 6 1/4 x 9 1/8
75 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300111132
Paper

Also Available in:
Cloth

Published in association with Christopher Helm/A & C Black

Who are the pioneering scientists who have contributed to our knowledge about birds? How has the science of ornithology developed over the past centuries? This educational and entertaining book explores the history of ornithology from the earliest times to the present day, vividly describing the ornithologists who have been most influential in their field and the discoveries they have made.

The book begins by surveying writings on birds by the ancient Chinese, Greeks, and Romans and by individuals writing during the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Age of Exploration. It then assesses such ornithological pioneers as Linnaeus, Brisson, and Buffon, whose contributions to the foundations of ornithological systematics and collecting are seminal. Subsequent chapters discuss the expeditions of the eighteenth century; the work of the Germans and the Dutch; the beginnings of ornithology in America; the development of nineteenth-century systems of classification; the new theories that emerged from the Far East; and the great advances made in the twentieth century. Attractively illustrated and engagingly written, the book will be of great interest to all birders and naturalists.

Michael Walters is Emeritus Fellow, Bird Group, The Natural History Museum at Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum, Tring, United Kingdom.

"This exhilarating account of the history of ornithology is a most enjoyable and important work."—Jon Ahlquist, coauthor of Phylogeny and Classification of Birds of the World

"This educational and entertaining book explores the history of ornithology from the earliest times to the present day, vividly describing the ornithologists who have been most influential in their field and the discoveries they have made. . . . Attractively illustrated and engagingly written, the book will be of great interest to all birders and naturalists."—Book Sense

"[This] book . . . is one that birdwatchers and naturalists will find absorbing."—Booklist

“A valuable addition to the field of ornithology.”—Choice

“I found all the accounts interesting and informative reading and well worth your while to peruse.”—Charles E. Keller, Indiana Audubon Quarterly

"Walters has produced a very readable, fascinating glimpse of ornithological history that follows the timeline of discovery and the threads of guesswork, scientific endeavor, and controversy that have led to our current understanding of bird classification. . . . A Concise History of Ornithology represents a mammoth, scholarly effort. . . . Certainly this is an important book for those interested in ornithology and the history of science and a must of university and other major libraries." —Jerome A. Jackson, The Auk

“There is a great deal to recommend about this book. It is full of the most interesting facts and one can glean from its pages the progress of ornithology from a study of the fantastical through to the science of today. . . . This is a book well worth buying and, for those of us who are not steeped in scientific methodology; it is a storehouse of great value.”—The Fat Birder