Owls of the United States and Canada
A Complete Guide to Their Biology and Behavior
There is no group of birds more mysterious and fascinating than owls. They have become the stuff of lore and legend – from the Roman myth that an owl foot could reveal secrets to the First Nations belief that an owl feather could give a newborn better night vision. But the truth about owls is much more exciting.
In this gorgeous book, celebrated natural history writer and wildlife photographer Wayne Lynch reveals the secrets of these elusive species with stunning photographs, personal anecdotes, and accessible science. The photos alone are masterpieces. Unlike most published owl photos, the majority of these were taken in the wild – a product of the author-photographer’s incredible knowledge and patience.
Lynch complements the photos with facts about anatomy, habitat, diet, and family life. For each of nineteen species inhabiting Canada and the United States, he provides a range map and a brief discussion of its distribution, population size, and status. Lynch debunks myths about owls’ “supernatural” powers of sight and hearing, discusses courtship rituals, and offers personal tips for finding them in the wild.
From the great horned to the tiny elf owl, this amazing volume captures the beauty and mystery of these charismatic birds of prey.
Never before has one book revealed so many secrets about what is perhaps North America’s most elusive winged predator. With a text that brims with information on anatomy, habitat, diet and social life – supplemented by a breathtaking array of photos of owls in flight or alighted – the book is the life work of a doctor who gave up medicine so he could pursue his private fascination.
In addition to a great eye for an image, Lynch has a scientist’s mind for detail and a love for the natural world that permeates all of his writing. …it might appear that this is just another coffee-table book with great photographs of owls, but it’s so much more than that. …this is simply an excellent book.
Introduction: Owl Addiction
Chapter 1: Anatomy of an Owl
WMDs: Weapons of Mouse Destruction
On Wings That Whisper
Colors that Disguise
Fretting with Feathers
Chapter 2: Son et Lumière
The Handicap of Darkness
The Eyes of Owls
The Nocturnal Syndrome
Chapter 3: Haunts and Hideaways
From Tundra and Taiga to Mountains and Marshlands
Hot and Cold Weather Woes
Fleeing from Winter
Chapter 4: The Owlish Appetite
Foods That Fight Back
Hoarding for Hard Times
Chapter 5: Family Life
Who Gives a Hoot?
The Cloacal Kiss
The Tedium of Incubation
Sexual Dimorphism: The Great Debate
Chapter 6: The Next Generation
Early Chick Life
Asynchronous Hatching: A Strategy
Life in the Nest
Roamers, Branchers, and Homebodies
The Young and the Restless
Chapter 7: Predators, Pirates, and Pests
A Call to Arms
Chapter 8: Owls and Humans
Appendix: Scientific Names of Plants and Animals
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