Book review 10,000 Birds

To: "" <>
Subject: Book review 10,000 Birds
From: John Leonard <>
Date: Mon, 19 May 2014 08:45:58 +1000

Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology since Darwin by
Birkhead, T. and Wimpenny, J., Montgomerie, B., Princeton UP

This isn't really a review, merely a caution. I found this book to be extremely badly written and organised and extremely unclear in its explanations. I just wanted to let BA readers know my opinion so they can bear it in mind when deciding whether to buy or borrow this book.

The main problem with this work, which is organised around a series of key concepts in ornithology and which traces their evolution (:-) ) through the late C19, the C20 and the early C21, is that their explication of these ideas is very poor. Where I understood what these concepts were, and some of the history of the concept, I thought their explanations wouldn't
help others to understand. Where I didn't know what some of the positions of researchers were I found it impossible to work out from the information they supplied what the differences were. For example, they state that the conclusions regarding natural selection pressures on Darwin's Finches of Lack and Bowman are fundamentally different, but I can't actually work out from their explication what the difference is, and it sounds from their words as though Lack and Bowman are pretty close in their ideas.

Anyway, IMHO a book to approach warily.

John Leonard

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