Bird body weights and masses: data needed for global database

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Subject: Bird body weights and masses: data needed for global database
From: "Colin Trainor" <>
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2009 21:31:03 +0930
[Forwarded message from John Dunning.

Reply to jdunning (AT)



Dear all -

I am an avian ecologist who has been working on a long-term project
involving body masses of birds. For many years, I have compiled adult
body masses of birds of the world as a resource to use in comparative
studies. The database was first published in 1992 as the "CRC Handbook
of Avian Body Masses". Recently (2007) I published a second edition
with data for over 8600 species. I am still looking to fill gaps in
the database, with new data being posted on my department webpage.

One of the regions for which I have relatively poor coverage is
Indonesia and the islands of the PACIFIC in general. I just don't have
good access to the literature from this region, and there seem to be
relatively few papers with body weights.

I was wondering if you knew of a source of morphological information
on the birds in the region in which you study? Likely sources would
be either banding projects or museums that have been doing recent
collections (older specimens rarely have weights). I understand that
many of the species that are on my list are going to be rare or
restricted endemics. But I thought that your research, since it is
conservation based, might be a good entry into potential sources for

If you published weights in any of your papers, I would be
very grateful for the citations and then I will have our Interlibrary
Loan people track them down. All sources, published and unpublished,
are fully cited in the compilation.

Thanks for any help that you might be able to suggest,

John Dunning

Purdue University

jdunning (AT)

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