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The Nesting Season: Cuckoos, Cuckolds, and the Invention of Monogamy

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  65 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Why are the eggs of the marsh wren deep brown, the winter wren's nearly white, and the gray catbird's a brilliant blue? And what in the DNA of a penduline tit makes the male weave a domed nest of fibers and the female line it with feathers, while the bird-of-paradise male builds no nest at all, and his bower-bird counterpart constructs an elaborate dwelling?

These are typic
Hardcover, 337 pages
Published May 15th 2010 by Belknap Press
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Nov 11, 2016 dari rated it really liked it
Shelves: ecology
If I must say only one sentence about this book it would be that Monogamy (genetic/social), Polyandry and Polyginy in birds are directly related to factors such as food abundance and distribution, predator abundance, predator/prey size ratio and other such basic indicators.

Heinrich doesn't get too far with the human comparison, he does mention it several times, but upon reading this book it seems reasonable to me to think that human societies are basically following the same basic rules.

Mar 19, 2011 John rated it it was amazing
A very readable and highly informative discussion of birds' nesting behavior, with a focus on the northeastern U.S. See my full review.
Jul 14, 2010 Patti rated it really liked it
Heinrich's books are always fascinating. I found this one to contain a bit more than I wanted to read about birds and their nests and eggs and behavior but just when I would tire of reading it, Heinrich would describe another amazing bit of bird knowledge. Here is a taste:" When I did manage to drop food into the baby phoebe's mouth, it swallowed and then as in a reflex, instantly turned around within a second presented its rear end to me, voiding a fecal pellet, before immediately dropping back ...more
May 10, 2012 Brian rated it it was amazing
No one can write like Heinrich when it comes to describing science in action. His inquisitive and very scientific mind coupled with his great enthusiasm for learning and knowledge make everything he writes interesting. I especially liked this book because it covered a wide range of behaviors and breeding systems for birds. He covered the theory and then gave examples of what he has observed around his home and cabin. Great read!
Oct 31, 2010 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I've read other reviews of this book that complained the author was too repetitive, but I found that it helped me learn and retain the subject matter. I am passionate about bird life and this book taught me a lot about their nest-building, mate-choosing, egg-laying habits. I do think it could have used a better editor, though. Some paragraphs could have used some tightening up.
Dec 02, 2016 Art rated it it was amazing
Shelves: natural-history
An excellent book yet again by Bernd. He has matured in his writing in that he does not limit himself to only proven facts with regards to his observations. He now allows himself some speculation as to the root of animal behavior.

- I read eveythingg he writes so this was a natural pick
Aug 02, 2010 Steve rated it liked it
Interesting, but repetitious, disorganized, and desperately in need of proofreading.
Nosullivan rated it it was amazing
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Mar 09, 2011
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Mar 29, 2011
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Aug 01, 2012 Deb rated it really liked it
An entertaining learning experience.
A great read for anyone interested in birds and nature.
Oct 04, 2012 Zhiyuan rated it really liked it
Bernd's book on natural history is, as always, enjoyable to read.
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Dec 20, 2014
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Bernd Heinrich was born in Germany (April 19, 1940) and moved to Wilton, Maine as a child. He studied at the University of Maine and UCLA and is Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Vermont.

He is the author of many books including Winter World, Ravens in Winter, Mind of the Raven and Why We Run. Many of his books focus on the natural world just outside the cabin door.

Heinrich has w
More about Bernd Heinrich...

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