Download Birds of the Great Basin: a natural history by Fred A. Ryser PDF

By Fred A. Ryser

Birds have regularly been of prepared curiosity to guy, seeing that their attractiveness, tune and interesting behaviour are conspicuously displayed and will be considered and heard by way of even the main informal observer. This publication, the results of over thirty years of study, is the main entire ever released at the varied poultry lifetime of the nice Basin.

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Only then can we appreciate how very well birds have made this their land. Prolonged hot spells occur in the Great Basin during the summer; air temperatures in the shade daily rise to well above 90° F and often exceed 100° F. Exposure to the sun's rays is heavy. The summer skies are usually clear, and surfaces and bodies exposed to direct sunlight superheat to well above air temperatures. The scanty vegetation in the shrublands poorly insulates the ground from the sun, and ground surfaces become blisteringly hot.

Financial affairs were in the capable hands of Kenneth R. Robbins. Nicholas Cady gave me the gifts of sage counsel and general editorial assistance. Ian Newton graciously gave permission to use data on the mean body weights of accipiters and their prey from his book Population Ecology of Raptors. When all is said and done, my greatest debt remains the debt of gratitude I owe to my family-particularly to my wife. Not only did Janet give me loving support, understandingly tolerating the endless times my work kept me away from normal family life, but she allowed me to gamble with our retirement.

Poikilotherms are closely controlled by their thermal environments. They cannot efficiently regulate their body temperatures, although a few insects and reptiles do practice behavioral temperature regulation, such as moving in and out of the shade, when under mild thermal stress. Poikilotherms can exist as active adults only during the time of day and year when their environments provide them with the proper amount of heat to sustain their body Page 16 temperatures at proper operational levels.

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