Review Of "Owls Of The World: Their Lives, Behavior, And Survival" By J. R. Duncan

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Owls must be among the most interesting birds. Why else would so many owl books have been published recently? In addition to several technical publications, these include König et al.'s Owls (1999) and Johnsgard 's North American Owls (2nd ed., CH, Mar'03). All are excellent, but they are pitched at different audiences. König's book, the most complete, is also highly technical. Johnsgard's is a college level textbook or reference for secondary schools. Duncan's book will appeal to a broad audience. Like most Firefly books it is filled with spectacular photographs, including many of the author and his family with owls. Duncan includes a brief review of anatomy and physiology, and extensive information on behavior and ecology, with a chapter on techniques for the study of owls in the field. Very brief species accounts of the world's owls follow a major section on the importance of owls in human cultures and the conservation of owls. The book includes a useful index and selected bibliography. The generally informal approach and the many personal references make this book unusually attractive to high school and college students not already committed to the study of owls. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers; undergraduate and graduate students; two-year technical program students.


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