The Wall of Birds

One Planet, 243 Families, 375 Million Years

The Wall of Birds

A celebration of the diversity and evolution of birds, as depicted in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's magnificent 2,500-square-foot Wall of Birds mural by artist Jane Kim. Part homage, part artistic and sociological journey, The Wall of Birds tells the story of birds' remarkable 375-million-year evolution. With a foreword by John W. Fitzpatrick, director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and full of lush photographs of gorgeous life-size birds painted in exacting detail, The Wall of Birds lets readers explore these amazing creatures family by family and continent by continent. Throughout, beautifully crafted narratives and intimate artistic reflections tell of the evolutionary forces that created birds' dazzling variety of forms and colors, and reveal powerful lessons about birds that are surprisingly relevant to contemporary human challenges. From the tiny five-inch Marvelous Spatuletail hummingbird to the monstrous thirty-foot Yutyrannus, The Wall of Birds is a visual feast, essential for bird enthusiasts, naturalists, and art lovers alike.

The Wall of Storms

The Wall of Storms

In the much-anticipated sequel to the “magnificent fantasy epic” (NPR) Grace of Kings, Emperor Kuni Garu is faced with the invasion of an invincible army in his kingdom and must quickly find a way to defeat the intruders. Kuni Garu, now known as Emperor Ragin, runs the archipelago kingdom of Dara, but struggles to maintain progress while serving the demands of the people and his vision. Then an unexpected invading force from the Lyucu empire in the far distant west comes to the shores of Dara—and chaos results. But Emperor Kuni cannot go and lead his kingdom against the threat himself with his recently healed empire fraying at the seams, so he sends the only people he trusts to be Dara’s savvy and cunning hopes against the invincible invaders: his children, now grown and ready to make their mark on history.

The Ghosts of Birds

The Ghosts of Birds

A new collection from “one of the world’s great essayists” (The New York Times) The Ghosts of Birds offers thirty-five essays by Eliot Weinberger: the first section of the book continues his linked serial-essay, An Elemental Thing, which pulls the reader into “a vortex for the entire universe” (Boston Review). Here, Weinberger chronicles a nineteenth-century journey down the Colorado River, records the dreams of people named Chang, and shares other factually verifiable discoveries that seem too fabulous to possibly be true. The second section collects Weinberger’s essays on a wide range of subjects—some of which have been published in Harper’s, New York Review of Books, and London Review of Books—including his notorious review of George W. Bush’s memoir Decision Points and writings about Mongolian art and poetry, different versions of the Buddha, American Indophilia (“There is a line, however jagged, from pseudo-Hinduism to Malcolm X”), Béla Balázs, Herbert Read, and Charles Reznikoff. This collection proves once again that Weinberger is “one of the bravest and sharpest minds in the United States” (Javier Marías).

The Lung-Air Sac System of Birds

Development, Structure, and Function

The Lung-Air Sac System of Birds

In biology, few organs have been as elusive as the lung-air sac system of birds. Considerable progress has recently been made to fill the gaps in the knowledge. While summarizing and building on earlier observations and ideas, this book provides cutting-edge details on the development, structure, function, and the evolutionary design of the avian respiratory system. Outlining the mechanisms and principles through which biological complexity and functional novelty have been crafted in a unique gas exchanger, this account will provoke further inquiries on the many still uncertain issues. The specific goal here was to highlight the uniqueness of the design of the avian respiratory system and the factors that obligated it.

The Rise of Birds

225 Million Years of Evolution

The Rise of Birds

A small set of fossilized bones discovered almost thirty years ago led paleontologist Sankar Chatterjee on a lifelong quest to understand their place in our understanding of the history of life. They were clearly the bones of something unusual, a bird-like creature that lived long, long ago in the age of dinosaurs. He called it Protoavis, and the animal that owned these bones quickly became a contender for the title of "oldest known bird." In 1997, Chatterjee published his findings in the first edition of The Rise of Birds. Since then Chatterjee and his colleagues have searched the world for more transitional bird fossils. And they have found them. This second edition of The Rise of Birds brings together a treasure trove of fossils that tell us far more about the evolution of birds than we once dreamed possible. With no blind allegiance to what he once thought he knew, Chatterjee devours the new evidence and lays out the most compelling version of the birth and evolution of the avian form ever attempted. He takes us from Texas to Spain, China, Mongolia, Madagascar, Australia, Antarctica, and Argentina. He shows how, in the "Cretaceous Pompeii" of China, he was able to reconstruct the origin and evolution of flight of early birds from the feathered dinosaurs that lay among thousands of other amazing fossils. Chatterjee takes us to where long-hidden bird fossils dwell. His compelling, occasionally controversial, revelations—accompanied by spectacular illustrations—are a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in the evolution of "the feathered dinosaurs," from vertebrate paleontologists and ornithologists to naturalists and birders. -- Alan Feduccia, University of North Carolina

The Paradise of Birds

An Old Extravaganza in a Modern Dress

The Paradise of Birds


The Migrant Painter Of Birds

The Migrant Painter Of Birds

The setting of this extraordinary novel is an old farmhouse in Portugal - a house far enough from the Atlantic not to hear the breaking waves during a storm but near enough for the walls to be corroded by the salt in the air. With most members of her large family having left the hardship of life in this landscape of sand and stone for jobs in faraway places, a young woman struggles to piece together her past from the many and differing stories she is told. Left behind by a free-spirited, feckless father, a seducer with a talent for drawing, she is raised by her uncle who has married her mother. The only memories of her father's one brief visit are the echoes of his footsteps on the stairs leading to her room. The only signs of him are letters from the widest reaches of the world- letters accompanied by brilliantly coloured drawings of exotic birds: the cuckoo from India, the ibis from Mozambique, the goose from Labrador, the hummingbird from the West Indies. The daughter longs for her father and, as she grows up, she is determined to find him and uncover the truth. Beautifully written and imagined, this strikingly lyrical novel evokes the atmosphere of a rural community in a changing world and explores the timeless themes of family, independence, and the often painful experience of emigration.

The Mark on the Wall and Other Short Fiction

The Mark on the Wall and Other Short Fiction

'I shall never forget the day I wrote "The Mark on the Wall" - all in a flash, as if flying, after being kept stone breaking for months. "The Unwritten Novel" was the great discovery, however. That - again in one second - showed me how I could embody all my deposit of experience in a shapethat fitted it... I saw, branching out of the tunnel I made, when I discovered that method of approach, Jacob's Room, Mrs Dalloway etc - How I trembled with excitement.'The thrill Woolf got from these stories is readily apparent to the reader. She wrote them in defiance of convention, with a heady feeling of liberation and with a clear sense that she was breaking new ground. Indeed, if she had not made her bold and experimental forays into the short story in theperiod leading up to the publication of Jacob's Room (1922), it seems certain that her arrival as a great modernist novelist would have been delayed. Quirky, unrestrained, disturbing and surprising, many of these stories, particularly the early ones, are essential to an understanding of Woolf'sdevelopment as a writer. She thought some of her short fiction might be 'unprintable' but, happily, she was mistaken.

Out of Silence

Selected Poems

Out of Silence


Coloniality in the Cliff Swallow

The Effect of Group Size on Social Behavior

Coloniality in the Cliff Swallow

Many animal species live and breed in colonies. Although biologists have documented numerous costs and benefits of group living, such as increased competition for limited resources and more pairs of eyes to watch for predators, they often still do not agree on why coloniality evolved in the first place. Drawing on their twelve-year study of a population of cliff swallows in Nebraska, the Browns investigate twenty-six social and ecological costs and benefits of coloniality, many never before addressed in a systematic way for any species. They explore how these costs and benefits are reflected in reproductive success and survivorship, and speculate on the evolution of cliff swallow coloniality. This work, the most comprehensive and detailed study of vertebrate coloniality to date, will be of interest to all who study social animals, including behavioral ecologists, population biologists, ornithologists, and parasitologists. Its focus on the evolution of coloniality will also appeal to evolutionary biologists and to psychologists studying decision making in animals.