Finches (Collins New Naturalist Library, Book 55)
ebook ∣ Collins New Naturalist Library
By Ian Newton
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This illustrated survey of finch behaviour is a thorough, non-technical account of the habits of these birds throughout the world. Greenfinches nest in plantations, large shrubby gardens and churchyards with lots of evergreens, thickets and tall hedges. After breeding, goldfinches forage on waste land, overgrown rubbish dumps, neglected allotments of food, and rough pastures. Bullfinches, in their breeding season, develop in the floor of their mouths special pouches in which food for the young is retained. These pouches open, one on each side of the tongue and, when full, extend back under the jaws as far as the neck, when they together hold about one cubic centimetre of food. Cocks of the Chaffinch and Brambling species sing in the breeding season to repel other cocks and attract hens. This illustrated survey of finch behaviour is a thorough, non-technical account of the habits of these birds throughout the world. Dr. Newton uses his extensive bird-watching experience and knowledge of the published literature to document the main patterns of feeding, development of feathers, breeding, and migration. As a result, he presents the changing relationship of the birds to their environment. The author is on the staff of the Nature Conservancy at Edinburgh, Scotland. His several scientific papers on finches have appeared in Birds, Journal of Animal Ecology and other scholarly periodicals.