By Alexander F. Skutch, Dana Gardner
Captivated whereas nonetheless younger through the attractiveness and large quantity of the tropics, Alexander Skutch, world-renowned ornithologist and writer of twelve books on tropical birds, resolved to commit his lifestyles to its learn and interpretation. For good over part a century, he has painstakingly saw the creatures that encompass him, fairly the birds, and he has concept lengthy and deeply - might be greater than so much naturalists - concerning the value of this considerable existence. during this reflective account of lifestyles within the tropics, Skutch deals readers either his observations and his interpretations of what he has skilled. He brings a considerate, unequaled voice to the outline of the area he has grown to understand and comprehend, an international thought of forbidding by way of such a lot northerners and nonetheless principally unexplored.
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Extra info for A naturalist amid tropical splendor
We can distinguish one voice amid several, hear different sounds at the same time; but the number of sound waves that can pass through the atmosphere without losing identity appears to be limited. The clamor of the mountain torrent, compounded of many different noises made by water rushing over rocks, falls upon my ears as a confused roaring in which, as in the rumble of a great city, I can distinguish no note clearly. But a vastly greater number of light waves, from every visible point in the wide landscape, reaches me with so little loss of identity that, with unaided vision or my binocular, I can distinguish fine details at a great distance.
The Growth of Caring 192 26. The Smallest Tanagers 199 27. The Emotions of Parent Birds 211 Epilogue 222 Bibliography 224 Index 226 Page vii Preface In the humid tropics, life reveals its constructive power as nowhere else. With continuously favorable temperature, abundant sunshine, and no lack of moisture, plants thrive in greatest profusion, and produce the most diverse forms and the most magnificent floral displays. Birds of many kinds wear the most resplendent plumage, build the greatest variety of nests, and practice the most elaborate courtship rites.
As the years slip by, our naturalist may find fewer new things to study and, spending less time in observation, give more to the interpretation of what he has experienced. He ponders the significance of all this restless activity, these so diverse forms, this multitude of competing or cooperating organisms that fill the living world. Long rainy afternoons, nights whose stillness is broken only by the sounds of woods and streams, encourage reading, meditation, and writing. He may develop an interpretation of Page viii nature different from that of the professional philosopher whose days are passed largely in academic halls and libraries.
A naturalist amid tropical splendor by Alexander F. Skutch, Dana Gardner