Birds in Winter
Surviving the Most Challenging Season
Roger F. Pasquier
Illustrated by Margaret La Farge
How birds have evolved and adapted to survive winter
Birds in Winter is the first book devoted to the ecology and behavior of birds during this most challenging season. Birds remaining in regions with cold weather must cope with much shorter days to find food and shelter even as they need to avoid predators and stay warm through the long nights, while migrants to the tropics must fit into very different ecosystems and communities of resident birds. Roger Pasquier explores how winter affects birds’ lives all through the year, starting in late summer, when some begin caching food to retrieve months later and others form social groups lasting into the next spring. During winter some birds are already pairing up for the following breeding season, so health through the winter contributes to nesting success.
Today, rapidly advancing technologies are enabling scientists to track individual birds through their daily and annual movements at home and across oceans and hemispheres, revealing new and unexpected information about their lives and interactions. But, as Birds in Winter shows, much is visible to any interested observer. Pasquier describes the season’s distinct conservation challenges for birds that winter where they have bred and for migrants to distant regions. Finally, global warming is altering the nature of winter itself. Whether birds that have evolved over millennia to survive this season can now adjust to a rapidly changing climate is a problem all people who enjoy watching them must consider.
Filled with elegant line drawings by artist and illustrator Margaret La Farge, Birds in Winter describes how winter influences the lives of birds from the poles to the equator.
Roger F. Pasquier, a lifelong birder, has had a career with the International Council for Bird Conservation, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the National Audubon Society, and is currently an associate in the Department of Ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History. His many books include Watching Birds and Masterpieces of Bird Art.