Why are tropical birds like parrots and quetzals so much more colorful than any feathered resident of temperate lands? How can a vulture soaring thousands of feet above the canopy spot a dead rodent no bigger than a mouse on the rainforest floor? What permits sparrow-sized antbirds not only to survive but to thrive among relentless hordes of army ants that devour every other living thing in their path?
Steven Hilty has led birding tours to the American Tropics for over three decades. By providing answers to the hundreds of questions asked by participants of these expeditions, Hilty has produced a natural history of the bird life of the New World Tropics that is at once practical, accurate and as endlessly fascinating as the species whose lives it reveals.
"Birds of Tropical America offers a comprehensive look into the lives of some of the most fascinating birds in the world. The book will entertain and educate the amateur birder and professional ornithologist alike and would be a valuable addition to libraries at home and university." - Condor
"Hilty, who has led birding expeditions to Central and South America and the Caribbean, supplies not a field guide to species identification but rather a natural history of tropical birds. He writes about tropical diversity, nesting habits, the structure of a rain forest bird community, biogeography, Andean genealogy, bird migration within the tropics, bird color and patterns, seed dispersal, foraging techniques, courtship rituals, and song patterns. This is a fascinating book for enthusiastic birders and stay-at-home naturalists alike." - Booklist