The existence of different habitats in the tropics often leads to profound differences in bird behavior, including mating systems, breeding seasons, and territoriality. This book focuses on these differences, both to highlight the research planning and analysis appropriate in the tropics and to pinpoint the gaps in our knowledge of tropical birds.
There is a temperate zone bias that derives from the great number of researchers based in temperate regions of North America and Europe. Because of this sampling bias, most theory in avian behavioral ecology comes from models and empirical studies of temperate regions, but these theories do not apply equally well to tropical birds. Tropical birds greatly outnumber temperate zone species, yet are so poorly studied that even fairly basic behavioral ecology experiments have rarely been done. This book illustrates where, how, and why tropical birds are so different from temperate zone birds. The book's purpose is to dispel the temperate zone biologist's ignorance of tropical biology and to stimulate more research on tropical birds.
This book examines behavioral adaptations of tropical birds in timing of breeding, life history traits, mating systems and parental care, territoriality, communication, and biotic interactions, and emphasizes the many gaps in our knowledge of tropical birds. We urge students and researchers in temperate and tropical regions alike to realize the potential they have for improving our knowledge of avian adaptations far beyond what is currently accepted as gospel. Time is running out.