Instructions to Young Ornithologists. V, Birds' Nests and Eggs. By C. J. O. Harrison. Museum Press, London, 1964. 130 pages; 17 photographic illustrations; 8 line-drawings and figures. 15s. Many modern bird-watchers' knowledge of breeding biology is rather sketchy and Mr. Harrison's book is to be welcomed as an inexpensive introduction to the first part of the subject. The main theme is to show how different modes of nesting may be adapted to environment, and it is rightly emphasised that the breeding habits of each species must have evolved through the interaction of a whole series of in fluences. However, when considering how variations may have arisen, the reader is often left to think out for himself which of several explanations best fits the facts. A broad perspective is provided by the inclusion of examples from many parts of the world. The book first deals convincingly with reasons for the egg-laying habit and surveys the great variety of egg-types, and abnormalities, that we know. Various sections adequately cover nest-sites and why nests are necessary, methods of building, the formation of eggs within a bird, the composition of their contents, incubation and embryonic development, the exploitation of eggs for food, and egg-collecting (which is strongly condemned). Egg-shell structure and pigmentation receive very full treatment. Some suggestions are made for further work young amateurs can do, and a few references are given. One section discusses variations in clutch size and I found this dis appointing, a number of points requiring qualification for which
Volume: 
Issue 1
Authors: 
Mayer-Gross, H
Cullen, J. M
Mayer-Gross, H
J, W
Cullen, J. M
Mayer-Gross, H
J, W

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