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Mallee Fowl, The: The Bird That Builds an Incubator

H. J. Frith
Angus and Robertson, Sydney
Format: Hardcover in Dustjacket (in protective sleeve)
Quantity in stock: 0

Condition: VG+ (Very Good Plus) in slightly edgeworn dustjacket.

Price: $20.00 (inc GST)


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First Edition. pp. 136 illusts #0918

"To find the pink eggs of the mallee-fowl the bird watcher - or the hunter - has to take a shovel, for they are buried deep in the soil. And the wonder is that the bird keeps this soil at the same temperature for months on end by a constant sensitive testing of the warmth with his beak and a dawn-to-dark digging and refilling of the mound. This strange hard-working life of the mallee-fowl is described by H. J. Frith, Officer-in-Charge of the Wildlife Survey Section of the C.S.I.R.O., whose long studies of a rare bird at first hand in the dry mallee scrub - years spent with note-book and camera - have become a "research classic". He tells how the first mound-building bird was reported to Europe by Antonio Pigafetta in 1521, how the early discoverers of the mallee-fowl, then called the spotted egg-leaver, were met with scepticism - people would not believe that any bird could build an incubator, far less control its warmth. Day by day watching and photographing the work of this bird show just how the mound is built and controlled, how the male fights to defend the mound, how the fox is foiled from stealing the eggs in summertime, how the fledgeling chick fights its way up through three feet of sand to the daylight, is left to fend for itself - and gamely does so. Yet the depredations of civilization today threathen the life of this rare and lovable bird. "

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