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Shorebirds pp 169-241 | Cite as

Communication in Breeding Shorebirds

  • Edward H. Miller

Abstract

Shorebirds offer rich opportunities for comparative research because of their wide geographic distribution and their phylogenetic, ecological, and social diversity. There are more than 200 extant species, which occur in all zoogeographic regions of the world. Some species are resident and sedentary year-round, like the Shore Plover (Charadrius novaeseelandiae), which exists in small numbers only on the Chatham Islands east of New Zealand; others undertake phenomenal migrations each year, spending only 2 months or even less on the breeding grounds, with the remainder in migration or on wintering areas (e.g., certain Arctic species). Shorebirds inhabit the high mountains of Asia and of North and South America; they dwell in swamps and in hot, arid areas of Africa, Australia, and elsewhere; and they are found on muddy, rocky, or sandy seacoasts around the world (see Burger, this volume; Hale, 1980; Johnsgard, 1981). This wide geographic and ecological scope is paralleled by a great diversity of social systems, both on and off the breeding grounds. All these characteristics make shorebirds a likely group to enhance our understanding of the evolution and ecology of social behavior, a prediction supported by recent studies (e.g., Erckmann, 1981; Myers, 1981; Oring and Lank, 1982; Pitelka et al., 1974; van Rhijn, 1983; Walters, 1980, 1982; and chapters in these volumes).

Keywords

Call Type Snowy Plover Golden Plover Haematopus Ostralegus Northern Lapwing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward H. Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.Vertebrate Zoology DivisionBritish Columbia Provincial Museum and Biology Department University of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

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