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Bird Brain: Over 2,400 Questions to Test Your Bird Knowledge

Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2019 год
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      Bird Brain: Over 2,400 Questions to Test Your Bird Knowledge
Литагент HarperCollins

An ornithological quiz book packed with challenging questions for birders, based on the popular ‘Bird Brain of Britain’ contest at the annual BirdFair.The British Birdwatching Fair, held every August at Rutland Water Nature Reserve, attracts over 30,000 visitors every year. One of the most popular attractions in the events marquee is the ‘Bird Brain of Britain’ contest. Each of the four contestants must answer a set of questions on their nominated specialist subject, and a second set on general (ornithological) knowledge. The participants have included popular presenters and experts throughout the years, including Stephen Moss, Chris Harbard, Mark Andrews, Nigel Redman, Mike Dilger and David Lindo, among many others.The book will feature the questions asked in the contest over its 30-year lifespan. Many seemingly simple questions turn out to have complex answers, and some that seem difficult have a very simple explanation. The questions are difficult and varied enough to test any birder’s knowledge, and will provide many hours of challenging entertainment. Be they trivial, idiosyncratic, baffling or strange, the varied bird trivia included makes this compilation as entertaining and enlightening as it is educational.

Copyright (#ulink_186af330-f80c-5ee7-8506-af1ec25e0f8e)

William Collins

An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers

1 London Bridge Street

London SE1 9GF

WilliamCollinsBooks.com (http://WilliamCollinsBooks.com)

First published in the United Kingdom by William Collins in 2018

This eBook edition published by William Collins in 2018

Copyright © Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife 2018

Front Cover Photograph © Shutterstock

The authors assert their moral right to be identified as the authors of this work.

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this eBook on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Source ISBN: 9780008315740

eBook Edition © October 2018 ISBN: 9780008315757

Version: 2018-08-09


Cover (#u87ee458f-2127-5dcf-868a-2f304ae88d13)

Title Page (#u56cc3076-be5f-5f8f-8583-46086e04dbb4)

Copyright (#ufce3462a-c023-5538-bf9d-00554fbeb8a2)


History of Birdfair

30 Years of Global Impact

General Knowledge Questions

Specialist Questions

General Knowledge Answers

Specialist Answers (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Book

About the Publisher

Preface (#u12d63151-19d6-5a1e-8199-2cb5d5cb8841)

Bird Brain of Britain 2018 (#u12d63151-19d6-5a1e-8199-2cb5d5cb8841)

The Bird Brain of Britain competition at the Birdfair began in 1992 with the title Mastermind and it roughly followed the BBC’s successful programme of the same name. Distinguished ornithologists (Chris Mead, Janet Kear, Nigel Collar and Chris Harbard) volunteered to compete and Bill Oddie was the natural question master. It was a success and has continued ever since. The snappier title Bird Brain of Britain was thought of for 1995 and so it has remained. Leading ornithologists continued to ‘volunteer’ and Bill Oddie continued to grill them, for all but two of the next eighteen years, when Chris Packham was Inquisitor. In the last few years others filling the Torquemada role have been, besides Bill and Chris, Nick Baker, Mike Dilger and Stephen Moss.

The contestants set the Specialist questions (in theory). They are asked to provide ten questions each for the other three contestants so that there are thirty questions to ask. In practice, some questions are the same, some are unaskable and some are not absolutely correct. I have set the General Knowledge questions for the last eighteen years. I am uncertain who really set the questions in the early years before I was involved, but I was under the impression that Tim Dixon set them. However, as he won the 1993 contest, either somebody else did or …

The original competition was intended to be educational fun, but birders’ inherent competitiveness got in the way and it is now a cut-throat battle, the more so since a pecuniary prize of £2,000 was provided by the Catalan Tourist Board in 2007 and subsequently by Vanguard and Swarovski Optik. This is divided into £1,000 for the winner’s organization, £500 for second and £250 each for third and fourth. For the first ten years the contestants represented conservation organizations, namely the RSPB, BTO, BOU, BirdLife International, WWT and the Wildlife Trusts. Then other organizations were invited to put forward a hapless volunteer. The four regional bird clubs, ornithological journals, travel companies and optics companies provided cannon-fodder until 2007. Since 2007 contestants have represented the four regional bird clubs – African Bird Club (ABC), Neotropical Bird Club (NBC), Oriental Bird Club (OBC) and Ornithological Society of the Middle East (OSME), with BTO replacing NBC since 2012.

In 2004 we produced a book of the first twelve years and it was suggested another book covering the next fourteen years was fitting for the thirtieth Birdfair. Ornithology has changed quite a lot in the intervening years, with much greater knowledge about birds being acquired, much of it through the use of modern technology. This technology has resulted in frequent revisions of taxonomic classification, much of it confusing to more senior birders, and probably younger ones too. The Handbook of Birds of the World and BirdLife International Checklist seems to me the most rational taxonomy to follow, and is certainly the most user friendly, and so this has been adopted in this book. As a consequence there are quite a number of revised answers, as the original answers, though right at the time, may now be wrong, or at least different. This has been indicated to avoid confusion (with luck). Grey italic is used in the answers section (and a few in the questions too), to indicate the additions and changes.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List categories of threatened birds are frequently mentioned and I have used the recognised abbreviations for the different categories, namely EX, for Extinct; EW, for Extinct in the Wild; CR, for Critically Endangered; CR (PE), for Critically Endangered Possibly Extinct; CR (PEW), for Critically Endangered Possibly Extinct in the Wild; EN, for Endangered; VU, for Vulnerable; NT, for Near Threatened; LC, for Least Concern; and DD for Data Deficient. The term Globally Threatened refers to the CR, EN and VU categories.

31st March 2018 was my cut-off date for updating. In the quiz some leeway has been given to the contestants for date and numerical answers, usually about 10 per cent, but this has been omitted in this book.

I have endeavoured to check and correct and update as many of the questions and answers as possible, particularly with taxonomic changes and matters of fact, particularly regarding a bird’s status. However, some answers I cannot verify and others I will have got wrong, and, of course, there will be some with which you do not agree. I accept full responsibility for all these errors of omission and commission. I have sometimes added a comment or an extra gobbet of information which I think is interesting or encouraging or depressing, but I have tried to keep my views to a minimum.

History of Birdfair (#u12d63151-19d6-5a1e-8199-2cb5d5cb8841)

The concept of Birdfair was hatched in a local pub in Hambleton close to the shores of Rutland Water way back in 1987. Little did we realise all those years ago that this would start a trend of Birdfair’s across the globe.

The aim of Birdfair was to provide a market place for the growing ‘industry’ of birdwatching, be a meeting place for wild-life enthusiasts and to support a conservation project. Thirty years on Birdfair is the world’s largest wildlife event, bringing together over 70 countries and hosting almost 25,000 visitors annually. Birdfair has supported and funded global conservation projects from as far afield as Vietnam to Cuba, Ethiopia to Peru, Myanmar to Argentina. To date almost five million pounds has been donated to BirdLife projects in these areas – an incredible achievement for a three-day event!

On the commercial side Birdfair provides a platform for launching new products from optics, to bestselling natural history books to exotic wildlife holidays. Perhaps one of the biggest surprises has been the growth in eco-tourism – Birdfair is recognised as the ‘event’ to attend if you are contemplating a wildlife experience of a lifetime. Almost 50 per cent of the 395 stands offer individual and group trips. Although still dubbed as The Birdfair, wildlife organisations also attend representing bats, frogs, plants, butterflies, badgers and more.

Birdfair is more than just a hotspot for the commercial side of Birdwatching, thousands of visitors enjoy a weekend of entertainment. From the moment the gates open until way into the evening there are lectures, games, quizzes, talks, films, debates all supported by our wildlife celebrities. The Wild Zone provides younger visitors with the opportunity to engage directly with the fantastic wildlife of Rutland Water Nature Reserve, whether watching Ospreys, cruising on the water, pond dipping, bug hunting or just enjoying our annual wildlife Pantomime!

BirdBrain of Britain now in its 26th year attracts a huge audience, and thanks to generous sponsorship has helped the participating wildlife clubs raise tens of thousands of pounds for conservation projects in their regions.

The local economy is also a winner, as more and more visitors are staying for the whole three days. Hotels, B&Bs, Campsites, school boarding houses, restaurants bulge to capacity bringing huge financial benefits.

Over the years Birdfair has evolved bringing new attractions such as the highly successful Birdfair Auction raising well over £200,000, the Authors forum and the local produce tent. However none of this would have been achieved without the dedication of our staff and an incredible team of 470 volunteers.

From dawn to dusk for weeks before, during the event and for days after the crowds have left, this wonderful group can be justifiably proud that over the past 30 years they have played their part in creating and running the World’s largest Wildlife Event.

30 Years of Global Impact (#u12d63151-19d6-5a1e-8199-2cb5d5cb8841)

Every year for the past three decades, the proceeds from Birdfair have gone to a conservation project, selected and managed by the conservation charity BirdLife International. Through your support, these projects have helped to secure a future for some of the world’s most threatened bird species and habitats – here are the highlights …

Year: 1989

Project name: ICBP Stop the Massacre Campaign

Birds that benefit: Migratory birds in the Mediterranean, focusing on the European Robin Erithacus rubecula

Amount raised: £3,000 ICBP (rebranded BirdLife in 1993) aimed to tackle hunting and trapping with the first Birdfair project. Birdfair supported an education programme lead by BirdLife Malta, which generated a huge amount of publicity and media coverage in Malta. However, the battle to end illegal bird killing is ongoing.

Year: 1990

Project name: Helping Save Spain’s Doñana National Park

Birds that benefit: Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia, Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus, Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus

Amount raised: £10,000

Already beleaguered by agriculture and tourism, Doñana wetlands faced its biggest threat with the proposal of a huge tourist development: ‘Costa Doñana’. Birdfair funded a concerted campaign led by SEO/BirdLife (BirdLife in Spain) which successfully halted the development, and financed a visitor centre to promote ecotourism.
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