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A photographic showcase of 150 birds at the extremes of nature. Extreme Birds reveals nature's ingenuity and sometimes its sense of humor. The species showcased in this book are chosen for their extraordinary characteristics and for behaviors far beyond the typical. They are the biggest, the fastest, the meanest, the smartest. They build the most intricate nests, they have the most peculiar mating rituals, and they dive the deepest or fly the highest. These are the overachievers of the avian world. Some examples: Most skilled nest builder : The tiny southern masked weaver reveals a surprising grasp of the principles of architecture. In just five days it weaves and knots thousands of fine grass strands to build a complex sphere-like nest that hangs from the tip of an overhead branch. Deadliest enemy : The southern cassowary is big (140 pounds), tall (6 feet) and fast (30 mph). This flightless bird can also leap 5 feet into the air and has 5-inch long claws that are capable of stabbing and disemboweling a human being. Most creative decorator : The blue bower bird creates an elaborate "bachelor pad" bower and decorates it with colorful baubles, blue preferred and the shinier the better. Enlivened with entertaining facts and anecdotes, Extreme Birds is an engaging celebration of nature's enormous imagination and will appeal to all readers, especially birders and naturalists.