The Flying Zoo
Birds, Parasites, and the World They Share


Cover image (The Flying Zoo)

“My work as a scientist who studies bird parasites causes me to wonder about the hidden part of the drama unfolding before my eyes: the flying zoo that makes each bird what it is. As I gaze out at my favourite birds, I wonder what role their parasites have played in shaping their fascinating behaviours and alluring appearance.” — From Chapter 1

In The Flying Zoo, Michael Stock gives readers an enthusiastic tribute to birds and the parasites that live in and on them. From the Crozet Archipelago and the Galapagos Islands to our own backyards, parasites—fleas, lice, ticks, and flukes—live in a sinister yet symbiotic relationship with their host birds. With a scientist’s exuberance, Stock reveals a co-evolutionary dance among an astounding cast of creatures living in a complex and paradoxical co-habitation. Following in the footsteps of Fleas, Flukes and Cuckoos, this contemporary classic deserves a place on the shelves of students and teachers of biology, natural history buffs, and birders.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Front cover 1
Title page 4
Copyright page 5
Dedication 6
Contents 8
Preface 10
1 A World on a Bird 14
2 Lice 30
3 Fleas 58
4 Tough Ticks 74
5 Mites 88
6 Flying Zoo Flies 112
7 The Worms that Ate the Bird 132
8 Oddities in the Flying Zoo 164
9 Flying Zoo Behaviour 180
10 Environmental Impacts 206
Notes 228
Further Reading 248
Index 252
About the Author 274