Early History of the
Swedish Avifauna
A Review of the Subfossil Record
& Early Written Sources

By Per G.P. Ericson & Tommy Tyrberg
July 2004
Almqvist & Wiksell
ISBN: 9174023373
350 pages, 7" x 9 "
$115.00 Paper Original


This book summarizes the history of the Swedish avifauna based on early publications and manuscripts (mostly written before AD 1800), as well as data obtained from archaeozoological analyses of bird remains recovered from more than 500 archaeological and natural deposits.

The evolution and distribution of the Swedish bird fauna during the 14,000 years since deglaciation began are outlined based on these data. The results show that a large proportion of the species that inhabit Sweden today seemingly immigrated quite soon after the ice withdrew. The most important route of immigration was from the south and west, but later immigrants also followed northerly or easterly routes.

Some species, traditionally regarded as very late immigrants (e.g. Mute Swan, Pochard and Partridge), are shown to have bred in Sweden for several thousand years. Other species, such as the White Stork and Black Stork, have no subfossil record and are suggested to have immigrated after the medieval period. The book also includes chapters on the history of domesticated birds and prehistoric falconry in Sweden.

CONTENTS: Avifaunas & their representatives. Note on the dates. Review of the most important sites. Identification of subfossil bird remains. Written sources. Geological & biological background. Cretaceous & early Tertiary fossils. Pre-Weichselian bird fossils. Changes in the Holocene climate & biomes. North European avifaunas during the late Pleistocene. Trends in evolution & distribution of Swedish Holocene avifauna. Dmoesticated birds in Sweden. Falconry. Species accounts. Glossary & abbreviations. References. Unpublished sources. Listing of Swedish fossil & subfossil avifaunas.

Ornithology; Archaeology

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