This time of year we frequently think of gifts for loved ones but there is another aspect of many people's live (well that of scientists) that often remains over looked: their department library. Fear not! I have a great suggest for a couple of awesome Christmas gifts this year.
First, the new edition of Cooperative Breeding in Vertebrates by Koenig and Dickinson. This revamped classic has new chapters on such wondrous species as pied babblers (possibly the greatest avian species to evolve!). This new tome has been upgraded from Stacey and Koenig's original that solely looked at birds, from what I have heard it also includes meerkats and banded mongoose - fun for all the taxa. So order a copy now, or maybe get your department to treat themselves as its cover price is $140: http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/life-sciences/animal-behaviour/cooperative-breeding-vertebrates-studies-ecology-evolution-and-behavior
My second suggestion is my favourite book from undergrad: An Introduction to Behavioural Ecology. This is the 4th edition of this classic text book, although some of the fruity terminology from the 1st edition has disappeared (sneaker males are no longer sneaky f**kers!) it has grown to be an all encompassing joy to read. Plus I have picture in this book, unfortunately the chapter's author Mike Cant attributed it to Alex Thornton, but c'est la vie. This is much cheaper at only £39.95, so you can buy this for the library for sure: http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1405114169.html
Look out for Tim Clutton-Brock's book on Mammal Societies in the new year, a wild romp through evolution in the furriest of taxa!
I hope you all have a merry Christmas and don't spend to much time on R!