Birds of South Asia

The Ripley Guide

New edition in preparation. Click here to go to the 2nd edition.

The most complete and up-to-date guide to the birds of the region. Includes much previously unpublished data on identification, distributions, vocalizations and taxonomy, along with critical re-appraisal of historic information. Species lists follow familiar Peters order except where changes are well-corroborated by recent research.

Vol. 1 (Field Guide):

  • Covers all South Asian birds (including for the first time Afghanistan and Chagos).
  • Over 3400 illustrations appear in 180 plates painted especially for this book by expert artists. These depict virtually all species and most distinctive subspecies and plumages, some of which appear in no other guide.
  • Over 1450 colour maps, based primarily on verified records, represent the ranges of each regularly occurring species and many distinctive races, and distinguish migratory routes from winter ranges.
  • Maps are annotated as to gographic variation, status and habitat.
  • Concise texts give the information necessary to identify each species.
  • To assist in locating groups within the text, illustrated plate keys are provided in the endpapers

Vol. 2 (Morphology, distribution, vocalizations and taxonomy):

  • Contains much new information and many taxonomic treatments.
  • Alternative names are listed and taxonomic issues are summarized
  • Specimen measurements specially taken for this book are presented for each species.
  • Complete data about identification, status and distribution, and habits are provided for each species.
  • Problematic records are mentioned
  • Volalizations are described from recordings, and there are over 1000 sonograms.
  • Appendices include the region's first hypothetical species list, a gazetteer, brief ornithological histories, and lists of taxonomic changes, regional specimen holdings, and threatened species.
  • A comprehensive index allows users to find whatever names are most familiar to them.
  • Maps indicate geopolitical names, topography, habitats, and bird species diversity and endemism.