Choice, February 2015 Vol. 52 No. 6

Choice. A publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries.


52-3105    QL677     MARC

Illustrated checklist of the birds of the world: v.1: Non-passerines, by Josep del Hoyo and Nigel J. Collar et al. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, 2014. 903p bibl index ISBN 9788496553941, $190.33.

This superlative, 9.6-pound work by del Hoyo (coeditor, Handbook of the Birds of the World, HBW) and Collar (BirdLife International) is largely derived from the highly acclaimed 17-volume HBW (v.1-2, CH, May'96, 33-5102; Special Volume, CH, Feb'14, 51-3247).  However, its 357 colorplates (8,290 illustrations) have 242 new illustrations and 783 improved ones.  Illustrating 4,372 species, there is no comparable publication, or any that come close.  The volume contains a full treatment of races (subspecies), 4,428 distribution maps, and 2,126 bibliographic references.  Further, the appendixes deal thoroughly with 99 extinct species.  A 35-page introduction, with marvelous illustrations, has essays on speciation, taxonomy, and conservation; a glossary; and a full description of the book’s organization and raison d’être, documented by some 200 citations.  The illustrations, the heart and soul of the book, are of uniformly high quality, although some reds are too bright.  The range maps and accompanying text are also extremely valuable.  The maps show country boundaries.  It may not be evident which political entity one is looking at in maps focusing on remote or complex areas, but this inconvenience is easily resolved by reading the distribution description in the text on the opposing page.  Volume 2 will cover passerines (songbirds).
--H. T. Armistead, Free Library of Philadelphia


Summing Up: Highly recommended. Academic, professional, and large public libraries.


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