🖊️ Edited by Josep del Hoyo, Andrew Elliott, Jordi Sargatal
This is the emblematic first volume of the series, published in 1992. It features a Foreword by Christoph Imboden, presenting the project. There is also a 38-page introductory article, providing a complete general description of the biology of birds.
Following the taxonomical order of the encyclopaedia, the volume covers the 27 bird families. Some groups are geographically highly localized (cassowaries, kiwis, Shoebill), or found on only one continent (Ostrich, rheas, emus, tinamous, Hamerkop, screamers), but the greater part of the volume is dedicated to the families of marine and aquatic birds with extensive distributions in the northern hemisphere (divers), the tropical zone (tropicbirds, darters, frigatebirds), in Antarctic and sub-Antarctic waters (penguins, albatrosses, diving-petrels), and cosmopolites (grebes, petrels, pelicans, herons, flamingos, ducks, geese and swans).