🖊️ 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).
“Let´s start this review with a simple, unabashed, “Wow!”. This impressive first volume launches a truly ambitious project -to detail the birds of the world in 10 major volumes… None of us was prepared for such a wonderful book. It has no real peer… a sensational book… rich, detailed text, its first rate photographs… extremely well-edited in terms of both substance and technical copy…”
Frank B. Gill, The Condor, 1994
“There is no book on birds anywhere like this one /…/ a major guide and source book for all serious students of birds, not to mention conservationists generally.”
R.K.Brooke, Ostrich, September 1994
“The first volume is truly magnificent… a remarkable achievement.”
Bruce C.Forrester, Birding Volume XXVV Nº 1, February, 1993
“This work is a masterpiece of the highest quality which no ornithologist or birdwatcher should be without, and it cannot be recommended too highly.”