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Handbook of the birds of the world. Special volume (17). New species and global index. Hardcover – 1 Jan 2011


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Hardcover, 1 Jan 2011
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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • ASIN: B00EPJ1L8W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,980,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Our commitment with the Handbook of the Birds of the World Series has been to cover in detail and illustrate every species of bird in the world. This task has taken from 1992, with the publication of Volume 1, to 2011 with the publication of Volume 16, covering the last families of birds. However, a number of species genuinely new to science have been described since the publication of their respective volumes, and therefore are not featured in the 16 volumes of HBW. The Special Volume covers and illustrates all of these species, 69, with texts, plates and distribution maps in the classic HBW format. Also, in response to the many requests from subscribers over the years, the Special Volume includes a comprehensive, global index to the collection, a useful tool which will enable users swiftly to find the species they are searching for in the more than 12,500 pages of the 16 volumes. An unexpected addition to this volume is a section including the original scientific descriptions of 15 species, all totally new to science. These descriptions are the combined work of a number of renowned Amazonian ornithologists, and highlight the massive importance of the world's largest area of tropical forest. The inclusion of all these scientific descriptions in the Special Volume is of some additional significance because to find so many species described simultaneously, in the same paper, one has to go back well over a century. From our initial projected list for the volume of 53 species, we are happy now to present an overall total of 84 new species, including those described directly in the volume.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keith Betton on 20 Feb. 2014
For those who have collected the previous 16 volumes of HBW, this extra one presents an interesting dilemma. All of the others have included details of up to 700 species and this one features only 69. So, the dilemma is about whether or not to buy it. Also about 300 pages of this book are given over to a massive multi-lingual cumulative index to the entire collection. Certainly the book feels very different from others in the set, but in my view, if you have all of the others you really ought to have this Special Volume too. Although the cost per species is high, there is just about enough other material in here to justify the purchase.

The editors had several reasons to create this extra tome. For example, since the arrival of the first HBW volume in 1992 the number of new species being described has grown steadily. Most of these new forms are actually not unknown but are races that have been upgraded to form a species in their own right. Here the editors have taken the decision not to feature these new species because they have appeared as races in the previous volumes. I would guess that there might be around 300 such splits, and I would also guess that many people who have bought past volumes would have liked these to receive the proper HBW treatment. Not to include them seems to be something of a missed opportunity to me. Some of these will have significant plumage characteristics that birders will want to know about. At least to have them acknowledged in some way would seem sensible. However the editors assure us that the issues of lumps and splits will be covered in detail in the forthcoming HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World - also to be published by Lynx fairly soon.
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