Humans have long been captivated by birds; they have been featured prominently in art, mythology, and folklore as symbols of wisdom and truth, strength and power, beauty and death. Humans are perhaps most in awe of birds' ability to fly. Flight has enabled them to colonize virtually every habitat. Birds also display a great diversity of color and form. They are united by the possession of feathers--the defining characteristic of birds. Many species are threatened by habitat destruction and extinction, and their survival is dependent on our appreciation and understanding and the preservation of their habitats. This beautifully illustrated book, with more than 200 magnificent color photographs and 150 original paintings, maps, and diagrams, presents an up-to-date and comprehensive survey of the natural history of birds. The authoritative text has been written by the world's leading ornithologists and includes the most recent scientific findings in a stimulating presentation.
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A new encyclopedia treatise with a somewhat different twist in that it provides new conservation information on each order, using symbols to denote the three levels of threat - critically endangered, endangered, and vulnerable. The authoritative text has been written by the world's leading ornithologists and presents the most recent scientific findings in an interesting and stimulating way. A nice book for the coffee table. —Charles E. Keller in INDIANA AUDUBON QUARTERLY (May 1999) Encyclopedia of Birds is an excellent reference resource for any library shelf. Its colorful photographs and drawings and well-presented text will surely assist any student in preparing a report on birds. Get this book; it is well worth the price. —Joan Garner in ACADEMIC REFERENCE BOOKS ANNUAL (1999) ...a very good and clear introduction for the novice and the more casual reader. One of the great joys in this book is the wealth of colour photographs. It is a useful quick reference and easy to understand guide to a number of aspects of ornithology which otherwise might not be easily sourced. —T. Ennis and J.A. Smyth in AVIAN PATHOLOGY (1999) ...a splendid introduction to the aerial world of birds. —Christopher Lever in ZOOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY (1999) The description of this book as a 'comprehensive illustrated guide' appears at first glance to be a better title for it, but at closer inspection reveals a wealth of information within its 250 pages. The text contains a surprising amount of information, giving a thorough summary of each group, covering themes like conservation or habitat preferences, as well as detailing a selection of species. The authors of each section comprise some of the best in their fields and the whole book has an authoritative air about it. As the most up-to-date volume of its kind, this book should appeal to new birdwatchers, but neither would it be out of place on the shelf of a more committed birder. —BIRDWATCH ...makes an excellent gift to someone young or old as a means of introducing them to the beauty and fascination of birds. —THE EARTHLIFE WEB As an introduction to the major bird taxa of the world, this is a fine, attractive book. —CHOICE @from:Praise for the Series High-school, public, and academic libraries needing to fill out their collections on animals will want to consider one or more of these attractive and affordable books. —BOOKLIST (March 1999)
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