Handbook of the Birds of the World


Through my approximately 68 years of aviculture I have never found a "Birds Of The World" type of book or series with which I was even partially satisfied. Such titles have always been far from complete, relating in generalities only to orders and families and quite cursorily at that. There has been little or no data on most of the particular species in which I have been interested and precious little even at genera level.

To be sure, species which are particularly spectacular in plumage colors and/or form or which have strange or unusual (from the human perspective) habits are usually illustrated and discussed but most often in ultra elernentary and incomplete style. My library is quite void of such titles and I normally do not give them more than a brief first glance. Such was my speculation of the HANDBOOK OF rm: BIRDS OF THE WORLD until Volume 3 was published and American wildlife artist Albert Earl Gilbert convinced me that it would be worth my time to look over those first volumes in some detail. The more I looked and read, the greater my surprise at the comprehensiveness and quality of the text and illustrations as well as its very fine organization.

When completed, this set will comprise 12 volumes, to be published at 18 month intervals. The first four volumes are now in print (published from 1992 to 1997) and the series is on schedule, an almost unheard of accomplishment for any publisher. It is being published in conjunction with Bird Life International (formerly ICBP) and a percentage of the price of every volume sold is given to that institution toward their conservation projects...