"Philip's Photographic Guide to Birds of the World" features 1,300 individual bird species, making it the most comprehensive single-volume photographic collection of birds ever produced. As well as illustrating in full colour one seventh of all known bird species, the book also features the most up-to-date listing of all known species, with information on range and status. The text is written by an international panel of experts. The book begins by tracing the evolution of birds and takes an in-depth look at their incredibly varied adaptations. After explaining the principles of bird classification and identification, and how the latest DNA findings have helped us to re-evaluate bird relationships, the major families of birds are described, including main characteristics, principal species, total number of species, any noteworthy features, and conservation status; in addition each family is illustrated by a representative species. In the main part of the book, the species photographs and descriptive entries are arranged systematically by zoogeographical region Nearctic, Neotropical, Palaearctic, Afrotropical, Oriental and Australasian.
(Broadly speaking this translates as North America, Central and South America, Europe and Mediterranean, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Australiasia). Each region is introduced with a concise account of the birds of the region and maps identifying significant bird-watching locations. Then each species entry covers the key elements of description, behaviour, habitat, distribution and notes any key conservation concerns. "Philip's Photographic Guide to Birds of the World" is an essential reference for all bird enthusiasts, whether active and committed bird watchers or bird-lovers who want to learn more about these fascinating creatures. With many birdwatchers travelling widely on vacation, this work will be a valuable addition to a reference collection.
Dr Andrew Gosler, the general editor, is University Research Lecturer in Ornithology, University of Oxford; President of the Oxford Ornithological Society; and a member of the International Ornithological Committee.