Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: New World Vultures to Guineafowl

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9788487334153: Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: New World Vultures to Guineafowl

This is the 3rd of 12 volumes in a series of handbooks on the world of birds. It provides coverage of birds, from New World vultures to guineafowl. The introductory chapter deals with such diverse aspects as evolutionary history, anatomy, physiology, migration and systematics. Each chapter covers a different family, headed by a summary box. Photographs illustrate more unusual features, such as courtship behaviour, thermoregulation or feeding techniques. Each chapter is subdivided into sections: systematics; morphological aspects; habitat; general habits; voice; food and feeding; breeding; movements; relationship with man; status and conservation; and general bibliography. The species account lists names in French, German and Spanish, in addition to scientific and English names. Each species has its own distribution map indicating resident, breeding and non-breeding ranges; its official status, according to BirdLife International; and the threats facing each species.

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

About the Author:

David Houston: Applied Ornithology Unit, Glasgow Univesity, Scotland. W.J. Bock: Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, USA. J.P. Carroll: Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, California University of Pennsylvania, USA. William S. Clark: Freelance raptor researcher, Virgina, USA. S.J.S. Debus: Department of Zoology, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia. Andrew Elliott: Grup Català d'Anellament, Museu de Zoologia, Barcelona, Spain. C.M. White: College of Biology and Agriculture, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA. J.M. Thiollay: Laboratoire d'Ecologie, Ecole Normale Supérieure, CNRS, Paris, France. W.F. Porter: College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York, USA. A.F. Poole: Managing Editor, The Birds of North America, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Jaume Orta: Consultant, Servei de Protecció i Gestió de Fauna. Generalitat de Catalunya, Spain. P. D. Olsen: Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. B.U. Meyburg: Chairman, World Working Group on Birds of Prey and Owls (WWGBP), Berlin, Germany. P.J.K. McGowan: Biology Department, the Open University, Milton Keynes, England. Isabel Martínez: Grup Català d'Anellament, Museu de Zoologia, Barcelona, Spain. L.F. Kiff: Director, Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, California, USA. A.C. Kemp: Head Curator, Department of Birds, Transvaal Museum, Northern Flagship Institution, Pretoria, South Africa. Eduardo de Juana: Departamento de Biología Animal, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. Josep del Hoyo: Vice-president, Sociedad Española de Ornitología, SEO-BirdLife, Spain.

Review:

All that a reviewer really needs to say about Volume 2 of the Handbook of the Birds of the World is that it is as good as Volume 1. Anyone who has seen Volume 1 will know that this is praise enough. If the remaining ten volumes keep up the standard of the first two -and all the omens suggest that they will- the Handbook will end up as not merely the best bird book yet published, but the best that is ever likely to be published.

For those who have not yet seen either of them, and who find the price alarming, it is worth pointing out that these volumes are not merely crammed with information and beautiful to look at, but also very big -about 250 mm by 320 mm, and weighting over 3 1/2 kg- so you get a lot of book for your money. Weight for weight, these books are cheaper than most! Moreover, the typefaces used are fairly small -though perfectly clear- so, as well as the superb illustrations, those 638 pages hold more text than you might expect. The more I look at the Handbook, the more I am impressed by the quality of the planning that must have gone into this project: every detail has obviously been carefully thought through in advance, and if those responsible made any wrong decisions, I have yet to find one.

The birds covered in Volume 2 are the Falconiformes and Galliformes (both popular groups in aviculture). The order in which families and species are presented immediately raises the question of classification -or, more correctly, that of 'standard sequence'. (In the Foreword, Walter J.Bock draws a useful distinction, too often ignored, between these two concepts.) The Handbook follows the Wetmore-Peters sequence, in general use since about 1930, but incorporating many revisions introduced up to 1975; this is the system most of us are familiar with (as used in, e.g., the International Zoo Tearbook). The taxonomic assumptions on which this 'traditional' sequence was based are now believed to be incorrect in some cases, but it is not the job of a standard work of reference to make its basic arrangement conform to new, and perhaps still provisional, theories. Where appropriate, questions of this sort are fully discussed in the text. For example, the New World vultures are now thought to belong in the Ciconiiformes -their physical resemblances to the Old World vultures are a nice example of convergent evolution- but in the Handbook they appear where 99% of readers would expect to find them, in the Falconiformes, though the accompanying text gives full details of the grounds for rejecting this traditional placing.

Where keeping up with the latest developments does not conflict with user-friendliness, though, the Handbook is impressively up-to-date. Thus, the new Mace-Lande categories of threat are given for those species for which they are available (four of the Galliform families). And more impressive still, the Udzungwa forest-partridge (Xenoperdix udzungwensis), a monotypic East African species first observed in 1991 and only scientifically described in 1994, has a full entry in its proper place.

The illustrations are obviously of enormous importance in a work of this kind. The colour plates in the Handbook, the work of ten artists, are a remarkable achievement. The large page-size makes possible the clear representation of up to 20 or so birds, all to the same scale, on a single plate -a feature of great practical value, making the comparison of related species much easier than in books of a smaller format. The photographs are mostly of such suberb quality that it would have been excusable to include them merely for their ornamental value; in fact, however, many of them have been carefully chosen for their information content as well- it is noteworthy that their captions tend to consist of a paragraph rather than a sentence, emphasising their close integration with the purpose of the book as a whole.

This brief review has had to be highly selective. With such a work as the Handbook of the Birds of the World, however, that is inevitable. Indeed, no reviewer can expect to give more than some initial impressions. Books like this are not meant to be read straight through -they are to be kept handy and consulted (probably several times a week at least!) for the rest of one's life. Nicholas Gould -- International Zoo News, Vol.42/3, No.260, January 1,1995

The second of the 12-volume ornithological monument Handbook of the birds of the world has appeared. It covers two orders, birds of prey (Falconiformes) and fowl (Galliformes), with 12 families from New World vultures (Cathartidae) to guineafowl (Numididae), depicting all of their species and relevant subspecies on 640 pages, 60 colour plates, 590 distribution maps, and 302 colour photographs. The volume refers to more than 7000 ornithological publications concerning these two orders.

The rationale for the handbook and technical details of its organization have already been discussed in the review of the first volume (Ethology 96, 91-93). The handbook aims to record and illustrate the ecological and taxonomic diversity of birds rather than to serve as a monumental field guide to the birds of the world. Some organizational changes that have been made since the first volume appeared should be mentioned. The most significant deviation from the original plan is the extension of the whole series from 10 to 12 volumes, with volume 12 (finches to crows) to be issued in 2005. Considering the plethora of details and the thoroughness of family and species accounts in the first two volumes, this 20% increase in total size is well understandable and most readers will probably appreciate it, even if the price for the whole handbook will increase at the same rate. Another significant change, which will, however, be realized by only a small number of readers, is the nomination of Walter J.BOCK as consultant for systematics and nomenclature. With regard to the current heterogeneity and conflicting diversity of avian classification systems, and the general confusion about standard sequences of avian taxonomic arrangements, it is a wise decision by the editors to request the advice of a specialist in avian taxonomy. This decision will guarantee a consistent and reliable treatment of taxonomy and nomenclature, which is fundamental for any systematically organized handbook. With a few exceptions and adjustments to recent changes in avian classification, the handbook follows the well-established sequence of avian taxa, as suggested by MORONY, BOCK & FARRAND (1975). The foreword to the second volume by W.J.BOCK discusses the apparent problems of using standard sequences, and presents a theoretically sound and thoughtful statement about phylogenies, classifications, and standard sequences, their differences and their potential problems. At any point in the foreword and in the text it becomes obvious that the taxonomic arrangement is an arbitrary but necessary convention for communication among scientists. Throughout the book, phylogenetic evidence is discussed, even if it is conflicting and in contrast to the sequence of taxa in the handbook.

Compared with the first volume, the number of text authors and artists has increased considerably. For some bird families, several authors contribute to family description and species accounts, and, in some cases, several artists contribute drawings of species of the same family. The editors have, however, been extremely successful in adjusting styles of writing and painting as far as possible, while preserving the individuality of each contribution. Thus, the volume appears as a highly coherent output of text authors and artists who have been closely interacting. In general, I found the text very readable, and in some parts exceptional in style and content. For example, the discussion of the evolutionary diversification and phylogenetic position of New World vultures is an impressively modern treatise of the problem of convergent evolution in birds. The phylogenetic origin of New World vultures from an ancestral ciconiiform stemgroup is based on strong arguments of morphology, behaviour, and ecology, as well as molecular evidence, and recent phylogenetic hypotheses are discussed even if they suggest different solutions.

As in the first volume, the photographs illustrating the text of the family accounts are just superb, combining excellent photographs of sometimes extremely rare species in their natural environment with exciting photographs of naturally performed behaviour and social display. This is especially true for some of the cryptic and highly endangered taxa such as megapodes and cracids.

Another change, or rather addition, concerns the reference to the conservation and status of endangerment of each species. As in the first volume, conservation and status are referenced for each species in detail throughout the book, and the IUCN thread category and the CITES status (WA appendix I, II, III) are listed for each species. Because decisions about the IUCN thread category are based on somewhat subjective criteria, the new Mace-Lande criteria, that are based on the probability of survival of a species within various periods of time, are introduced to describe the status of a species in addition to IUCN and CITES criteria. The Mace-Lande criteria have now consistently been applied for the Megapodiidae, Odontophoridae, Phasianidae, and Numididae. The editors point out that they intend to continue with that new categorization for the other taxa in the following volumes. Replacement of the IUCN system is the final goal. Because the editors realized that such a step would require many years, and because they also realized that the Mace-Lande index needs approvement and perfection, both systems are currently applied for the description of the species'status. Time and practice will show which of the systems will ultimately be established. However, if one day the Mace-Lande categories entirely replace the IUCN system, the handbook will provide the most important crossreference between the old and new systems for many years.

A total of 60 colour plates illustrate all of the species dealt with in the volume; for sexually dimorphic species both sexes are presented. Where they occur, important subspecies and colour morphs are depicted. As indicated above, eight artists have contributed to this volume, resulting in some diversity of styles. However, all plates are of very high quality, are clear and precise, and allow the reader to recognize and understand external differences in the species. Whether one prefers the style of drawings from one or the other artist will to a very high degree depend on the readers' personal taste. Without a doubt, the task of representing all bird species of the world cannot be undertaken by just a single artist, or even by a smaller group of artists. Consistency of style has been reached as far as possible and the illustrations perfectly serve the primary goal of the handbook: to record and describe diversity among birds.

This second volume continues the excellence of the first, and, in fact, has even improved in important aspects. Now, with the second volume out, it becomes obvious that this handbook will be much more than just a handbook, as evidenced by the presentation of monographic treatise of bird families at a high scientific standard, listing a plethora of references, and by the discussion of the evolutionary history of morphology, behaviour, and ecology of bird families: it offers an up-to-date discussion of phylogenetic relationships among families and species within families.

Written in readable style, it makes recent scientific progress and current ideas accessible even to the non-scientist. In conclusion, this handbook of the birds of the world is already on its way to becoming the central source of information on birds, for avian scientists and enviromental management professionals as well as amateur ornithologists. Furthermore, I found it to be highly supportive in teaching and interesting students in general avian biology. Unfortunately, we have to wait another 10 years before the handbook will be complete. One would sincerely wish that the editors, authors, artists, and the technical staff of Lynx Edicions have the strength and concentration to continue the project and maintain its high level of quality and completeness.

J.Matthias STARCK -- Ethology, 102,436-440, February 1,1996

This book is an international project with a host of talented authors and artists. It includes general overall descriptions of each family and general species accounts. In contrast to most regional works, the family texts are lengthy, and although written in a very readable style, they delve into many fields of scientific investigation, including the latest discoveries regarding biology, ecology and relationships of the family in question. These texts are by far the most comprehensive at the family level ever published, with the exception of a few monographs. The species accounts, on the other hand, are highly condensed, aimed at giving as much information as possible (on taxonomy, distribution, descriptive notes, habitat, food and feeding, breeding, movements, and status and conservation) in a reasonable space, so that the whole series remains of managable size. For many species these texts bring together all the published information available about the species, while in the remainder all the essential information is included. Particular attention is paid to the matter of conservation which is evident in the fact that the sections on status and conservation both in the family texts and the species accounts, are very often the longest. The species' accounts concludes with a list of more than 6,000 bibliographical references. The color plates by a battery of 10 artists represent some of the best ornithological illustration available with color phases and subspecific variations included. Complimenting this illustrative odyssey are some 300 color photographs.

This massive and impressive work continues to be one of both superb artistry and unsurpassed scientific value and one that is worthy of any naturalist's or birder's library. Charles E. Keller -- Indiana Audubon Quarterly, January 5,1995

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

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Editorial: Lynx Edicions (1994)
ISBN 10: 8487334156 ISBN 13: 9788487334153
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Descripción Lynx Edicions, 1994. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P118487334156

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Del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew; Sargatal, Jordi
Editorial: Lynx Edicions (1994)
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Buteo Books
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Descripción Lynx Edicions, 1994. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Brand new hardcover in dust jacket. This volume offers comprehensive coverage of: New World Vultures, Osprey, Hawks And Eagles, Secretarybird, Falcons And Caracaras, Megapodes, Chachalacas, Guans And Curassows, Turkeys, Grouse, New World Quails, Pheasants And Partridges, Guineafowl. 60 color plates, 302 photos. This is the first work ever to illustrate all the species of birds in the world, in addition to providing access to all the essential information about each one of them. Each volume measures 9.75 in x 12.5 in (24 x 31 cm). They include exhaustive family texts, plus detailed individual species accounts which include distribution maps. Each species is illustrated on a color plate, including all significant sexual and subspecific differences, and high quality color photographs depict many aspects of the birds' life and behavior. English, French, German, Spanish, and Latin names are given for each species. The series is complete in 16 volumes. Nº de ref. de la librería HBW2

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Josep Del Hoyo [Editor]; Jordi Sargatal [Editor]; Andrew Elliot [Editor];
Editorial: Lynx Edicions (1994)
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Descripción Lynx Edicions. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 8487334156 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW7.1787615

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