Birds of the World

by Les Beletsky

Available from
Johns Hopkins University Press
and other booksellers

LyrebirdThis book about world birds, directed mainly at birdwatchers, is richly illustrated with field-guide-like artwork created by some of the world's preeminent bird artists.  The main purpose of the book is to provide birders a single source they can consult to learn about all the kinds of birds and to view color illustrations of many species.

Sun bitternThe book discusses the world's main bird groups (primarily families) and illustrates many of the more common and more intriguing representatives of these groups.  For large groups that are broadly distributed, such as parrots, especially large numbers of representative species, found in various parts of a group's range, are shown.  The book contains a total of 187 color plates, each plate showing 4 to 10 species.  In total, 1314 species are illustrated with 1690 bird images - probably more species than any other single-volume bird book.

SnipeThe main text of the book, which consists of short essays detailing individual bird families, emphasizes avian diversity, distribution, ecology, behavior, and conservation.  A closing section of the book discusses the diversity and distribution of the world's birds, including information not always easily available to birdwatchers.

BulBulThis book's family by family treatment of the world's birds is in the tradition of such large-format, heavily illustrated books of the past as Birds of the World by O. L. Austin and A. Singer (Golden Press, 1961) and Bird Families of the World by A. Cameron and C. J. O. Harrison (Harry N. Abrams, 1978), which, in past years, introduced many youngsters and birders to the globe's birds - and this current Birds of the World will hopefully do the same for a new generation.