The last decade has seen a revolution in our knowledge of the evolutionary relationships of birds. Ornithologists have succeeded in conducting analyses of the genetic codes of a large proportion of the birds of the world, and these analyses have resulted in a robust redefinition and re-sequencing of the orders and families of the birds of the world. These developments have led to a considerable level of agreement amongst ornithologists world-wide, and it is thus an opportune moment for the publication of a work that summarizes this new view of birds and their relationships.
Bird Families of the World, An Invitation to the Spectacular Diversity of Birds offers a synopsis of the diversity of all birds, distilling the extensive detail of the 17-volume Handbook of Birds of the World into one book. It is designed to be simply the best single-volume entry to avian diversity available. The majority of the variation in the behavior and appearance of birds is summarized at the family level. Anyone who knows all the families of the world’s birds will be very well acquainted with the various kinds of birds, the ways they behave and look, and how and where they live. This volume makes such knowledge available to any reader: For each family, there is a distribution map with the breeding, non-breeding and year-round ranges, standardized descriptions of the appearance, summaries of diet and feeding behavior, breeding biology, conservation status, and an up-to-date summary of the state of knowledge of relationships. The work is liberally illustrated with photographs from bird enthusiasts around the globe as well as paintings of one species from each of the genera in each family. Whether you are a birder with an interest in global bird diversity or a professional ornithologist, this beautiful and serviceable guide will provide a mental map to help you organize your experiences and observations.
This volume is being published between Volume 1 of the HBW & Birdlife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, published in 2014, and volume 2, to appear in 2016. The families recognized and their ordering have been coordinated with those in Bird Families of the World.