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Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World from Lynx Edicions

December 7, 2016

Lynx Edicions, located in Barcalona, Spain, has published many books about birds and mammals, including the enormous 17-volume Handbook of Birds of the World (HBW) (specially priced at 2,635 Euros).
[NOTE: This review contains five photos of the books and contents. If they don’t appear in your email, go to the blog.)
They have now produced a two-volume Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World.
Volume I – Non-Passerines, is already out: 904 pages, 357 plates, 8290 bird illustrations, 4428 distribution maps, 34 full-page maps, 2126 bibliographic references.

Volume II – Passerines, is to be released at the end of December (but it may take a month or two after that for all the orders to be delivered): 1,013 pages, 446 plates, 12,629 bird illustrations, 6,649 distribution maps.

For better views of the books’ contents click the above links to each volume. On Vol. 1, check the Sample Pages presented by ISSUU. The website has a lot of reviews and comments.

The two-volume set is specially priced at 350 Euros until December 15, after which – I assume – it will rise to the “marked-down-from” price of 410 Euros. Not cheap, but it contains a lot of information.

Like all books on birds, this cannot be more than a “snapshot in time,” presenting the current state of knowledge. Things will change, that is guaranteed.

What each species gets: Each species has the same full color painting they had in the larger HBW. In significantly sexually dimorphic species, both male and female are shown. Major subspecies are pictured. Names are given in scientific, English, French, German and Spanish. Taxonomic notes include the original specimen (date, location, describer), comments on subspecies, lumps and splits. Distribution of current subspecies is given. A map shows species range. For some species, the subspecies ranges are not differentiated. Volume and page number in HBW are given.
Additional Maps: Large full-page maps give the necessary detail to locate the ranges for species and subspecies you couldn’t quite figure out from the smaller species maps. introductions give details on bird systematics (relationships of families) and other important information.
There are sections on extinct birds.

This is an illustrated checklist. If you want an ornithological textbook, this is not it. If you want in-depth analysis of families or of species behavior and appearance, this is not it. If you want the basic information on bird species, subspecies, appearance and locations of all the birds in the world, and can afford the approximately $375 cost (shipping is free until Dec. 15), this set will do the trick, and the books – artwork, text, print, paper, book assembly – will be of excellent quality. The price will likely rise immediately after Dec. 15, but will probably fall again some months or years down the line, as it has for the complete Handbook of Birds of the World.
[Chuck Almdale]

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