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Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World Hardcover – February 16, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0195183238 ISBN-10: 0195183231

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (February 16, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195183231
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195183238
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.3 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"For biologists interested in hybridization, for conservationists interested in particular species, for ornithologists interested in specific relationships, and for birdwatchers intent on evaluating plumages, this book is a goldmine."--Integrative and Comparative Biology

"Extremely useful reference ... essential reading for biologists interested in the evolution of birds."--Ibis

"Fine piece of work...a must for all those interested in hybridisation and speciation in birds."--Contributions to Zoology

"McCarthy...has done an admirable job... Anyone interested in avian hybridism will need the handbook...provides an excellent resource for serious birders and ornithologists." --Western Birds

"An invaluable addition to every biological reference library and to all ornithologists with the slightest potential interest in or need for avian hybrid information. "--The Emu

"The Handbook of Avian Hybrids is an impressive accomplishment, one that can be equally savored by browsing birders and appreciated by serious students of one of the biggest birding challenges out there. Highly recommended."-- Rick Wright, editor American Birding Association (birdaz.com)

"Exhaustive... The bibliography is a mammoth 150 pages and lists over 5000 references! ... This book is an essential resource for banders, museum curators, and the serious birder. For researchers in conservation, ecology, and evolution, the book is a treasure trove of the occurrence and frequency of hybrids that could be used for preliminary comparative studies."--Journal of Field Ornithology

"There is a high level of accuracy for individual reports in addition to the extent of the overall survey; it seems to indeed come as close to a complete compilation as is humanly possible. I have not met Dr. McCarthy, but after reviewing innumerable cases, I have a vision of a monkish figure variously cloistered in the ancient stacks of academic libraries and hunched before a computer terminal, compiling case after case with detail and accuracy that would guarantee his deliverance to a state of (academic) grace! I am sure my vision is a bit exaggerated, but it is an amazing compilation."--William S. Moore, Professor of Biology, Wayne State University

About the Author

Eugene M. McCarthy earned his Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Georgia, where he has conducted research into genomics and hybridization for more than a decade.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ashtar Command on July 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World" is a bizarrely brilliant reference work listing all known hybrids between different species of birds. Or at least all known to the compiler, Eugene M. McCarthy (any relation to the left-leaning liberal senator?). The list of literature consulted is extremely large, and something tells me Mr. McCarthy has either spent most of his spare time collecting information on hybrids from obscure ornithology journals...or he had at least a dozen people helping him. Nothing wrong with that. It's not often a book that mostly consists of bird names in long columns can be called fascinating!

Of course, some crosses are "better" than others. Most readers probably wouldn't know what to think of a cross between the Usambara Nightjar and the Abyssinian ditto, or between a King Cormorant and an Imperial Cormorant. (Perhaps we could give it the vernacular name Princess Cormorant?) The occasional hybrids between Tawny Owls and Ural Owls, said to occur right here in Sweden, don't move me either. In my book, most owls look the same anyway. However, even a bad bird-watcher like me sometimes gets the drift, as when McCarthy tells us that a cross between a Red Crossbill and a Bullfinch has been reported, and that it changed hands for 2,500 dollars. Ah, that I *can* believe! I also noted that the book contains an entire appendix listing Canary crosses only. It seems canaries sleep around with pretty much everybody who is somebody in finch high society...

Of course, the most fascinating part of the book is the appendix about unconfirmed or extremely dubious hybrids. How about Mallard x Domestic Fowl? A German headmaster claimed in 1862 that he had observed such a hybrid.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David E. Cummings on January 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This has got to be the most exhaustive gathering of material on Avian Hybrids I have ever seen! Having been working with small birds, quail,pigeons, parrots and doves for over 45 years, I wish I would have had something like this years ago. Once you realize that the code to understanding the book is in the front pages you can easily understand which birds hybridize in fertile or non fertile crosses. I am especially in to pesserines and Dr. McCarthy's list of Canary crosses is absolutely awesome! Some I had never considered and some I had experienced yet had been accused of lying. I knew I was not and he presents the truth that others have had the same results as I! That is so cool!
I would recommend that any one who is into hybridizing any kind of bird, from ducks, to canaries, turkeys to black birds, you have got your listing here and this will save you years and years of work. Yours in the sport: D. David E. Cummings--Kanaryman Aviaries and Research Foundation
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