1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Birds of the British Empire,
This review is from: The Birds of Burma (Hardcover)
"Birds of Burma" is a work that exists in several different editions. The original edition was published in 1940, the second in 1953 and the third in 1986. There also seem to be several different versions of the 1986 edition. Serious buyers should check with the third party sellers what edition they are really selling. The copy at "my" library is a Nimrod Press edition not available for sale in North America. It has a different cover than the one shown here.
"Birds of Burma" seems to be the work of a lifetime of B. E. Smythies, a former employee of the Burma Forest Service. The 32 color plates were illustrated by Commander A.M. Hughes, but do not include all species. The species presentations are of a field guide character, with sections on Identification, Voice, Habits and food, Status and Distribution. However, there are no range maps.
However, this gigantic book can hardly be used in the field. It's a coffee table volume and a typical collector's item (especially if you can get hold of the 1940 edition). Frankly, the whole work oozes old fashioned British colonialism, with Smythies and Hughes flashing all their imperial titles on the cover. No Little England nationalism here!
Today, Burma is independent and (I hope) publishes independent bird books... ;-)