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Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds Hardcover – September 6, 2003
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This encyclopedia provides a good overview of the birds of the world. About 9,800 bird species are included. The signed articles, arranged by family, average two to six pages in length. They are written by subject experts at a level accessible to high-school students and the general reader. The discussion of each family is augmented by a "Factfile," which usually includes a distribution map, habitat, size, plumage, voice, nest, eggs, diet, and conservation status. "Special Feature" articles highlight topics such as peacock display and the effects of pesticides, and the "Photo Story" features use photos and detailed captions to illustrate various types of bird behavior.
Species represented include those common to North America, such as snowy owls, blue jays, golden-crowned kinglets, and indigo buntings, as well as birds native to other parts of the world with intriguing common names like purple-crowned fairy wren, skylark, cuckoo roller, mountain firetail, and pin-tailed whydah. The casual reader could glean many interesting facts from this encyclopedia. For example, we learn that the New Caledonian crow is able to create tools to flush out insects; whooping cranes have been "taught" to migrate by imprinting aircraft as their parents; pigeons produce a crop milk that is similar to mammal milk. Outstanding large-format color photographs and illustrations on every page should appeal to both students and the general reader. A 16-page index provides subject access to the contents.
For high-school, public, and academic libraries, this encyclopedia is a good value for the money. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia: v.8-11: Birds [RBB Ja 1 &15 02] is a more comprehensive and proportionately more expensive set and belongs in larger collections. For smaller collections, the Firefly volume is an excellent alternative. RBB
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A book for long winter nights... simply a fascinating book, fabulously illustrated with fascinating text. (Allan Safarik Books in Canada)
Comprehensive, sumptuously designed and illustrated. (Mary Ann Gwinn Seattle Times 2003-12-10)
Exceptionally attractive and informative... a major reference to the world's birdlife. (Donald S. Heintzelman International Hawkwatcher)
Truly authoritative, but very readable, review of the more than 9,800 bird species on our planet... This well-done reference should be useful for the academic library but also for general public with its easy-to-read text. Indeed, many serious birders may well want to have this hefty volume on their home shelves. (Charles Leck American Reference Books Annual, Volume 35)
An outstanding book that is as beautiful as it is informative, authoritative as it is accessible... an excellent family resource. (Dan Kunkle Wildlife Activist)
Beautifully illustrated... lavish illustrations and detailed articles provide a lot of information. (Suzanne Hively Cleveland Plain Dealer 2003-11-26)
For birdwatchers and anyone else ornithologically inclined, this is it. (Macleans 2003-12-08)
Fabulous... 600 plus pages, 2,000 photos and, most important, descriptions of 9,850 species. (Jay Ingram Toronto Star 2003-09-07)
Superior to other recent titles... authoritative, signed contributions from 151 leading ornithologists... lively, engaging photographs. This excellent reference title is highly recommended. (Henry T. Armistead Library Journal 2003-10-01)
A good overview of the birds of the world... outstanding large-format color photographs and illustrations should appeal to both students and the general reader. (Booklist / RBB 2003-12-01)
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- The book covers all the birds in the would.
- Each bird family has a quick fact sheet that includes a range map that allows you to see where the birds exist.
- Each family has 1-4 pages depending on the size of the family
- Great professional pictures that show birds in their natural habitat, colony or hunting or in migration.
- Accompanying essays are in depth and extremely fun to read. In addition to some general information about the family, we particularly enjoyed the info that is unique to the family, such as feeding chicks w/ "milk" (only two families do this among birds), evolution of the bird's particular look or structure. The essays helped us to understand whys.
The book has definitely deepened our knowledge about birds. Highly recommend!