Chapman & Hall, London, 1959). xi + 624 p a g e s ; many text illustrations. 94s. T H E DISTINGUISHED senior author unfortunately did not live to see the completion of this useful work of reference. It is a well produced and suitably illustrated volume, of which about twothirds constitute a text-book on the structure and life of birds in general, and about one-third a review of the characteristics of all the families represented in the world today. There are also a short section on ornithological sources, a convenient glossary of terms, and an index. The general part consists of twelve chapters, each of which is a summary of a large subject. The first three are mainly structural, covering palaeontology, anatomy and plumage (including moult). Three others deal with physiology and action --senses and behaviour, voice and sound production, and flight. The chapters on distribution and migration are written mainly from a North American angle. Three others are concerned entirely with behaviour--food and feeding habits, breeding behaviour, and social relations. Finally there is one on taxonomy and nomenclature. T h e presentation is clear, and as adequate as the limitations of space permit. T h e part devoted t o separate families provides a compact systematic survey of the birds of the world. The authors have, however, imposed on themselves the handicap of a uniform plan which allots one page to each family; this involves sometimes giving the same space to a single species as elsewhere to a
Issue 10

Stay at the forefront of British birding by taking out a subscription to British Birds.

Subscribe Now