Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan. By Salim Ali and S. Dillon Ripley. Oxford University Press, Bombay. Vol 5 (1972): 276 pages; 10 colour plates; many line drawings and maps. Vol 6 (1971): 245 pages; 8 colour plates; many line drawings and maps. £8.00 each.
The urgent need for an up-to-date and comprehensive handbook to the birds of this extensive region (which covers not only India and Pakistan but also Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Ceylon and the neighbouring oceanic islands) was stressed in the full review of the first two volumes of this important work (Brit. Birds, 62: 544-546). With 1,200 species (or nearly 2,100 races) having been recorded in the area, the treatment is necessarily concise; even so, the complete work is expected to extend to ten volumes.