Neotropical Omithology. Edited by P. A. Buckley, Mercedes S. Foster, Eugene S. Morton, Robert S. Ridgely and Francine C. Buckley. Ornithological Monographs No. 36. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, 1985, 1,044 pages; eight colour plates; eight blackand-white plates. $70.00. Though relativeiy few European birdwatchers will be able or lucky cnough to enjoy the wealth of South American birdlife in person to any great degree, the fact remains that Neotropical birds are spectacular not just in their numbers and their plumages, but also in fundamental ways in their biology and ecology. This book contains 63 invited papers, from appropriate authors (ranging from world flgures to post-graduate students), divided into sections on taxonomy, zoogeography, systematics, evolution, population ecology, behavioural ecology, biology and conservation, each several papers strong. Fascinating facts, intriguing theories and examples of sound biologica! science are plentiful. Though to some readers the title 'Is Diglossa (? Thraupinae) monophyletic?' might seem a bit starchy, others would find 'Going to extremes: why do Sanderlings migrate to the tropics'. and 'Migratory shorebirds: resource depletion in the tropics' absorbing to say the least. Such variety is typical of the book as a whole; thus, to any ornithologist with a serious interest in birds world-wide, this becomes a most valuable compendium, opening many windows into the lives of tropical birds.