Lynx Edicions, August 2012. 1067 pages, 180 colour plates, black and white illustrations, 1450 colour distribution maps
Rasmussen, Pamela C. and John C. Anderton.
Birds of South Asia. The Ripley Guide is a comprehensive, two-volume, up-to-date work covering the over 2500 known and likely taxa of birds of the spectacularly diverse Indian subcontinent. The geographical scope of this guide encompasses Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and for the first time Afghanistan and the Chagos Archipelago. Volume 1 is a Field Guide, bound separately for portability, while Volume 2 (Attributes and Status) contains much more detailed information. The second edition is revised and updated with the newest findings on vocalizations and taxonomy, including several taxa newly recorded for the region, species whose voice was previously unknown, and additional newly recognised species.
Of the species-limits changes enacted in the second edition, all but five are on the basis of peer-reviewed published recommendations. The five exceptions (Egretta intermedia vs. E. brachyrhyncha and E. plumifera, Otus modestus vs. O. sunia, Chrysocolaptes socialis vs. C. guttacristatus, Pomatorhinus phayrei vs. P. ferruginosus, and Pachyglossa (Dicaeum) obsolete vs. P. agilis) are all species that were noted as probable future splits in the first edition but for which further data were required to make a decision. In each case, further vocal recordings are now available and confirmatory, and in the case of Pomatorhinus genetic data are confirmatory. In the second edition, new recordings were summarized for species for which weak or no representation of their vocalisations was previously available. Furthermore, the second edition includes capsule summaries of vocalisations to facing plate notes for nearly all species in Vol. 1, often based on previously unavailable recordings. This addition will make this more portable volume much more self-standing in the field.