Christopher Helm/A & C Black, Octavo, dustwrapper, 72 colour plates, maps.
Madge, Steve and Phil McGowan.
This guide brings together, for the first time within a single volume, a comprehensive review of all the Phasianidae as well as the buttonquails (Turnicidae) and Plains Wanderer. There is a separate account for all 253 species that includes identification, description, geographical variation, habitat, voice, breeding, distribution and status. The 72 colour plates are very handsome and show male, female, juvenile and subspecific plumages. Each species has a colour distribution map. Another excellent edition to the Christopher Helm Bird identification Guides.
This guide brings together, for the first time within a single volume, a comprehensive review of all the world’s pheasants, partridges, quails, grouse, turkeys, guineafowl, buttonquails, sandgrouse, and the enigmatic Plains-wanderer – over 250 species in all.
The group includes some of the world’s most familiar and beautiful birds, such as Indian Peafowl and the stunning tragopans, as well as some of the rarest and most threatened. Some survive in fragments of over-exploited habitats, whilst others are now so familiar in domestication that it is difficult to imagine that they had any wild ancestors at all.
As with other volumes in the award-winning Helm Identification Guide series, this book concentrates on identification and distribution, but also highlights conservation issues where relevant. Each species is treated in detail, reflecting the extensive knowledge of both authors. The 72 colour plates, by leading bird illustrators, show male, female, juvenile and subspecies plumages, and form the finest set of illustrations of these birds to date. There is also a colour distribution map for each species.
Pheasants, Partridges & Grouse is a welcome addition to the Helm Identification Guide series and, more importantly, a landmark volume in the literature of this attractive and vulnerable group of birds.