Amazing as it might sound, ornithologists are still discovering, on average, five or six species of birds that are completely new to science each year. What's more, these aren't all just obscure brown birds on tiny islands – witness the bizarre Bare-faced Bulbul from Laos (2009) or gaudy Begun Liochicla from north-west India (2005).
Birds New to Science documents all of these remarkable discoveries made since 1960, from Barau's Petrel onwards, covering around 250 species. It fills an important gap in the ornithological literature.
Written in an engaging style, Birds New to Science provides a rich reference to an era of adventure in ornithology. Each species account discusses the story of the discovery, with photographs of the birds where available, along with a discussion of what is known about the species' biology, habitat, distribution, with a strong conservation message – most of the species in Birds New to Science are either vulnerable or endangered. An appendix listing 'splits' – new species recognised by taxonomists following DNA or sonogram research – is also included.
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David Brewer is a renowned ornithologist based in Canada. An authority on moult, plumages and identification, his previous books include the Helm Identification Guide Wrens, Dippers and Thrashers (2001).