Birds of New Guinea is the first definitive ornithological field guide to New Guinea, the world's second largest island and one of the richest tropical environments in the Old World. Because of its isolation, New Guinea's biota includes spectacular radiations of unusual plants and animals (of which the birds of paradise are perhaps best known). The region has long attracted naturalists, ecologists, and anthropologists. Birds of New Guinea treats all of the more than 700 species of birds recorded from the region, illustrating more than 600 of them in forty-seven fine color plates and eight black-and-white halftone plates. The text contains species accounts treating identification, distribution, ecology, vocalizations, and behavior. This is preceded by a detailed introduction to the region, with sections on climate, biogeography, rainforest ecology, and conservation. A chief contribution of Birds of New Guinea is the wealth of information on the habits of many of the region's little-known species. Included is an ornithological gazetteer, along with four maps showing natural features and important ornithological localities.
Bruce M. Beehler is an ornithologist in the Division of Birds at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and a tropical ecologist with interests in the birds and rainforests of the Asia-Pacific region. He is the author of Lost Worlds: Adventures in the Tropical Rainforest.
Thane K. Pratt is wildlife biologist emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey's Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center and a conservationist of birds of the tropical Pacific. He is the lead editor of Conservation Biology of Hawaiian Forest Birds.
"This book is not only indispensable to any bird-watcher visiting New Guinea and the adjacent islands, but, owing to the wealth of its information, it will be of great interest to anyone who is seriously interested in birds."
- American Scientist