China covers about 7% of the earth's land surface and encompasses a hugely diverse range of habitats. As a result, it boasts a rich and diverse avifauna, including some of the most spectacular and fascinating birds to be found anywhere in the world.
Building on the enormous popularity and reputation of the original A Field Guide to the Birds of China (2000), John MacKinnon's fully updated and refreshed work remains a truly comprehensive, taxonomically modern, fully illustrated, and authoritative field guide. 1484 bird species are richly illustrated in 164 annotated colour plates, which are closely integrated with up-to-date colour distribution maps, QR codes providing easy access to birdcalls, IUCN Red List status indicators and new, concise descriptions. These descriptions feature key observations as well as conveying crucial changes to species distributions resulting from climate change and landscape transformation.
Guide to the Birds of China will appeal to an international and growing audience of professional and amateur ornithologists and birding enthusiasts, academic researchers and students, wildlife photographers, and conservationists.
Introduction to the Region
A Brief History of Ornithology in China
Practical Tips for Birdwatching
Anatomy and Plumage of a Bird
Glossary of Terms Used
Species Descriptions, Maps and Plates
John MacKinnon is an honorary Professor at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at the University of Kent in Canterbury, UK. He has spent many years in China working on a variety of conservation projects for WWF, World Bank, European Union, and UNDP. He has written many papers, reports and several books on Chinese biodiversity plus several books on Asian birds. John's interests range into mammals and butterflies, photography and film-making. His wife Lu Hefen (Monica) has helped widely in the translation and organization of the production and his daughter Annie is an artist who has provided several plates for the book.
The late Karen Phillipps (1948-2020) was born in SE Asia and had a long track record of illustrating books on birds, mammals, and even plants of China and SE Asia. Her interpretations of wildlife are much loved and encouraged and inspired so many readers to become actively involved in appreciating and watching their local fauna. More than 1000 of Karen's paintings are featured in this book.
Additional artwork has been provided by a total of seven new artists for this book. Yang Xiao Nong has painted the difficult leaf warblers, harriers, and some thrushes; Liu Li Hua has tackled some of the tricky wren babblers and warblers; Xiao Yao has contributed the rosefinches and Yuhinas with Gao Zhi; Gao Chang completed many gap species in several families; Lan Jian Jun contributed many water-birds and shorebirds whilst Annie MacKinnon added new woodpeckers, bulbuls and tits.
Review of the first edition:
"This field guide has been long awaited by the growing number of birders visiting China. By including in one volume all the species – complete with distribution maps – recorded in this vast country, it represents a huge step forward. It is the first complete, taxonomically up-to-date and fully illustrated guide to the birds of China published in English [...] The initial chapters include an introduction to the region, with a revealing section on birds in the local economy and culture. [...] Next come the 128 all-important colour plates, which have distribution maps opposite – an arrangement which I like. [...] The species accounts cover nomenclature, descriptions, voice, range (global), distribution and status (within region) and habits, and occupy 500 pages. Finally, there are appendices which include lists of endangered and protected species, and endemic and limited-distribution species. [...] This book is a major achievement and an invaluable conservation tool."