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Lynx's commitment with the Handbook of the Birds of the World Series has been to cover in detail and illustrate every species of bird in the world. This task has taken from 1992, with the publication of Volume 1, to 2011 with the publication of Volume 16, covering the last families of birds. However, a number of species genuinely new to science have been described since the publication of their respective volumes, and therefore are not featured in the 16 volumes of HBW. The Special Volume will cover and illustrate all of these species, some 68, with texts, plates and distribution maps in the classic HBW format.
Also, in response to the many requests from subscribers over the years, the Special Volume will include a comprehensive, global index to the collection, a useful tool which will enable users swiftly to find the species they are searching for in the more than 12,500 pages of the 16 volumes. You will find more information about all the contents of the volume in the enclosed brochure.
An unexpected addition to this volume is a section including the original scientific descriptions of some 12–17 species (final number pending peer-review process), all totally new to science. These descriptions are the combined work of a number of renowned Amazonian ornithologists, and highlight the massive importance of the world's largest area of tropical forest.
The inclusion of all these scientific descriptions in the Special Volume is of some additional significance because to find so many species described simultaneously, in the same paper, one has to go back well over a century. From our initial projected list for the volume of 53 species, we are happy now to present an overall total of 80–85 new species, including those described directly in the volume.
Foreword by BirdLife International
90 years and growing: how BirdLife went from a council of experts to everybody’s global partnership.
An informative chapter on the history and other important aspects of the BirdLife International organization, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the BirdLife Partnership and the 90th anniversary of its predecessor, the International Council for Bird Preservation.
Avian classification in Flux by Jon Fjeldså
A comprehensive introduction to the changes in avian macrosystematics over the last 20 years or so. Many relationships have been significantly revised, most often on the basis of results provided by improved molecular techniques. These are particularly useful and informative at higher taxonomic levels.
The Discovery of New Bird Species by Jon Fjeldså
A fascinating essay about the continuing discovery in recent years of species new to science. It analyses in depth the how, why and where of many of these discoveries, as well as providing a useful overview.
Species Accounts of New Species
Each of the 68 new species has a species account, illustration and map, just as in the main HBW series.
Original Scientific Descriptions
The original scientific descriptions of 12-17 Amazonian species appear in print here for the very first time (final number pending peer-review process). Each description is accompanied by the requisite illustrations, map and assorted figures.
HBW Photo Gallery
A collection of 200 stunning bird photos selected from the images presented in the HBW World Bird Photo Contest 2012, in homage to the wonderful birds of the world, to dedicated and inspiring nature photographers, and to our loyal supporters, the HBW subscribers!
Global index to the entire series to enable readers rapidly to find what they are looking for in the 16 HBW Volumes. The index can be searched by scientific name, or by common names in English, French, German and Spanish.
"[...] Despite its eclectic nature, this book is a highly significant work which celebrates both the diversity and beauty of birds. It has lots to offer for anyone interested in avian taxonomy and thus should find a place in any ornithological library."
– George Sangster, Ibis Volume 157(4), September 2015
"[...] an altogether wonderfully illustrated and fascinating book to end the series [...] contains the most astounding collection of bird photos I have ever seen"
– Frank Lambert (29-10-2013), read the full review at The Birder's Library
"I suspect the ornithological world will be divided into two camps: those who have already bought the previous 16 volumes of HBW and will buy this as a matter of course, and those who haven't and won't.
The authors admit this volume is a bit of an afterthought, but what an afterthought. [...] The photos range from the ‘merely excellent to simply breath-taking; it's hard to imagine a better showcase for the beauty, diversity and sheer character of the world's birds. In some ways, though, although this is the last volume – it is really more of a beginning, with all of HBW now online and having the aim of making knowledge of the world's birds accessible to as many people as possible. [...]"
– Rob Robinson, BTO book reviews
"For those who have collected the previous 16 volumes of HBW, this extra one presents an interesting dilemma. All of the others have included details of up to 700 species and this one features only 69. Furthermore, about 300 pages of this book are given over to a massive multilingual cumulative index to the entire collection. Certainly the book feels very different from others in the set, so there is a dilemma about whether or not to buy it. In my view, if you have all of the others, you really ought to have this Special Volume too. Although the cost per species is high, there is just about enough new material here to justify the purchase. [...] HBW has always taken great care to use good-quality photographs, and in this volume the bar is raised even higher with the inclusion of a collection of 200 stunning photos selected from the images presented in the HBW World Bird Photo Contest 2012. Finally, there are five separate indexes, covering all 16 HBW volumes, which give the scientific, English, French, German and Spanish names of every species. These also include a small number of corrections where photographs were misidentified in the earlier volumes. Although I thought I would use the index very rarely, I have already found it to be an invaluable reference. [...]"
– Keith Betton, www.britishbirds.co.uk, 10-11-2013