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Last book by the late James Hancock, who devoted much of his life to the study and photography of herons around the world.
From the publisher's announcement:
Herons and their close relatives, the egrets and bitterns, comprise sixty species in total and are found all over the world except in polar regions, and are a strikingly beautiful part of the wetlands they inhabit. They are particularly abundant and popular in South West USA, especially Florida. Herons are a diverse group, easily recognised by their long legs, necks and bills. Many species are notable for their sociality as they feed, roost, and nest together in single or mixed species assemblages. The authors have extensive experience of research and observation of these birds and this book provides an up to date comprehensive review of the herons of the world. Covering their biology, distribution, description, systematics, breeding, feeding, and conservation, James Hancock and James Kushlan have distilled their lifetimes' research on the heron into one volume. This volume is complemented by beautiful colour paintings especially painted for the book, colour photographs, and distribution maps.
FOREWORD; PREFACE; ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS; COLOUR PLATES; PLAN OF THE BOOK AND NOTES ON THE SPECIES ACCOUNTS; TOPOGRAPHICAL DIAGRAM OF A HERON; PART I GENERAL CHAPTERS; 1. Introduction to the herons; 2. Systematics and evolution; 3. Feeding ecology; 4. Nesting biology; 5. Herons and people; 6. Conservation; PART II SPECIES ACCOUNTS; PLATES; COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHS; REFERENCES; INDEX
His scholarly material... is elegantly written and enlivened but interesting anecdotes. Nicholas Harman, The Spectator 24/09/2005