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Comprehensive account of 118 species providing details of colouration, plumage, moults, geographical variation, body measurements, habitats and behaviour. Conservation and evolution are backed up by a comprehensive bibliography. The more general, introductory chapters review evidence about the group's evolutionary ancestry and place the birds' distributions, behaviour and physiology in an evolutionary context. The 24 superb colour plates by Martin Woodcock illustrate all the species, with behaviour and subtle variations depicted by delicate line illustrations.
`This sumptuous work is extremely well presented, and it is more of a handbook than a simple monograph or guide. This is an important and extremely comendable work, and it is one which will occupy a prominant position on my bookshelf.' Nigel Cleere, British Birds, October 2001
"Nocturnal birds that were the subject of outlandish superstitions since classical times (it was believed they poisoned and blinded goats by sucking their milk), nightjars and the South American potoos, Australian frogmouths, Australian owlet- nightjars, and oilbirds which are their cousins, are still incompletely understood. Holyoak's magisterial compendium assesses the state of current research, providing bibliography, description, geographical variation, range and status, habitat, food and feeding, behavior, voice, field characters, breeding, conservation, and a list of references for every identified type. Each entry includes a distribution map and a b&w drawing of the bird. The b&w drawings and color plates are by bird illustrator Martin Woodcock."--SciTech Book News
PART 1: GENERAL CHAPTERS; 1. Introduction; 2. Evolution and Classification; 3. Biogeography and speciation; 4. Habitats, migration and hibernation; 5. Food and feeding ecology; 6. Nocturnal signalling; 7. Breeding Biology; 8. Moult; PART 2: SPECIES ACCOUNTS; 10. Bibliography
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