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Please note (August 2014): With the publication of volume 8 in 2013, Christopher Helm initially announced it would be reprinting The Birds of Africa, Volume 6: Picathartes to Oxpeckers (originally published in 2000) without modifications and release it as part of an 8-volume set. We have received confirmation from the publisher however that these plans have been abandoned and that both these reprints and the 8-volume set have been cancelled.
Universally recognized as by far the most authoritative work ever published on the subject, The Birds of Africa is a superb reference with encyclopedic species texts, stunning paintings, detailed line drawings, and comprehensive bibliographies. This is the sixth volume in a set of eight, follows the standard taxonomic sequence and deals with songbirds from the babblers to starlings.
The introduction brings the reader up-to-date with recent developments in The Birds of Africa, Volume 6: Picathartes to Oxpeckers and includes an essay on aspects of biogeography illustrated through African birds. Overviews of the families are followed by genus summaries (with associated superspecies maps, where appropriate) and the species accounts themselves, organized under standard heading: Range and Status, Description, Field Characters, Voice, General Habits, Food, Breeding Habits, and Key References. Each species has a distribution map and many are illustrated with line drawings by Ian Willis showing nests and behavior. There are 36 superb color plates by Martin Woodcock that illustrate all the plumages of all species covered in The Birds of Africa, Volume 6: Picathartes to Oxpeckers. Full references to written and sound recorded material complete this authoritative coverage.
"Each of these volumes represents a massive amount of work, and the editors and publisher, assisted by an impressive list of contributors, are to be congratulated on putting together the most comprehensive account of African birds ever written [...] This volume is a must for the African ornithologist [...] If you are serious about birds, you cannot afford to be without it."
- Birds and Birding
"This volume has been worth the wait. The first thing that strikes you is that this, quite simply, is a beautiful book. From the quality of the paper to the sumptuousness of the plates, here is something a little out of the ordinary."
"Little can or should be said against a work like this. Birds of Africa is the standard reference for the region with no rival and it is hard to imagine one anyway. All who work in African and tropical/south temperate ornithology owe a great debt of gratitude to the Birds of Africa team."
"Detailed but readable text, superb paintings and handsome production have already ensured that this series is the standard work on African ornithology."
- New Scientist
"Each volume in this excellent series raises the standards set by previous volumes, and this one is no exception [...] What more to say except than this volume and the rest of the series are simply indispensable for all African ornithologists?"