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Academic & Professional Books  Ornithology  Birds: General

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Birds

Out of Print
By: Christopher M Perrins(Editor)
656 pages, 1186 colour & 140 b/w illustrations, 182 colour maps
The Princeton Encyclopedia of Birds
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  • The Princeton Encyclopedia of Birds ISBN: 9780691140704 Paperback Feb 2009 Out of Print #228364
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About this book

Please note that this book was published in Europe as the now out-of-print The Encyclopedia of Birds.

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Birds is a comprehensive and lavishly illustrated reference to the world's birds. Accessibly written by renowned biologists and conservationists, and illustrated in color throughout, the book provides authoritative and systematic accounts of every bird family, covering form and function, distribution, diet, social behavior, breeding biology, and conservation and status. More than 1,000 superb color photos reveal the enormous diversity of birds in their natural habitats, from arctic tundra to tropical rain forest, and a wealth of beautifully detailed color and line illustrations depict representative species from each family and highlight characteristic behaviors. The main articles are complemented by detailed coverage of special topics, such as how ibises and spoonbills feed by touch, how pigeons find their way home, and how crows store food. And throughout the book, numerous "Factfile" panels with color distribution maps and scale drawings provide at-a-glance overviews of key data. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Birds is the definitive one-volume reference – an essential guide for amateur bird enthusiasts and professional ornithologists alike.

Customer Reviews


Christopher Perrins is a distinguished ornithologist, the author of many popular and scholarly books on birds, and a fellow of the Royal Society. A former professor of ornithology at the University of Oxford and former director of the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology, he is currently a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford.

Out of Print
By: Christopher M Perrins(Editor)
656 pages, 1186 colour & 140 b/w illustrations, 182 colour maps
Media reviews

"Packed with photos, illustrations, and lively text that comfortably bridges the gap between a child's reference tool and a doctoral thesis."
– Scott Kirkwood, National Parks Magazine

"Complete, beautiful, accessible, and a bargain to boot – The Princeton Encyclopedia of Birds is everything one might want in a reference book [...] It makes a point of distilling current field re-search into accessible articles written in an engaging style."
– Teresa Scollon, Foreword Magazine

"Written in a clear and entertaining manner. It is a good browse on the diversity of birds [...] The photographs are well worth the cost of the book. I recommend it to anyone with an interest in birds."
– Robert B. Payne, Wilson Journal of Ornithology

"Essential for the library of any birder [...] Since its scope is international, this book will be particularly valuable to the birder who travels to foreign corners of the world. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Birds is full of excellent color photography and illustrations and, the entry for each bird is complete with brief writings that distinguish the habits of that particular bird [...] The Princeton Encyclopedia of Birds is well-worthy of its noble Princeton name and is an essential reference for the birder, and especially one who travels the globe in hopes of sighting new birds."
– Chris Smith, Englewood Review of Books

"The text is informative, the best aspect of this book is the abundance of illustrations. Unlike many bird references, it combines both photographs and paintings to take full advantage of each medium."
– DC Birding Blog

"The encyclopedia is a gem, one I have only begun to explore."
– Judy S. Jottings, Wing and a Song

"A treasure. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Birds captures the full display of the birds of the world with wonderful illustrations and engaging prose. From the lavish birds-of-paradise to the stately seriemas, Christopher Perrins and his distinguished colleagues distill their expertise into a powerful work. Beware: one evening with this book could make quests to see exotic world birds your new travel priority."
– Frank B. Gill, author of Ornithology

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