1013 pages, 446 plates with 12629 colour illustrations and 6649 colour distribution maps1 customer review
Having finished the Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW), Lynx are publishing a checklist in association with BirdLife: HBW and Birdlife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. This will complement the HBW collection and each volume will be the same size as a HBW Volume, with Volume 1 covering the non-passerines, and volume 2 covering the passerines.
These books are really two works in one. They are a complete checklist whose taxonomy incorporates the most up-to-date information and an exhaustive methodology (Tobias et al. 2010) in an entirely systematic and consistent way. At the same time, they contain illustrations and distribution maps for every bird species in the world. This includes the original artwork from the HBW series, as well as hundreds of new illustrations, all in two compact volumes.
An extensive introduction, with many illustrated examples, explains the rationale and advantages of the taxonomic system adopted in the Checklist, as well as how to use the book. With the guidance of many genetic studies and the aid of the scoring system employed to evaluate differences in morphology, vocalizations, ecology and geographical relationships, the number of taxonomic changes for the passerines has been significantly high. At present (totals may change slightly before publication), the volume 2 has 41 lumps and 628 splits, compared with the taxonomy presented in the HBW series.
Large-format maps offer the reader assistance in interpreting the distribution sections. They provide both administrative and physical details, for greater clarity of use.
In total, Volume 2 deals with 1 order, 138 families, 1,358 genera, 6,592 extant species, 57 extinct species, and has 2809 bibliographical references.
"[...] The great thing about this list compared to [...] others is that every species is both illustrated and has a distribution map. Both of these have been carefully updated as necessary from the original HBW volumes and there are nearly 650 completely new illustrations as well as revisions of about 10% of the others. [...] The price is quite high but if you want a world checklist and an impressive book which contains an enormous amount of information then it is probably worth it."
– Peter Lack, BTO book reviews
Been reading the book for several days and have come to conclusion that this is going to take weeks, months – yes even years to get it all. A really astonishing task to have completed this, I'm awed.