1) Grimmett, Richard, Carol Inskipp and Tim Inskipp. Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. 2012. Helm Field Guides. Paperback: 528 pages. Price: $39.50 U.S.
SUMMARY: This new field guide is based on the authors' groundbreaking Birds of the Indian Subcontinent (1998) and covers all the bird species found in India, Pakistian, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and the Maldives. The plates face the descriptions and maps for quick at-a-glance reference. Many of the plates have been repainted for this edition and a number of new species added. This guide also provides tables, summarising identification features of particularly difficult groups such as nightjars, warblers and rosefinches.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for birders interested in the region, even if you own the first edition! The page count has increased from 384 to 528 pages with 73 NEW color plates! This title is being co-published by Princeton University Press as: Birds of India: Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives (Second Edition).
Buteo Books Link
2) Kirwan, Guy M. and Graeme Green. Cotingas and Manakins. 2012. Princeton University Press. Hardbound: 624 pages. Price: $55.00 U.S.
SUMMARY: The New World tropics are home to the richest avifauna on the planet, with more than 4,000 species, many of them endemic. Two groups found exclusively in this region are the cotingas and the manakins. Few other families of birds have such widespread appeal. They are much sought after by birders for their colorful displays, unusual plumages, and, in some cases, great rarity. Their natural history and behavior offer fascinating case studies for evolutionary biologists, while the intriguingly elusive relationships of these birds are of profound interest to taxonomists.
Cotingas and Manakins is the definitive work on these jewels of the Neotropics, covering more than 130 species. These range from some of the rarest and most enigmatic birds in the world to some of the best studied of all tropical species. Many are breathtakingly colorful and ornate while some are plain and difficult to see. This stunning volume features 34 color plates by Eustace Barnes, who has observed many of these species in the field, as well as distribution maps and approximately 400 color photographs that cover all but a tiny handful of species. Complete with detailed species accounts describing key identification features, Cotingas and Manakins is the authoritative illustrated guide to these magnificent Neotropical birds.
This book features:
*Covers more than 130 species of cotingas and manakins
*Features 34 color plates and about 400 color photos
*Includes detailed species accounts and distribution maps
*The must-have illustrated guide to these colorful and exotic birds
RECOMMENDATION: I made the Helm (U.K.) version my Best Bird Book of 2011! It's a must have for those with an interest in Neotropical birds or collectors of family monographs!
3) Linzey, Donald W.. Vertebrate Biology (2nd edition). 2012. Johns Hopkins University Press. Hardbound: 583 pages. Price: $110.00 U.S.
SUMMARY: Long recognized as the most readable textbook on vertebrate biology, this comprehensive volume covers subjects ranging from the biology of the smallest shrew to the migration of the largest whales. Thoroughly updated with the latest research, this new edition discusses taxa and topics such as:
• systematics and evolution
• zoogeography, ecology, morphology, and reproduction
• early chordates
• fish, amphibians, reptiles (inclusive of birds), and mammals
• population dynamics
• movement and migration
• study methods
• extinction processes
• conservation and management
Complete with appendixes and glossary, Vertebrate Biology is the ideal text for courses in zoology, vertebrate biology, vertebrate natural history, and general biology. Donald W. Linzey carefully builds theme upon theme, concept upon concept, as he walks students through a plethora of topics on the vertebrate life form. Arranged logically to follow the typical course format, Vertebrate Biology leaves students with a full understanding of the unique structure, function, and living patterns of the subphylum that includes our own species.
RECOMMENDATION: A nice but expensive college text book.