Monday, August 18, 2014
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Woodpeckers of the World is the first definitive guide to all 239 species of woodpecker [Actually there are two other modern woodpecker monographs: Short (1982) and Winkler et al. (1995).]. Beautiful color photographs of male, female and juvenile woodpeckers taken in their natural habitat reveal the birds' coloring, markings, and sexual dimorphism.
Detailed text looks at general woodpecker biology, followed by 239 detailed species accounts. Identification notes are followed by brief entries on food, voice, drumming, habitat, status, distribution, geographic variation and confusion species. Each entry features at least two, usually three, high-quality photographs showing an adult male, an adult female and a juvenile. In all, more than 700 carefully selected images highlight identification criteria. Each species entry also contains an accurate range map [although some of the range maps for North American species could use some work.].
Woodpeckers, an order that includes some of the oldest avian lineages, are one of the most popular families of birds, and they are certainly one of the more unusual. Their ability to excavate holes in wood is legendary. The family ranges from the tiny piculets of tropical forests to the mighty Imperial Woodpecker of Mexico, sadly now extinct. In between, there is a considerable variety of species inhabiting forests and woodlands on all continents except Australasia and Antarctica.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those with a serious interest in woodpeckers.