H Shirihai, G Gargallo & A J Helbig
Describes in detail identification (in the field and in the hand), ageing, sexing and moult of all species of Old World warbler in the genus Sylvia. No other book has provided such an abundance of detail on these aspects for any one genus of birds, nor the quality and number of illustrations showing individual and geographic variation. All this, combined with DNA information on systematic relationships, makes this guide unique among modern bird books and truly a landmark publication.
The book contains an enormous amount of original and unpublished data, compiled from field studies and meticulous museum research. There are hundreds of diagrams, tables and figures illustrating moult sequences, wing formulae, jizz and other aspects of identification and behaviour, while large-scale colour maps show the distribution of each species.
General introductory chapters summarise the biology and evolution of the genus before each species is treated in detail. Of great importance is the novel approach to systematics, using the superspecies concept and molecular information on relationships and differentiation between taxa, which has resulted in the proposal for four new species splits. 576 pages.
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