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Birds of Paradise: Paradisaeidae [Hardcover]

Clifford B. Frith , Bruce M. Beehler
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 390.00
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Book Description

July 1 1998 Bird Families of the World (Book 6)
Birds of paradise have long played a central role in the mythologies, ceremonies, dress and dance of the peoples of New Guinea and its neighbouring islands. For the few centuries that these magnificent birds have been known outside of Australasia, their striking nuptial plumages and elaborate courtship rituals have captured the imagination of collectors, scientists, and naturalists throughout the world. The first part of the book provides a comprehensive and scientifically accurate overview of the biology, ecology, and history of the group, written so as to be interesting and accessible to the lay-reader as well as the scientist. The authors' intimate observations of the birds have enabled them to describe for the first time how the extravagant tails and plumage are used in courtship and mating as well as to describe their nesting biology, about which little has been written previously. The role of the birds of paradise in human culture and tradition is explored in chapter 7, and a final chapter discusses issues of conservation and threats to the survival of these unique and beautiful birds. The second part of the book consists of species accounts of the 42 species of birds of paradise, describing their plumage, size, habitat, distribution, and behaviour in detail and accompanied by distribution maps and sonograms. 12 superb colour plates by William T. Cooper, one of the world's most acclaimed bird artists, illustrate all the species, their known hybrids, and many juveniles and sub-species. His original fine line provide a vivid record of how the birds use their famous ornaments during reproductive behaviour. As with the other books in the Oxford Bird Families of the World series, the Birds of Paradise is written by authors who have dedicated much of their professional lives to researching the birds and observing them at first hand. It includes previously unpublished material and provides a synthesis of the huge literature that has been published over the last few years. As such it will be the most comprehensive review ever to be published on the birds of paradise, the most ornate and interesting group of birds on earth. Nothing comparable exists in print.

Product Details


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Review

`'The first comprehensive overview of this dramatic group of birds...' BBC Wildlife

`'...an exhaustive summary of literally everything known about all 42 birds of paradise...I must also comment onf Frith and Beehler's organizational skill, from which any would-be author could learn. Masses of details are renedered digestible...Questions for future research are highlighted throughout, making this book another treasure trove for studnet sin search of PhD theseis topics.' Jared Diamond Nature

`'...this book will stimulate interest in the habits and conservation of these magnificent birds and the paradise in which they live.'' World Birdwatch

From the Publisher

15 plates, numerous halftones and line figures

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Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Birds of Paradise Nov. 11 2001
Format:Hardcover
I have just returned from Irian Jaya and spent the time looking at birds (including some BOP)and reading this excellent book. It is an extremely thorough, comprehensive and enjoyable book. Anybody who has an interest in Birds of Paradise - or indeed birds in general will do well to invest in this book. One day all bird books will be like this. Well done Frith, Beehler & Cooper - well done indeed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars THE BOOK on Birds of Paradise April 3 2001
Format:Hardcover
This is a truly massive work (600+ pages all in "King-size") more suited for the coffee-table than the field. If there is anything you would like to know about Birds of Paradise you can find it here. The first part (150+ pages) of the book deals with a huge number of scientific matters examples being the discovery, ecology, biogeography, evolution, conservation, and reproductive behaviour of the Paradisaeidae. A absolutely astonishing number of tables exist in this part of the book. The next 300+ pages of the book deals with the individual species (all 42 or so species incl. Manucodes and Riflebirds). These descriptions are truly comprehensive dealing with description (incl. juv. and nestling appearance), distribution, systematics, subspecies, size, distribution (incl. map), habitat, vocalisation, courtship behaviour, diet, status, where any knowledge is lacking, and experiences in aviculture (this is just a sample of the subjects dealt with!!!). Numerous black-and-white drawings show different behaviours and a sonogram is often included. The text is scientific (with numerous references), however it should not present a large problem to the average reader, as a glossary exists in the back of the book. In the centre of the book 15 colour plates exists. One shows old drawings of Bird of Paradise, another shows different habitat photos, and yet another shows different nesting behaviour and moulting of a number of species (also in photos). The remaining plates show some of the highest quality drawings of birds I have ever seen. All the species of Birds of Paradise are depicted in a huge variety of plumage's (e.g. males, females, juveniles, and different subspecies). One plate is even devoted to their egg's. The drawings can only bee described as a true appetiser for anyone interested in beauty. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD BOOK Feb. 2 2000
Format:Hardcover
Hey thes book is very good i am from denmark and when i first saw it it seams like a good book, nice colorfotos of every species and easy readable text what moore can i say buy it *s*
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE BOOK on Birds of Paradise April 3 2001
By Rasmus Bøgh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a truly massive work (600+ pages all in "King-size") more suited for the coffee-table than the field. If there is anything you would like to know about Birds of Paradise you can find it here. The first part (150+ pages) of the book deals with a huge number of scientific matters examples being the discovery, ecology, biogeography, evolution, conservation, and reproductive behaviour of the Paradisaeidae. A absolutely astonishing number of tables exist in this part of the book. The next 300+ pages of the book deals with the individual species (all 42 or so species incl. Manucodes and Riflebirds). These descriptions are truly comprehensive dealing with description (incl. juv. and nestling appearance), distribution, systematics, subspecies, size, distribution (incl. map), habitat, vocalisation, courtship behaviour, diet, status, where any knowledge is lacking, and experiences in aviculture (this is just a sample of the subjects dealt with!!!). Numerous black-and-white drawings show different behaviours and a sonogram is often included. The text is scientific (with numerous references), however it should not present a large problem to the average reader, as a glossary exists in the back of the book. In the centre of the book 15 colour plates exists. One shows old drawings of Bird of Paradise, another shows different habitat photos, and yet another shows different nesting behaviour and moulting of a number of species (also in photos). The remaining plates show some of the highest quality drawings of birds I have ever seen. All the species of Birds of Paradise are depicted in a huge variety of plumage's (e.g. males, females, juveniles, and different subspecies). One plate is even devoted to their egg's. The drawings can only bee described as a true appetiser for anyone interested in beauty. The last two plates depict a number of hybrids apparently rather common in the Birds of Paradise. A chapter also deals with this subject. Well, after all this scientific nonsense, who would want to buy this book (other than a scientist)? Everybody interested in special, interesting, and beautiful birds. If you are going to New Guinea in the near future this is absolutely also a book worth looking at. A five page chapter also discusses how, when, and where best to see Birds of Paradise (also as a the tourist!!!). It will prepare you for this astonishing group of birds like no field guide could ever do. The only thing I would have wished for is more colour photos.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Birds of Paradise Nov. 11 2001
By nick blackbeard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have just returned from Irian Jaya and spent the time looking at birds (including some BOP)and reading this excellent book. It is an extremely thorough, comprehensive and enjoyable book. Anybody who has an interest in Birds of Paradise - or indeed birds in general will do well to invest in this book. One day all bird books will be like this. Well done Frith, Beehler & Cooper - well done indeed.
5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD BOOK Feb. 2 2000
By flemming Rasmussen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Hey thes book is very good i am from denmark and when i first saw it it seams like a good book, nice colorfotos of every species and easy readable text what moore can i say buy it *s*
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