Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds
  • Alternative view 1 of Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds
  • Alternative view 2 of Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds
  • Alternative view 3 of Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds
  • Alternative view 4 of Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds
  • Alternative view 5 of Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds
  • Alternative view 6 of Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds
<Previous >Next

Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds

by Christopher Perrins

The ultimate reference to the vast world of birds.

Discover a family of birds who are phenomenal fliers but cannot walk or climb. There is a species that nests at the Arctic Circle and winters at the lower tip of South America, migrating up to 235,000 miles in its lifetime. These and thousands more winged wonders are described in fascinating detail in

…  See more details below


The ultimate reference to the vast world of birds.

Discover a family of birds who are phenomenal fliers but cannot walk or climb. There is a species that nests at the Arctic Circle and winters at the lower tip of South America, migrating up to 235,000 miles in its lifetime. These and thousands more winged wonders are described in fascinating detail in the Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds.

Authoritative, easy-to-read essays explain mating rituals, historical significance, evolutionary development, and nesting habits. Organized alphabetically by Family, this comprehensive encyclopedia is illustrated with 2,000 color photographs and location maps. The text is lively, well researched, cleanly organized and completely understandable to nonscientific readers. A Fact File for each bird family lists the relevant data including species, genus, global distribution, habitat,
plumage, voice, nest, egg descriptions, diet and conservation status.

With contributions by a team of 100 distinguished zoologists, the Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds is a major reference work for all birders as well as students and naturalists.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Books in Canada - Allan Safarik
A book for long winter nights... simply a fascinating book, fabulously illustrated with fascinating text.
Seattle Times - Mary Ann Gwinn
Comprehensive, sumptuously designed and illustrated.
International Hawkwatcher - Donald S. Heintzelman
Exceptionally attractive and informative... a major reference to the world's birdlife.
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Suzanne Hively
Beautifully illustrated... lavish illustrations and detailed articles provide a lot of information.
American Reference Books Annual, Volume 35 - Charles Leck
Truly authoritative, but very readable, review of the more than 9,800 bird species on our planet... This well-done reference should be useful for the academic library but also for general public with its easy-to-read text. Indeed, many serious birders may well want to have this hefty volume on their home shelves.
Wildlife Activist - Dan Kunkle
An outstanding book that is as beautiful as it is informative, authoritative as it is accessible... an excellent family resource.
For birdwatchers and anyone else ornithologically inclined, this is it.
Toronto Star - Jay Ingram
Fabulous... 600 plus pages, 2,000 photos and, most important, descriptions of 9,850 species.
Booklist / RBB
A good overview of the birds of the world... outstanding large-format color photographs and illustrations should appeal to both students and the general reader.
Science News
This massive volume is global in scope... one of the most visually stimulating and informative books ever compiled on avian life.
Science Books and Films - Timothy C. WIlliams
Readers of all ages will be drawn to the lavish illustrations... exquisite, often large, photographs... a useful and informative reference.
Western North American Naturalist - Clayton M. White
A wonderful contribution... I recommend it.
Birder's World - Susan Hunt
An awesome job. This is a beautiful book... read it for pleasure and to be reminded of the richness and beauty of the world's birds. These images are the stuff that dreams are made of.
Wisconsin State Journal - William R. Wineke
A huge amount of information about our feathered friends.
Outdoor Photography - Dikla Kadosh
Wonderful photography and clear, lively text written by a team of bird experts.
Bird Times
Intriguing, lavishly illustrated, and easy-to-read book... a great educational tool for most age levels, and a definitive resource for all birders and naturalists.
Minneapolis Star Tribune - Jim Williams
There are years of pleasure and a lifetime of education in this book.
E-Streams - Lynn C. Westney
Magnificent... deserves to win an award for the sheer magnificence of its wildlife photography... Highly recommended without reservation... Outstanding.
American Scientist
An excellent job organizing... Sumptuously illustrated with 2,000 splendid color photographs, paintings and location maps.
Phoenix Home and Garden
Intriguing facts... easy to read and is visually enhanced by more than 1,000 color photographs.
Canadian Field Naturalist - Serge Larivière
A good collection of text and photos of the birds of the world all in one volume. Nicely presented with tons of sharp photos... a fantastic introduction.
Children's Literature
If you are a birdwatcher or just fascinated by these creatures who appear to be the distant relatives of the dinosaurs, then this book will provide hours of pleasurable and informative reading. Actually days or weeks if one were to read it through, but since this is a reference work, most users will be looking for specific information about a favorite bird or species. The introductory material is an education in itself explaining about the various classification systems, and the one that this book uses. It is followed by a really good introduction to birds. Readers who are writing reports will learn about the various classes of birds, birds sizes and how their bodies are designed for flying (as well as those of flightless birds), the purpose and structure of feathers, respiration, flight adaptation, senses (vision, hearing and smell), breeding, and nests. All of this information is illustrated in full color with diagrams that clearly demonstrate the principles and give examples of a variety of birds and their abilities. Once all of that is absorbed, readers can spend time reading about specific families of birds. The text describes each bird, its habitat and again is accompanied by beautiful, full-color photographs. An inset box provides basic facts as to the bird's official versus common name, order, family, species or subspecies, where one would find the bird, habitat, size, plumage, voice, nest, eggs, diet and finally conservation status. While the text is quite advanced it could be read by kids 12 and up and younger kids can enjoy the pictures and make use of the fact file data. The feature about penguins occupies ten pages with pictures of the birds underwater, many of the speciesand the habitats which range from vast rookeries to the freezing Antarctic. It was interesting and sad to learn that emperor chicks that fall onto the ice, off the parents feet and out of the brood pouch die of exposure within a few minutes. Gnateaters on the other hand are given one page, but again it is more than enough information for most of us. There is a table of contents, extensive glossary, bibliography, index and list of picture credits that would require a magnifying glass to read. It doesn't matter, the pictures are as good as anything you might see in National Geographic or Smithsonian Magazine. An outstanding reference book for libraries, and a great gift for the consummate birdwatcher. 2003, Firefly, Ages 12 up.
— Marilyn Courtot
Library Journal
Bird dictionaries and encyclopedias appear regularly. But this volume, a greatly expanded and revised de facto second edition of Perrins's well-received The Encyclopedia of Birds (1985), is superior to other recent titles. Perrins (director, Edward Grey Inst. of Field Ornithology, Oxford Univ.) has gathered authoritative, signed contributions from 151 leading ornithologists. Organized in phylogenetic order, the volume covers almost 10,000 bird species; for each bird family (owls, woodpeckers, thrushes, et al.) there is a map, a general text, and sidebars with paragraphs on nesting, voice, size, diet, plumage, habitat, etc. There are also random essays on appropriate related subjects, such as conservation, courtship, and many family-specific topics of interest as well as a helpful glossary. The volume is highly illustrated in color, both by quality paintings and the approximately 1000 lively, engaging photographs. This excellent reference title in an attractive format is highly recommended for most public and academic libraries. [A BOMC selection and Discovery Book Club main selection.]-Henry T. Armistead, Free Lib. of Philadelphia Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Read More

Product Details

Firefly Books, Limited
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 11.50(h) x 1.70(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Christopher Perrins is Director of the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology at Oxford University.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >