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Trogons: A Natural History of the Trogonidae
     

Trogons: A Natural History of the Trogonidae

by Joseph M. Forshaw
 

This is the definitive natural history of the spectacularly beautiful tropical birds known as the trogons, a family that includes the legendary Resplendent Quetzal, the sacred bird of the ancient Mayans and Aztecs. A collaboration between renowned ornithologist Joseph Forshaw and eminent bird artist Albert Gilbert, Trogons combines science and art to create

Overview

This is the definitive natural history of the spectacularly beautiful tropical birds known as the trogons, a family that includes the legendary Resplendent Quetzal, the sacred bird of the ancient Mayans and Aztecs. A collaboration between renowned ornithologist Joseph Forshaw and eminent bird artist Albert Gilbert, Trogons combines science and art to create an unprecedented picture of a threatened bird family. Forshaw's text provides the most authoritative and comprehensive account of the trogons ever written, and Gilbert's stunning paintings are the first to accurately depict all species of trogons in their natural habitats and true colors. The book's detailed synthesis of current knowledge about the trogons is enriched by Forshaw's personal field observations in the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Americas, while Gilbert's meticulous artwork is based on fieldwork in the same areas. With its large format, more than 40 full-color plates, and state-of-the-art five-color printing, this limited-edition book promises to become a classic and a collector's item.

Despite their long association with human culture, trogons remain poorly known. Much of the existing ecological information comes from studies of a few neotropical species undertaken in the 1930s and 1940s by Alexander Skutch in Costa Rica and Guatemala, and more recent field studies of the Elegant Trogon at the northern extremity of the range. There have been longstanding uncertainties about the relations and origins of trogons. Kingfishers and their allies have often been nominated as the trogons' closest allies and a New World origin was assumed because most trogon species are now found in the neotropics. However, recent studies have supported placing trogons in a separate order—Trogoniformes—with possible affinities to the African mousebirds, and there is some evidence for an Old World origin.

At a time when researchers and fieldworkers are showing increasing interest in the trogons, and when tropical forests, the home of most trogon species, are threatened by logging and land clearing, this book is intended to not only summarize and advance knowledge about trogons but also to draw attention to the urgent need to protect these magnificent birds by safeguarding the habitats so critical to their continued survival. Trogons is an essential volume for libraries, birders, conservationists, ornithologists, eco-tourists, and collectors of fine bird books.

  • Text by renowned ornithologist Joseph Forshaw provides the most authoritative and comprehensive account of the trogons ever written
  • Paintings by eminent bird artist Albert Gilbert accurately depict for the first time all trogon species in their natural habitats and true colors
  • More than 80 color and black-and-white illustrations, including a foldout color plate of the Resplendent Quetzal, the sacred bird of the ancient Mayans and Aztecs
  • Large format and state-of-the-art five-color printing
  • Edition limited to 700 copies in the United States and 1,400 copies worldwide
  • An essential volume for libraries, birders, conservationists, ornithologists, eco-tourists, and collectors of fine bird books

Editorial Reviews

Auk - Alejandro Espinosa de Los Monteros
Remarkable. . . . The main advantage of Forshaw's book over [the competition] is the level of detail in the species accounts. Trogons: A Natural History of the Trogonidae should therefore be included in the library of any museum or nature enthusiast.
Winging It - Eric Salzman
Truly recalls the Victorian golden age of natural history books in a modern guise. . . . I cannot imagine a more impressive way of presenting some of the most beautiful and impressive birds in the world.
From the Publisher
Winner of the 2010 International Book Awards for Best Interior Design

One of The Birdbooker Report's Best Bird Books of 2011

"Remarkable. . . . The main advantage of Forshaw's book over [the competition] is the level of detail in the species accounts. Trogons: A Natural History of the Trogonidae should therefore be included in the library of any museum or nature enthusiast."—Alejandro Espinosa de Los Monteros, Auk

"The highlights of the book, however, are the stunning paintings, done from life in almost all cases. . . . [It] will be regarded as the last word on the Trogonidae."British Trust for Ornithology Newsletter

"Truly recalls the Victorian golden age of natural history books in a modern guise. . . . I cannot imagine a more impressive way of presenting some of the most beautiful and impressive birds in the world."—Eric Salzman, Winging It

Auk
Remarkable. . . . The main advantage of Forshaw's book over [the competition] is the level of detail in the species accounts. Trogons: A Natural History of the Trogonidae should therefore be included in the library of any museum or nature enthusiast.
— Alejandro Espinosa de Los Monteros
British Trust for Ornithology Newsletter
The highlights of the book, however, are the stunning paintings, done from life in almost all cases. . . . [It] will be regarded as the last word on the Trogonidae.
Winging It
Truly recalls the Victorian golden age of natural history books in a modern guise. . . . I cannot imagine a more impressive way of presenting some of the most beautiful and impressive birds in the world.
— Eric Salzman

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691141589
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
07/06/2009
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
13.30(w) x 18.10(h) x 1.40(d)

What People are Saying About This

Guy Tudor
Those long familiar with Al Gilbert's superb artwork, from earlier classics such as Curassows and Related Birds, will eagerly greet his return to full-scale bird portraiture as so well exemplified in this new book. These beautiful trogons are expertly captured in their glowing colors, set amidst their appropriate habitats; Gilbert's depiction of foliage is unsurpassed. This is a major work for bird art lovers of all temperaments.
Guy Tudor, coauthor and illustrator of "Birds of South America"

Meet the Author


Joseph M. Forshaw is one of Australia's leading ornithologists and the author of many acclaimed books, including "Parrots of the World: An Identification Guide" (Princeton), the six-volume "Kingfishers and Related Birds", and "The Birds of Paradise and Bower Birds". Albert Earl Gilbert, one of the world's foremost bird artists, is past president of the Society of Animal Artists and winner of the U.S. Federal Duck Stamp competition. He has illustrated many books, including "Curassows and Related Birds"; "Toucans, Barbets and Honeyguides"; "Eagles, Hawks and Falcons of the World"; and the "Reader's Digest Book of North American Birds".

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