Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The birds of the Western Palearctic [BWP], volume one: Ostrich to ducks.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, (1977 first edition).
Quarto, 722 pp. colour plates, maps, very good copy in dustwrapper.
Birds of the Western Palearctic (commonly known as BWP) is the greatest scientific bird book ever published. Complete in nine volumes, it covers 770 species of birds, of which about 600 are breeding species. Each breeding species is described in full, with entries averaging about ten pages of text and sections on field characters, habitat, distribution, mortality, population (with maps showing the breeding and wintering areas), movements, food, social pattern and behaviour, breeding, voice, plumages, moults, measurements, weights, structure, and geographical variation. Regular migrants and accidental species are also treated under these headings, where appropriate. Each volume has a bibliography and index.