London: Christopher Helm/A & C Black, 2002. Octavo, dustwrapper, illustrations.
WAS $130. This book covers the fourteen members of the genus Saxicola- the stonechats and bushchats. This passerine group is distributed throughout the Old World, and includes some familiar and widespread species as well as island endemics and extreme rarities. These charismatic birds are eye-catching in both appearance and behaviour, but the simple identification of some species is not straightforward, providing birders with some tough challenges.
This book is the first to provide a comprehensive treatment of this genus. The text details all aspects of identification, including plumages, voice, behaviour, seasonal movements and distribution. An impressive collection of over 100 photographs is accompanied by an exceptionally beautiful set of 14 colour plates. The plates show each species in a variety of plumages, and also include detailed schematics of tail and wing patterns. The principal subspecies of polytypic species are illustrated, and the issues of speciation and racial variation within the genus is discussed in great detail in the text, drawing upon new DNA research to assess taxonomic relationships within the group. Conservation issues affecting the group are also discussed. The text is further enhanced by line drawings illustrating fascinating aspects of Saxicola behaviour.
This new addition to the Helm Identification Guides series is a beautifully illustrated and exhaustively researched guide to a charming and fascinating group of birds.
Price: $60.00 AU