Estrildid Finches of the World
After 9 years of extensive research, the unique new book ‘Estrildid Finches of the World’ is now available. The book consists of 396 A4 pages of descriptive and factual text, 1,052 full-colour photographs and 146 maps, printed on high quality paper and bound with a laminated hard cover. It has been reviewed by scientists as a “fantastic volume”, a “magnificent book …authoritative summary” and “beautifully showcased”.
The book is written for a wide audience, not only bird lovers and watchers, but also ornithologists and other scientists. Estrildid finches are among the most fascinating bird families of the Old World with surprising and special characteristics. The family of Estrildidae comprises 34 genera with 145 species and 239 subspecies, each having its own quirks!
All 145 species and their subspecies are described in detail and the unique distribution maps present the spread of all subspecies in different colours. The descriptions of the species are supported by beautiful photographs of the birds in their natural habitats.
These photos represent the work of close to 300 photographers from 40 countries around the world, whose achievements were vitally important to this huge project. Not only did they afford me permission to use their photos, but they also provided valuable information on the species directly through their first-hand field experience. In fact, some species have never been illustrated photographically before. In addition, I was very fortunate in that several renowned universities, such as Cambridge and Yale, were extremely helpful.
The reader will also be treated to photos of nestlings at different stages of their development, which were taken by bird breeders so as not to unnecessarily disturb the breeding birds in their natural habitats. The book depicts the largest number of mouth markings ever published, with 111 species being illustrated. Original photos show nestling mimicry of estrildid finches and their parasitic whydahs and indigobirds, making this a fascinating resource for evolutionary biologists.