The Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW) is a multi-volume series produced by the Spanish publishing house Lynx Edicions in partnership with BirdLife International. It is the first handbook to cover every known living species of bird. The series is edited by Josep del Hoyo, Andrew Elliott, Jordi Sargatal and David A. Christie.
All 16 volumes have been published. For the first time an animal class will have all the species illustrated and treated in detail in a single work. This has not been done before for any other group in the animal kingdom.
Material in each volume is grouped first by family, with an introductory article on each family; this is followed by individual species accounts (taxonomy, subspecies and distribution, descriptive notes, habitat, food and feeding, breeding, movements, status and conservation, bibliography). In addition, all volumes except the first and second contain an essay on a particular ornithological theme. More than 200 renowned specialists and 35 illustrators (including Toni Llobet, Hilary Burn, Chris Rose and H. Douglas Pratt) from more than 40 countries have contributed to the project up to now, as well as 834 photographers from all over the world.
Since the first volume appeared in 1992, the series has received various international awards. The first volume was selected as Bird Book of the Year by the magazines Birdwatch and British Birds, and the fifth volume was recognised as Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine, the American Library Association magazine. The seventh volume, as well as being named Bird Book of the Year by Birdwatch and British Birds, also received the distinction of Best Bird Reference Book in the 2002 WorldTwitch Book Awards This same distinction was also awarded to Volume 8 a year later in 2003.
Individual volumes are large, measuring 32 by 25 centimetres (12.6 by 9.8 in), and weighing between 4 and 4.6 kilograms (8.8 and 10.1 lb); it has been commented in a review that "fork-lift truck book" would be a more appropriate title.
As a complement to the Handbook of the Birds of the World and with the ultimate goal of disseminating knowledge about the world's avifauna, in 2002 Lynx Edicions started the Internet Bird Collection (IBC). It is a free-access, but not free-licensed, on-line audiovisual library  of the world's birds with the aim of posting videos, photos and sound recordings showing a variety of biological aspects (e.g. subspecies, plumages, feeding, breeding, etc.) for every species. It is a non-profit endeavour fuelled by material from more than one hundred contributors from around the world.
In early 2013, Lynx Edicions launched the online database HBW Alive, which includes the volume and family introductions and updated species accounts from all 17 published HBW volumes. Since its launch, the taxonomy has been thoroughly revised and updated twice (once for non-passerines and once for passerines), following the publication of the two volumes of the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World.
The Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive site also provides a free access 'Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology'.
|Handbook of the Birds of the World|
A list of volumes of the Handbook of the Birds of the World produced to date is as follows:
This volume was published in 1992. Unlike subsequent volumes, it does not have an introductory essay; instead, it has a 38-page overview by Eduardo de Juana of the biology of birds and a foreword welcoming the HBW project, by Christoph Imboden. Groups covered in this volume are as follows:
This volume was published in 1994. It has a foreword by Walter J. Bock on the organization of information in HBW. Groups covered in this volume are as follows:
This volume was published in 1996. It has an foreword by Robert Bateman on "art and nature". Groups covered in this volume are as follows:
This volume was published in 1997. It has an introductory essay "Species Concepts and Species Limits in Ornithology" by Jürgen Haffer. Groups covered in this volume are as follows:
This volume was published in 1999. It has an introductory essay "Risk Indicators and Status Assessment in Birds" by Nigel J. Collar. Groups covered in this volume are as follows:
This volume was published in 2001. It has an introductory essay "Avian Bioacoustics" by Luis Baptista and Don Kroodsma. Groups covered in this volume are as follows:
This volume was published in 2002. It has an introductory essay "Extinct Birds" by Errol Fuller. Groups covered in this volume are as follows:
This volume was published in 2003. It has an introductory essay "A Brief History of Classifying Birds" by Murray Bruce. Groups covered in this volume are as follows:
This volume was published in 2004. It has an introductory essay "Ornithological Nomenclature" by Richard Banks. Groups covered in this volume are as follows:
This volume was published in 2005. It has an introductory essay "The Ecology and Impact of Non-Indigenous Birds" by Daniel Sol, Tim Blackburn, Phillip Cassey, Richard Duncan and Jordi Clavell. Groups covered in this volume are as follows:
This volume was published in September 2006. It has an introductory essay "Ecological Significance of Bird Populations" by Cagan Sekercioglu with a preface by Paul R. Ehrlich. Groups covered in this volume are as follows:
This volume was published in October 2007. It includes a foreword on fossil birds by Kevin J. Caley. Groups covered in this volume are as follows:
This volume was published in October 2008. It includes an introductory essay on bird migration by Ian Newton. Groups covered in this volume are as follows:
This volume was published in October 2009. It includes the foreword "Birding Past, Present and Future – a Global View" by Stephen Moss. Groups covered in this volume are as follows:
This volume was published in October 2010. It includes a foreword on bird conservation by Stuart Butchart, Nigel Collar, Alison Stattersfield, and Leon Bennun. Groups covered in this volume are as follows:
This volume was published in December 2011. It includes a foreword on climate change and birds by Anders Pape Møller. Groups covered in this volume are as follows:
This volume was published in July 2013. It includes a comprehensive introduction by Jon Fjeldså on changes in bird macrosystematics and a foreword on the history of BirdLife International. It covers 84 new species published more recently than their corresponding HBW volumes, including 15 scientific descriptions of newly discovered Amazonian birds.
This volume was published in July 2014. It depicts all non-passerines with drawings and maps, including all extinct species since the year 1500.
This volume was published in December 2016. It depicts all passerines with drawings and maps, including all extinct species since the year 1500.
The barred rail (Gallirallus torquatus) is a species of bird in the rail family Rallidae. The species was formerly placed in the genus Rallus and is often placed in the genus Hypotaenidia; for example that is the genus used by the IUCN and Handbook of the Birds of the World. It is closely related to the Okinawa rail and the New Britain rail.
The barred rail is widespread species, found across the Philippines, the islands of and around Sulawesi, and on and around north western New Guinea. The species is common, but shy and difficult to see.Cisticolidae
The Cisticolidae family of small passerine birds is a group of about 160 warblers found mainly in warmer southern regions of the Old World. They were formerly included within the Old World warbler family Sylviidae.
This family probably originated in Africa, which has the majority of species, but there are representatives of the family across tropical Asia into Australasia, and one species, the zitting cisticola, even breeds in Europe.
These are generally very small birds of drab brown or grey appearance found in open country such as grassland or scrub. They are often difficult to see and many species are similar in appearance, so the song is often the best identification guide. These are insectivorous birds which nest low in vegetation.Desert sparrow
The desert sparrow (Passer simplex) is a species of bird in the sparrow family Passeridae, found in the Sahara Desert of northern Africa. A similar bird, Zarudny's sparrow, is found in Central Asia and was historically recognised as a subspecies of the desert sparrow, but varies in a number of ways and is now recognised as a separate species by BirdLife International, the IOC World Bird List, and the Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive.The desert sparrow has two subspecies which occur in some of driest parts of the Sahara Desert in northern Africa. This species is becoming scarcer as a result of habitat destruction, but it is assessed on the IUCN Red List as being of least concern for conservation. Zarudny's sparrow is also considered to be a least concern species, as was the combined species recognised before 2012.The desert sparrow is not afraid to come near humans and sometimes builds nests in muddy walls. The Mozabite Berbers build their homes with holes in the walls to welcome these birds, which they call "bar-rode", and if one sings all day in the house, they say this is a sign of good news. The Tuareg, who call the bird "moula-moula", also say that this bird brings good news when it comes to stay near the camp.Ferruginous partridge
The ferruginous partridge (Caloperdix oculeus) is a species of bird in the family Phasianidae. It belongs to the monotypical genus Caloperdix. It is found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand.Great sparrow
The great sparrow (Passer motitensis), also known as the southern rufous sparrow, is found in southern Africa in dry, wooded savannah and towns.This is a 15–16 cm long sparrow superficially like a large house sparrow. It has a grey crown and rear neck and rufous upperparts.While in the past some authorities considered this species and several related species of 'rufous sparrow' on the African mainland to be the same as the Iago sparrow of Cape Verde, they do not appear to be so closely related as thought. A few currently recognise only some of the rufous sparrows as separate from the great sparrow, but the Handbook of the Birds of the World and BirdLife International recognise the Socotra sparrow, Kenya sparrow, Kordofan sparrow, and Shelley's sparrow as separate species.Horned screamer
The horned screamer (Anhima cornuta) is a member of a small family of birds, the Anhimidae, which occurs in wetlands of tropical South America. There are three screamer species, the other two being the southern screamer and the northern screamer in the genus Chauna. They are related to the ducks, geese and swans, which are in the family Anatidae, but have bills looking more like those of game birds.Italian sparrow
The Italian sparrow (Passer italiae), also known as the cisalpine sparrow, is a passerine bird of the sparrow family Passeridae, found in Italy and other parts of the Mediterranean region. In appearance, it is intermediate between the house sparrow, and the Spanish sparrow, a species of the Mediterranean and Central Asia closely related to the house sparrow. The Italian sparrow occurs in northern Italy and neighbouring regions, with intermediates with the house sparrow in a very narrow contact zone in the Alps, a slow gradation in appearance from the Italian to Spanish sparrows across central and southern Italy, and more birds of intermediate appearance in Malta, Crete, and other parts of the Mediterranean.
There has been much debate on the origins and taxonomic status of the Italian sparrow, especially given its possible hybrid origin. Some have classified it as a subspecies of house sparrow, a subspecies of the Spanish sparrow, or as a distinct species, a treatment followed if only for convenience by authorities such as the Handbook of the Birds of the World. A DNA analysis by Glenn-Peter Sætre and colleagues published in 2011 indicated an origin of the Italian sparrow through hybridisation between the Spanish and house sparrows, and Sætre and colleagues argued that given its origins and the limited extent of hybridisation, the treatment as a distinct species was supported.Lynx Edicions
Lynx Edicions is a Spanish ornithological publishing company.
It publishes the Handbook of the Birds of the World, a 16 volume series which, when it is completed in 2011, will document for the first time in a single work an entire animal class, illustrating and treating in detail all the species of that class. No such comprehensive work has been completed before for this or any other group in the animal kingdom.
Other books published by this company are Birds of South Asia. The Ripley Guide and the Handbook of the Mammals of the World (an undertaking like the work on birds; work on it began in 2009).
As a complement to the Handbook of the Birds of the World, and with the ultimate goal of disseminating knowledge about the world's avifauna, in 2002 Lynx Edicions started the Internet Bird Collection (IBC). This is a free-access, on-line audiovisual library of footage of the world's birds which permits the posting of videos, photographs, and recordings illustrating various biological traits of every species (e.g. subspecies, plumages, feeding, breeding, etc.). It is a non-profit endeavour fuelled by material from more than one hundred contributors around the world.Ochre-backed woodpecker
The ochre-backed woodpecker (Celeus ochraceus) is a bird in the family Picidae that occurs over a large area of eastern Brazil. It was previously always considered as a subspecies of the blond-crested woodpecker but the authors of a molecular phylogenetic study published in 2015 argued that it should be treated as a distinct species. This recommendation was accepted by the International Ornithologists' Union, the online edition of the Handbook of the Birds of the World, and the South American Classification Committee of the American Ornithological Society.The ochre-backed woodpecker is smaller than the blond-crested woodpecker and has darker orange-buff plumage on the head.Oreoicidae
Oreoicidae is a newly recognized family of small insectivorous songbirds, the Australo-Papuan bellbirds. The family contains three genera, each containing a single species. The genera are Aleadryas with the rufous-naped bellbird; Ornorectes which contains the piping bellbird; and Oreoica, which contains the crested bellbird.Passerine
A passerine is any bird of the order Passeriformes, which includes more than half of all bird species. Sometimes known as perching birds or – less accurately – as songbirds, passerines are distinguished from other orders of birds by the arrangement of their toes (three pointing forward and one back), which facilitates perching, amongst other features specific to their evolutionary history in Australaves.
With more than 140 families and some 6,600 identified species, Passeriformes is the largest order of birds and among the most diverse orders of terrestrial vertebrates. Passerines are divided into three suborders: Acanthisitti (New Zealand wrens), Tyranni (suboscines) and Passeri (oscines).The passerines contain several groups of brood parasites such as the viduas, cuckoo-finches, and the cowbirds. Most passerines are omnivorous, while the shrikes are carnivorous.
The terms "passerine" and "Passeriformes" are derived from the scientific name of the house sparrow, Passer domesticus, and ultimately from the Latin term passer, which refers to sparrows and similar small birds.Phylloscartes
Phylloscartes is a genus of small birds in the family Tyrannidae. They are found in wooded habitats of Central and South America. They mainly feed on small arthropods, and most commonly take part in mixed species flocks. The mottled-cheeked tyrannulet is among the commonest birds in its range, but several other species are rare and threatened. Their plumage is predominantly green, yellow, white and grey, and many have contrasting facial patterns and wing-bars. They have thin, pointed bills, and relatively long tails. Most frequently cock their tail, perch relatively horizontally and are very active.
The genus Pogonotriccus has usually been merged into Phylloscartes. In 2004 John Fitzpatrick in the Handbook of the Birds of the World chose to treat Pogonotriccus as a separate genus based on the slight differences in behaviour of the birds in the two genera. Frank Gill and David Donsker then also recognised Pogonotriccus in the list of bird species that they maintain on behalf of the International Ornithological Committee. The evidence for splitting the genus is weak: a 2009 molecular phylogenetic study that included one species from Pogonotriccus and three from Phylloscartes, found that the genetic differences were small.Pterorhinus
Pterorhinus is a genus of passerine birds in the family Leiothrichidae.Rockjumper
The rockjumpers are medium-sized insectivorous or omnivorous birds in the genus Chaetops, which constitutes the entire family Chaetopidae. The two species, the Cape rockjumper, Chaetops frenatus, and the Drakensberg rockjumper, Chaetops aurantius, are endemic residents of southern Africa. The Cape rockjumper is a resident of the West Cape and south-west East Cape, and the orange-breasted (or Drakensberg) rockjumper is distributed in the Lesotho Highlands and areas surrounding them in South Africa. The two rockjumpers have been treated as separate species but differ in size and plumage. The ranges do not overlap, but come close to doing so.Sabine's gull
The Sabine's gull (Xema sabini), also known as the fork-tailed gull or xeme, is a small gull. Its generic placement is disputed; some authors treat it as the sole species in the genus Xema as Xema sabini, while others retain it in the genus Larus as Larus sabini.The Sabine's gull breeds in colonies on coasts and tundra, laying two or three spotted olive-brown eggs in a ground nest lined with grass. It is very pelagic outside the breeding season. It takes a wide variety of mainly animal food, and will eat any suitable small prey. It also steals eggs from nesting colonies of Arctic terns.Sparrow
Sparrows are a family of small passerine birds. They are also known as true sparrows, or Old World sparrows, names also used for a particular genus of the family, Passer. They are distinct from both the American sparrows, in the family Passerellidae, and from a few other birds sharing their name, such as the Java sparrow of the family Estrildidae. Many species nest on buildings and the house and Eurasian tree sparrows, in particular, inhabit cities in large numbers, so sparrows are among the most familiar of all wild birds. They are primarily seed-eaters, though they also consume small insects. Some species scavenge for food around cities and, like gulls or rock doves will happily eat virtually anything in small quantities.Wing-banded antbird
The wing-banded antbird (Myrmornis torquata) is a species of passerine bird in the antbird family, Thamnophilidae. It is placed in the monotypic genus Myrmornis.
It is found in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.The French polymath Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon described the wing-banded antbird in his Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux in 1779. The bird was also illustrated in a hand-coloured plate engraved by François-Nicolas Martinet in the Planches Enluminées D'Histoire Naturelle which was produced under the supervision of Edme-Louis Daubenton to accompany Buffon's text. Buffon did not include a scientific name with his description but in 1783 the Dutch naturalist Pieter Boddaert coined the binomial name Formicarius torquatus in his catalogue of the Planche Enluminées. The specific name torquata or torquatus is the Latin for "collared". The current genus Myrmornis was introduced by the French naturalist Johann Hermann in 1783.There are two subspecies:
M. t. stictoptera (Salvin, 1893) – east Nicaragua to northwest Colombia
M. t. torquata (Boddaert, 1783) – AmazoniaThe online edition of the Handbook of the Birds of the World treats the two subspecies as separate species: the northern wing-banded antbird (Myrmornis stictoptera) and the southern wing-banded antbird (Myrmornis torquata).Zarudny's sparrow
Zarudny's sparrow (Passer zarudnyi), also known as the Asian desert sparrow, is a species of bird in the sparrow family Passeridae, which occurs in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and formerly in Iran. This species has historically been classified as a subspecies of the desert sparrow, which is otherwise restricted to Africa. However, the species has a number of differences with the African species, including very similar plumage in adult males and females, which suggests this species is distinct enough to be considered separate, and possibly not most closely related to the African birds. Consequently, Zarudny's sparrow is treated as a separate species by BirdLife International, the IOC World Bird List, and the Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive.