Birds of Africa south of the Sahara, by Peter Ryan and Ian Sinclair
In 'Birds of Africa south of the Sahara' by Peter Ryan and Ian Sinclair, 2105 species are covered, with an additional 70 vagrants briefly described, and more than 2000 images assembled on 359 plates.
Birds of Africa south of the Sahara covers all species that regularly occur in the Afrotropics (excluding south-west Arabia), one of the world’s major faunistic zones. The boundary between the Afrotropics and western Palearctic runs through the centre of the Sahara Desert. Rather than following arbitrary political boundaries, we have taken the boundary to be 20°N. This excludes north Africa, which forms part of the Palearctic and is well covered in field guides for the western Palearctic. Coverage includes southern Mauritania and most of Mali, Niger, Chad and Sudan. However, some extremely marginal species that just enter the north of these countries are only mentioned as ‘similar species’. These species, as well as vagrants recorded fewer than 10 times in the region, are not illustrated but are described briefly at the end of accounts for related species (see below). The book includes seabirds regularly occurring within 200 nautical miles of the continent, as well as the birds endemic to the inshore islands off Africa: Bioko, Sao Tome, Principe and Annobon in the Gulf of Guinea, Pemba and Zanzibar off Tanzania, and Socotra off Somalia. It does not cover Madagascar and the Indian Ocean islands with affinities to Madagascar (Comoros, Seychelles and the Mascarenes); the birds of these islands are well covered by Sinclair and Langrand’s Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands (Struik, 1998). It also excludes oceanic islands in the Atlantic such as the Cape Verdes (typically treated as part of the Palearctic), Ascension, St Helena and Tristan da Cunha. Given the large number of species covered and the desire to give them adequate coverage within a package that remains a manageable size in the field, we have kept the introductory section brief. The vast majority of Birds of Africa south of the Sahara is devoted to the species accounts, but we have included brief introductions to the main groups of birds. These may be useful for birders from outside Africa to give some idea of the general type of bird in each group. They are also used to save repetition in individual species accounts. For example, we use them to highlight potential confusion with other broad groups of birds, to identify common behavioural traits or to report the existence of short-lived juvenile plumages that are generally similar across the group. The large scope of the book necessitates rather brief texts. Much of the information is conveyed through illustrations and range maps. However, we have attempted to convey as much germane information in the texts as possible, saving space by using abbreviated sentence structures. Each species account has four main sections: identification, habitat, status and voice. The header for each account gives the standard common name, with widely used alternative names given in parentheses, the scientific name, and the approximate size (length from bill tip to tail tip) in centimetres (cm).
Example from Birds of Africa south of the Sahara:
Endemic to Bale Mts, Ethiopia. Similar to Brown Parisoma (often lumped with this species), but is greyer, especially on upperparts, with greyish throat and breast, contrasting slightly but merging with off-white belly and vent.
Habitat: Juniper and Hygenea scrub and adjacent bracken and bramble thickets at and above tree-line. Occurs above 3500 m, much higher than Brown Parisoma in Ethiopia.
Status: Common; occurs singly or in pairs; territorial.
Voice: Harsh churs and sharper ‘chreek’ call than Brown Parisoma’s.
This is an excerpt from the guide: Birds of Africa south of the Sahara, by Peter Ryan and Ian Sinclair.
Title: Birds of Africa south of the Sahara
Authors: Peter Ryan; Ian Sinclair
Cape Town, South Africa 2005
ISBN 1868728579 / ISBN 1-86872-857-9
ISBN 9781868728572 / ISBN 978-1-86872-857-2
Plastic-reinforced cover, 15x21 cm, 760 pages throughout colour illustrations
Ryan, Peter und Sinclair, Ian im Namibiana-Buchangebot
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