Oxford Bird Families of the World volume 7. 24 color plates, 32 halftone plates. A comprehensive guide to the world’s 118 species.
Nightjars and their allies are a curious, fascinating, and remarkably varied group of birds that are found throughout the world. This largely nocturnal group has many specific adaptations for night time activity and some species have unique associations with bats. Until now, the existing literature has lacked information about their biology or evolution. This book rectifies these omissions in a comprehensive account. The 118 species accounts provide details of coloration, plumage, moults, geographical variation, body measurements, habitats, behavior, conservation, and evolution and are backed up by a comprehensive bibliography. The more general, introductory chapters review evidence about the group's evolutionary ancestry and place birds' distributions, behavior and physiology in an evolutionary context. The 23 superb plates by Martin Woodcock illustrate all the species, with behavior and subtle variations depicted by delicate half-tone drawings.
"Nocturnal birds that were the subject of outlandish superstitions since classical times (it was believed they poisoned and blinded goats by sucking their milk), nightjars and the South American potoos, Australian frogmouths, Australian owlet- nightjars, and oilbirds which are their cousins, are still incompletely understood. Holyoak's magisterial compendium assesses the state of current research, providing bibliography, description, geographical variation, range and status, habitat, food and feeding, behavior, voice, field characters, breeding, conservation, and a list of references for every identified type. Each entry includes a distribution map and a b&w drawing of the bird. The b&w drawings and color plates are by bird illustrator Martin Woodcock." --SciTech Book News