||A Review of: Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds
by Allan Safarik
If you are saving your money to buy the ultimate coffee table
encyclopedia of birds in the world then this book is waiting for
you. The Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds is definitely the one on
which to blow your hard earned cash. This is a book for long winter
nights and an armchair across from the flickering flames. This is
the Rolls Royce of bird books, the Glenfiddich of distilled bird
cultures the most lavishly illustrated bird book in the history of
the genre. This is a book of such brilliant photography that at
times it almost hurts the eyes.
Check out the hummingbirds on page 354-5 or on 358. This is simply
a fascinating book, fabulously illustrated with fascinating text
that delves into hundreds of interesting habits of common and exotic
birds around the world. I am absolutely taken with the Whale Headed
Stork, otherwise known as the Shoebill on page 122.
"One of the most distinctive of the large wading birds. Its
dominating feature is its huge bill, which bears an uncanny resemblance
to a Dutch wooden clog. Indeed, early Arab traders in Africa, who
encountered the bird in the marshlands of the Upper Nile, dubbed
it abu markub or father of the shoe.' Its scientific name, which
translates as King Whalehead' is no less descriptive."
The description of the Shoebill fails to deal with the fact that
this bird's massive bill has the appearance of being corroded by
some kind of horrible acid. It is not by accident that shoebills
lead solitary lives and only pair up in the breeding season.
"The shoebill flies well once aloft, and can soar to great
altitudes in thermals. It flies with its neck curved over its back
like a heron, in order to support the weight of its head."
If you have nothing pressing to do and would like to occupy a week's
full of evenings, I would suggest finding a copy of the Firefly
Encyclopedia of Birds. If you're busy and want something to help
you escape your worries try dropping out for half an hour with this
volume. I guarantee while you are looking at it nothing else will
manage to distract you. This is a book to savour and travel back
to frequently in order to refresh one's knowledge about the absolutely
mad, esoteric world of feathered creatures.
If you're a Whooper Swan freak check out the absolutely astonishing
picture on pages 136-37, or if like me you are turned on by Hornbills
and Toucans, try pages 384-395. Not just a volume with a pretty
face, the Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds comes with lively, in-depth
content that illuminates the astonishing visual documentation of
birds' lives around the world.
This volume, planned and produced by Andromeda Oxford Limited, is
published both in Canada and the United States by Firefly Books.
Never dull, mundane or boring the Firefly Encyclopedia at $75.00
is a bargain.
I was captivated by the chapter on Nightjars And The Lunar Cycle.
Call me a sucker for birds, but I can't help it. All-out publishing
like this deserves to be rewarded.