Cover image for A guide to the birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives
A guide to the birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives
Grimmett, Richard, 1960-
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Birds of the Indian subcontinent
Publication Information:
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
888 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 25 cm
General Note:
Previously published: Birds of the Indian subcontinent. Great Britain : A & C Black (Christopher Helm Publishers).
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL691.S65 G75 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
QL691.S65 G75 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Birdwatchers have long waited for a comprehensive and up-to-date identification guide for the Indian subcontinent. This exhaustively researched and beautifully produced book will finally meet that need. Written by three leading experts on the region--Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp, and Tim Inskipp--the book provides complete information about the 1,300 species of birds found in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. The guide is firmly rooted in the authors' extensive field experience, reflected in the accuracy and fullness of their bird descriptions.

The guide features more than 150 color plates by eminent bird illustrators from Europe and India that depict all the species in the region, ranging from the Himalayan Snowcock in the north to the Sri Lanka Spurfowl in the south. The plates include all relevant identifiable subspecies, as well as ages and sexes. The text consists of a detailed identification section, discussing the differences between similar species and containing descriptions of vocalizations, habits, habitat, breeding, distribution, and status. There are distributional maps for nearly all species. And the authors' introduction provides useful background information about such subjects as conservation, the history of ornithology on the subcontinent, and the climate. A detailed bibliography provides an introduction to the prolific literature on the subcontinent.

This is a landmark publication that will be enthusiastically welcomed by all birdwatchers with an interest in the extraordinary variety of birds in this vast and diverse region.

Author Notes

Richard Grimmett works for BirdLife International in Indonesia and has managed conservation programs in Europe and Asia. He was an artist for Tim and Carol Inskipp's A Guide to the Birds of Nepal, coauthored BirdLife's Important Bird Areas of Europe, and was the founding chairman of the Oriental Bird Club. Carol Inskipp is a consultant for WWF-UK, producing a wide range of environmental educational materials. She has been involved with running the Oriental Bird Club since its foundation. In addition to A Guide to the Birds of Nepal, she and her husband, Tim, cowrote An Introduction to Birdwatching in Bhutan. She is also the author of A Birdwatcher's Guide to Nepal.
Tim Inskipp works for the World Conservation Monitoring Center in Cambridge, England. In addition to cowriting two books with his wife, he is the coauthor of An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of the Oriental Region.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The Indian subcontinent is one of the world's richest areas for bird life, with more than 1,300 species, more than 10 percent of which are endemic. It has been almost a quarter of a century since this vast avifauna was last reviewed in an ornithological guide; this new handbook will be a landmark publication well into the next century. Grimmett and the Inskipps are well known for their wide range of bird conservation work throughout this part of Asia. The main portion of the book reviews each species with a range map, an account of identification features (including vocalizations), and short notes on the bird's behavior, ecology, and status (in all, the accounts fill 500 pages of small-print text). All of the birds are illustrated in detail, with more than 150 excellent color plates (the remarkable effort of 12 talented wildlife artists). The book has short introductory sections with overviews of climate, main habitats, regional migration, and particularly, conservation. The bibliography is substantial, reflecting the prolific ornithological literature of the subcontinent. A heavy tome, this book is best considered a reference rather than a field guide. It will be received very well by all interested bird students--for the Himalayas southward. General readers; undergraduates through faculty. C. Leck Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 9
History of Ornithology in the Indian Subcontinentp. 10
How to use this Bookp. 11
Climatep. 16
Main Habitats and Bird Speciesp. 17
Importance for Birdsp. 21
Migrationp. 23
Conservationp. 24
National Organisationsp. 28
International Organisationsp. 30
Referencesp. 32
Acknowledgementsp. 33
Glossaryp. 35
The Platesp. 37
The Species Accountsp. 345
Megapodesp. 345
Partridges, Francolins, Snowcocks, Quails and Pheasantsp. 345
Whistling-Ducks and Swans, Geese and Ducksp. 363
Buttonquailsp. 378
Honeyguidesp. 379
Wrynecks, Piculets and Woodpeckersp. 380
Asian Barbetsp. 392
Hornbillsp. 395
Hoopoesp. 399
Trogonsp. 400
Rollersp. 401
Small Kingfishers Large Kingfishers and Pied Kingfisherp. 402
Bee-Eatersp. 406
Old World Cuckoosp. 409
Coucalsp. 417
Parrotsp. 418
Swifts and Treeswiftsp. 423
Barn Owls and Typical Owlsp. 429
Asian Frogmouthsp. 440
Eared Nightjars and Nightjarsp. 440
Pigeons and Dovesp. 446
Bustardsp. 456
Cranesp. 459
Finfootsp. 461
Rails, Gallinules and Cootsp. 462
Sandgrousep. 468
Woodcocks and Snipesp. 471
Godwits, Sandpipers, Curlews, Phalaropes etcp. 475
Painted-Snipesp. 487
Jacanasp. 487
Thick-Kneesp. 488
Oystercatchers, Avocets and Stiltsp. 489
Plovers and Lapwingsp. 491
Crab-Ploverp. 498
Pratincoles and Coursersp. 498
Skuas, Jaegers, Skimmers, Gulls and Ternsp. 501
Osprey, Hawks, Eagles, Harriers and Vultures etcp. 519
Falconsp. 545
Grebesp. 551
Tropicbirdsp. 553
Boobiesp. 554
Anhingasp. 556
Cormorantsp. 556
Herons and Bitternsp. 558
Flamingosp. 567
Ibises and Spoonbillsp. 568
Pelicansp. 570
Storksp. 571
Frigatebirdsp. 575
Loons (Divers)p. 576
Petrels, Shearwaters and Storm-Petrelsp. 577
Pittasp. 582
Broadbillsp. 584
Fairy Bluebirds and Leafbirdsp. 584
Shrikesp. 586
Corvids and Related Speciesp. 590
Woodswallowsp. 599
Orioles, Cuckooshrikes, Trillers, Minivets, Flycatcher-Shrikesp. 600
Fantails, Drongos and Monarchsp. 608
Iorasp. 615
Woodshrikesp. 616
Waxwingsp. 617
Dippersp. 617
Thrushes, Shortwings, Old World Flycatchers and Chatsp. 618
Starlings and Mynasp. 668
Nuthatches and Wallcreeperp. 675
Creepers and Wrensp. 678
Penduline Tits and Tits and Long-Tailed Titsp. 681
Swallows and Martinsp. 688
Kingletsp. 694
Bulbulsp. 694
Grey Hypocoliusp. 701
African Warblers (Cisticolas, Prinias and Streaked Scrub Warbler)p. 701
White-Eyesp. 708
Warblers, Grassbirds, Laughing Thrushes and Babblersp. 709
Larksp. 786
Flowerpeckers, Sunbirds and Spiderhuntersp. 798
Sparrows and Snowfinchesp. 807
Wagtails and Pipitsp. 812
Accentorsp. 821
Weaversp. 824
Estrildine Finchesp. 826
Finchesp. 830
Buntingsp. 851
Referencesp. 859
Index of English Namesp. 871
Index of Scientific Namesp. 882