Book Review: Nightjars of the World

Before going into species accounts, which make up the bulk of the book, the author provides general information about the bird families covered, including coverage of plumage types and camouflage, body typography, breeding information and feeding behaviors. This section is full of photographs, showing the camouflage strategies, actual nightjar nests and chicks, etc. Knowing very little about nightjars and their allies, I found this part of the book to be fascinating.


Following the introductory text, each species is presented on two or more pages. Details like size, identification tips, habitat and vocalizations are described, and a range map is shown. The species conservation status is also listed. The following page contains photographs of the species. The photos in this book are amazing, large and vibrant. There are more photos of some species (the Marbled Frogmouth is covered with seven full-page pictures!). For several of the lesser-known species, the provided photos are of museum specimens.


The species are presented in taxonomic order. The only complaint I have is that there is no easy way to find all of the birds native to a particular location. However, this reference is not meant as a travel guide, so this one complaint is a small one.

The book is a joy to page through; the photographs are truly marvelous and the species are fascinating - and mysterious. I leave you with a quote from the book:

There is much to learn about this enigmatic group. But from the little we do know it is clear that the [nightjars and allies] exhibit a number of remarkable features that would richly repay further study.

I give Nightjars, Potoos, Frogmouths, Oilbird, and Owlet-nightjars of the World 5 Goldfinches out of 5.

Disclosure: This is my own original, honest review of Nightjars of the World, a copy of which was provided to me free of charge by the publisher.

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