The next time you go bird watching, you can arm yourself with a book that will help you identify the winged creatures by their size, colour, plumage and beak.
Almost 28 years after ornithologists Salim Ali and S Dillon Ripley first published A Pictorial Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent (1983), the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) on Saturday released a revised edition of the book.
Co-authored by Ranjit Manakadan, J C Daniel and Nikhil Bhopale, the new book, Birds of the Indian Subcontinent - A Field Guide, deals with 1,251 species of birds from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and the islands of Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep and Maldives.
"Interest in bird watching has increased over the years. Sitting in the forest and spotting birds is a form of relaxation. It also helps in creating awareness which ultimately helps in conservation of birds," said Daniel, vice president, BNHS.
"The book, which also has information on migration and nesting patterns, is an expression of interest in nature which any amateur can cultivate." The book has incorporated descriptions of birds to help identify them.
This was missing in the first edition. Taking into account changes in the common names of birds, the authors have listed both the old and new common names along with the scientific names to avoid confusion.