An album of captioned photographs of nearly 60 exotic birds offers dramatic evidence of astonishing diversity in the avian word.
The images are striking, with the bird (or its head) shown against a stark white background. From the black skimmer to the vulturine guineafowl, they are presented by common name, but Latin names are also given. Each illustration is accompanied by a paragraph about ways in which the bird is particularly bizarre. Sometimes the text indicates where it might be found, in a general way—Africa, Central and South America, in rain forests—and sometimes it mentions habitat or eating habits, size or eggs. But this is not a book for research; it’s a display. There are enormous beaks and splendiferous tails, bright colors in skin and feathers, and surprisingly different feet. The southern ground hornbill has remarkable eyelashes; penguins excrete excess salt through their nostrils; the palm cockatoo makes a drumstick from a branch and bangs it against a hollow tree to attract a mate. These pictures, from stock photo collections, are attributed (photographer and source) in agate type on the verso. Unfortunately, the author, an interpretive biologist, provides no sources for his information nor suggestions for further exploration. A similar, simultaneously publishing collection, Weird Frogs, uses a similar approach.
A browser’s delight. (index) (Informational picture book. 7-12)