China is one of the largest countries in the world, covering 7 per cent of the earth's land surface, and encompassing a hugely diverse range of habitats. As a result it boasts a rich and diverse avifauna, including some of the most spectacular and fascinating birds to be found anywhere in the world. John MacKinn and Karen Phillipps' important new guide will be the first truly comprehensive, taxomically modern, and fully illustrated field guide to the birds of China. Over 1300 bird species are illustrated in 128 original colour paintings, by Karen Phillipps and Dave Showler. The species accounts stress the key points for field recognition and give a full description of the plumage, voice, range, distribution, status, and behavioural characteristics for every bird, with additional descriptions provided for hundreds of subspecies. Colour distribution maps are provided for all illustrated species. The book also includes a useful introductory section that presents a background to the ecology of China, a brief history of Chinese ornithology, and plenty of practical hints on birdwatching in China. The guide's portable format means it will fit easily into a backpack or pocket. John MacKinn lived in China and Hong Kong for eight years, and has extensive experience of watching and writing about Chinese birds. He has been working in ecology and conservation in Asia for over 30 years, and his work in China included co-authoring the master plan to save the Giant Panda and its habitat. He has written and co-authored many books on the natural history of Asia, including a number of other bird guides. Karen Phillipps was born in Borneo, lived in Hong Kong for over 20 years, and has illustrated several other books on the birdlife of the region.
John MacKinnon is Professor of Biodiversity Information at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. He is currently posted in the Philippines as head of a European Union project to set up an ASEAN Regional Centre for Biodiversity Conservation. He is Chairman of a Special Biodiversity Working Group that advises the Chinese Government on biodiversity matters, and formerly spent eight years living in China and Hong Kong working on a number of conservation projects in China. Apart from many technical reports on China he has published two other books on the country - Wild China and A Photoguide to the Birds of China. Among several other books on natural history of Asia, he is also the senior author of A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali which remains the standard bird guide to the Greater Sunda Islands.