With the release of the 16th volume of the Handbook of the Birds of the World, this project has now been brought to completion. In the 20 years that have past since this project started some new species have been discovered. The Special Volume covers and illustrates all these species, 57 in total with texts, plates and distribution maps in typical HBW format.
Furthermore, this special volume contains a foreword by BirdLife International. This introduces the history and other important aspects of the BirdLife International organization, to commemorate the 20thanniversary of the BirdLife Partnership and the 90th anniversary of its predecessor, the International Council for Bird Preservation. A chapter on macrosystematics by Jon Fjeldså gives a comprehensive introduction to the changes in bird macrosystematics over the past 20 years. Many changes have been made possible, mostly thanks to advances in molecular technology, which is especially useful in determining (with much more certainty than at species level) relationships in terms of orders, families and other macrosystematic groups. A separate chapter, "The Discovery of New Birds Species", presents a fascinating essay about the discovery of species new to science in recent times, analyzing in depth the how, why and where of these new findings.
Included is an HBW Photo Gallery, showcasing a collection of 200 stunning bird photos selected from the images presented in the HBW World Bird Photo Contest 2012, in homage to the wonderful birds of the world, to dedicated and inspiring nature photographers, as well as to our loyal and supportive HBW subscribers. Lastly, this Special Volume contains a global index to the entire series with quick keys to rapidly find what users are looking for in the 16 HBW Volumes. The index can be searched by the scientific name,
or by common names in English, French, German and Spanish.