Nebraska Ornithologists' Union



Date of this Version


Document Type



Book Reviews," from Nebraska Bird Review (June 1990) 58(2).


Copyright 1990, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


Collins Guide to Tropical Plants, Wilhelm Lotschert and Gerhard Beese, 256 pp., including 274 color photographs (grouped on 96 pp. in the center of the book), 5 x 7¾ , index, Steptlen Greene Press, Lexington, Mass. $24.95.

The subtitle says "A descriptive guide to 323 ornamental and economic plants," so obviously it can cover only the most prominent and common plants. (There are about 3,500 varieties of palms.) A one-page map of the world shows the climate and vegetation zones of the tropics, which, with a two-page description, gives some guidance as to the plants to be expected in any region. For each species covered, the book gives a botanical description, with flowering time, origin, distribution and requirements, and for economic plants, production tables. There are two pages of recommended botanic gardens and parks, and a two-page glossary.

Wading Birds of the World, Eric and Richard Soothill, 334 pp., 6.5 x 10, bibliography, index, Blandford Press, U.K., distributed by Sterling Publishing Co., N.Y., hard cover $29.95.

The authors, father and son, use "waders" "to include all those birds which actually do wade at some time of the year," about 330 species, from herons through phalaropes to thick-knees. They exclude birds such as the jacanas, which don't wade. There are 96 color photographs, mostly a half-page or so, and 70 line drawings (by John Tennant). All species listed have at least two paragraphs: description, and habitat and distribution. Those with color photographs also have breeding distribution indicated in red on a 1.5 x 2 inch map of the world, and comments on characteristics and behavior, food, voice, display, and breeding. There are no comments on distinguishing marks or the like; it is just an overview of all birds of this type.