New Book: Hummingbirds: Volume 1

Hummingbirds: Volume 1Hummingbirds: Volume 1 (North America, Central America & Caribbean)
by John C. Arvin

From Gorgas Science Foundation:

As the distinguished ornithologist Alfred Newton noted in 1881, “There is hardly a precious stone ruby, amethyst, sapphire, emerald, or topaz the name of which may not fitly, and without any exaggeration, be employed in regard to hummingbirds.”

For thousands of years, these dazzling little birds have captivated and inspired mankind. Hummingbird symbols and impressions can be found in prehistoric petroglyphs, deities, totems, costumes, pottery, and more.

From the world s smallest bird, the Cuban Bee Hummingbird, which weighs less than a penny, to the South American Sword-billed Hummingbird, the only bird which has a bill longer than the length of its own body, hummingbirds have adapted to live and thrive in an incredible assortment of habitats. Found only in the Americas, over 370 species range from Canada to Chile and the Caribbean islands.

In celebration of these flying jewels, Gorgas Science Foundation has worked for years to publish volume one of a two volume set of large format, fine-art books which showcase the remarkable beauty and diversity of hummingbirds. Every species of hummingbird has been illustrated in a manner that showcases both male and female, an aspect of their behavior, and a glimpse into their natural environment.

Measuring in at 12 x 16 inches in size, 216 pages in length, and containing 100 full color plates, which feature 127 species of hummingbird, this book is big, bold, and beautiful!

The first of a two volume set, this first volume showcases the 127 species of hummingbird found throughout North America, Central America, and the Caribbean Islands.

Proceeds from the sale of this volume will help go towards the production and publication of volume 2.


Wow. If you thought the days of the old-school family monograph were gone, then think again. As you can see, this book is huge and quite pleasing to the eye (here’s a more in-depth look inside, but trust me, the images on the web don’t do the art justice!). If you like hummingbirds – or large, gorgeous bird books – this is a bargain.

comparison of Hummingbirds Volume 1 and the Sibley Guide hummingbird plate comparison


Hummingbirds: Volume 1
by John C. Arvin
Hardcover; 216 pages
Gorgas Science Foundation; June 12, 2016
ISBN: 9781615845149

Posted by Grant McCreary on July 8th, 2016.

Category: News, Book News

Tags: , ,

Related Posts


  • Ellie says:

    Are hummingbirds illustrated in their life-sized ?

    Or bigger than life-sized illustrations ?


  • Grant McCreary says:

    Good question. I haven’t found anything yet that says anything about the scale of each plate – either in relation to the bird or each other. So I got my ruler out and took a couple measurements. The pages are 12×16 inches, just as advertised. I measured a couple birds and found that they were approximately life-sized. It’s tough to tell, though, because the birds are not layed out in standardized, side-on views (which is a good thing in this book).