Boston: David R. Godine, 1979. First American edition. Hardcover. Elephant Folio. xii, 13–304pp. Original dustjacket, black lettering on spine, over ocher half clothe over tan cloth with gilt lettering on spine, housed in tan cloth slipcase with brown lettering on ocher label on cover. Olive endpapers. Publisher's device on title page. Australian first edition in 1979.
"In the early sixteenth century travelers from Europe to the East Indies brought back strange tales of beautiful birds which lived a totally celestial existence high in the sky and of how the female bird was believed to incubate its eggs in a hollowed depression on the back of the male. So the name and the legend of the birds of paradise was born. Over the years that followed facts slowly replaced myth as more and more information filtered through to European naturalists about these strange and wonderful creatures. And now for this boo, following a series of arduous field trips to remote areas of Papua New Guinea, the noted Australian ornithological artist William Cooper has finally succeeded in painting all known species of birds of paradise and bowerbirds, depicting each in its natural environment." (Publisher).
profusely illustrated with b/w in-text drawings and numerous full color, high quality offset reproductions of Cooper's paintings of birds of paradise. Section with references cited, Index of scientific names, and of English names at rear. Slipcase, dustjacket, binding and interior in near fine condition. near fine. Item #43959