Species

HBW Alive provides full accounts for every bird species known to science up to June 2013, including distribution maps and color illustrations. Check out these recently updated species or search the species you want.

Explore the following sample species accounts to better understand the monumental work that lies behind these pages.

Come back often! The sample species are being rotated every month.

Great Bustard (Otis tarda)

Taxonomy:

Otis Tarda

Linnaeus, 1758, Poland.

In past, birds of C Asia awarded race korejewi, but extensive overlap with nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Descriptive notes: Male 90–105 cm, 5800–18,000 g; female 75–85 cm, 3300–5300 g; wingspan male 210–260 cm, female 170–190 cm. Breeding male has upperparts barred black and gold, with broad white patch on closed wing,...
figure, drawing, illustration of Great Bustard (Otis tarda)

Cape Bunting (Emberiza capensis)

Taxonomy:

Emberiza capensis

Linnaeus, 1766, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.

Sometimes placed in genus Fringillaria. NE race vincenti sometimes treated as a separate species, but it appears to represent terminal...

Descriptive notes: 15–16 cm; 17–27 g. Male nominate race has head striped black and white, with narrow white median crownstripe; mantle and back grey-brown with prominent dark streaking, merging into plainer rump; upper­wing-coverts rich...
figure, drawing, illustration of Cape Bunting (Emberiza capensis)

Red-billed Hornbill (Tockus erythrorhynchus)

Taxonomy:

Buceros erythrorhynchus

Temminck, 1823, Mora, Cameroon.

Closest to T. monteiri, but close also to T. flavirostris, T. leucomelas and T. deckeni (and presumably jacksoni...

Descriptive notes: 35 cm; male 124–185 g, female 90–151 g (nominate), male 182 g, female 148 g (race kempi), male 128 g, female 125 g (race ruahae). Small, black-and-white hornbill with spotted wing-coverts, white in outer tail, and long,...
figure, drawing, illustration of Red-billed Hornbill (Tockus erythrorhynchus)

Tibetan Eared-pheasant (Crossoptilon harmani)

Taxonomy:

Crossoptilon harmani

Elwes, 1881, 150 miles [c. 240 km] east of Lhasa, Tibet.

Systematic position of this taxon has been debated#R, especially as it interbreeds with C. crossoptilon...

Descriptive notes: c. 75–85 cm; one hybrid juvenile 1180 g. Has velvety-black forehead and crown, white upper nape, ear-coverts, chin, throat, neck side and mid-belly; body plumage otherwise medium grey, darkest (brown-tinged) on neck to mantle...
figure, drawing, illustration of Tibetan Eared-pheasant (Crossoptilon harmani)

Horned Grebe (Podiceps auritus)

Taxonomy:

Colymbus auritus

Linnaeus, 1758, Europe and America; restricted to Vaasa, Finland.

Sometimes placed in genus Dytes, although actually closer to P. grisegena and P. cristatus than to other Podiceps. Has...

Descriptive notes: 31–38 cm; 300–470 g. Nominate race in breeding plumage Another close view An adult settling on nest has blackish cap, hindneck and upperparts; upperwing blackish brown to brown-grey, with large white panel over...
figure, drawing, illustration of Horned Grebe (Podiceps auritus)