From the Editor's Des

Sheldon Dingle


Los Angeles Reception Honors Forshaw

Once in a while in this rather shoddy day and age someone still does something right. And to prove the point I refer you to a nice reception last November 5th in a hall at the Los Angeles Zoo. The affair was sponsored by Lansdowne Press, Inc. and was given to honor Joseph Forshaw and his new book Kingfishers and Related Birds.

The reception included the elite of the southern California ornithological community with Dr. Jean Delacour and Joseph Forshaw being the men of the hour. The whole thing was, of course, great fun but its whole reason for being was Kingfishers and Related Birds by Joseph Forshaw and William Cooper, published by Lansdowne Press, Inc ..

Receptions are quite nice, you understand, but books, my friend, good books are a delight to the soul. And making good books is the thing that Lansdowne Press does right. Lansdowne took Joseph Forshaw' s meticulous ornithological text and William Cooper's extraordinary color plates and made a truly magnificent book - I mean in the finest nineteenth century tradition.

This great work will be comprised of three pans of two volumes each. The first volume is done and was on display at the reception. The remaining volumes will be published one per year until all are completed.

The first thing to impress you is the books imperial folio size - 20 inches by 14 inches. Put the tape to the largest book on your shelf for a comparison. Believe me, gentle readers, books like this are not made every day. It was designed, printed and bound to the very highest standards. Specially imported


paper was used to enhance reproduction of Cooper's outstanding color plates. Each book is hand bound with the finest English leather and French fabric reminiscent of the bindings used by nineteenth century master craftsmen. The two volumes of each Pan will be presented in a cloth covered solander box.

Kingfishers and Related Birds is limited to 1000 copies worldwide of which only 100 are allocated for sale in the U.S. and Canada. The recommended price per volume is $750.00. You may contact Lansdowne Press Inc., 420 Madison Avenue, New York, New York, 10017 to place your order. I intend to buy several sets as soon as I overcome a temporary state of mendicancy.

Letters to the editor:

Dear Sheldon:

On the cover of Watchbird Oun/Jul 83) you featured a beautiful color photo of a Painted Finch, which demonstrates, once again, the high quality of photography exhibited regularly in the magazine. However, the bird depicted is not exactly a true exemplar of the naturally occuring bird, in that it should not have the white wing feathers. True, the white feathers will probably disappear in the ensuing molt, but then another bird could have been photographed. Just thought you should know in case some of your readers are ultimately disappointed because the birds they receive lack the white splash. So rare are these birds I would be happy to receive them in any condition, so long as they are still upright.


Jerry Jennings



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