Birds in Sanskrit Literature with 107 Bird Illustrations

K N Dave, Motilal Banarsidass, 2005, Reprint, xxv, 516 p, colour plates, ISBN : 8120818423, $65.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Birds in Sanskrit Literature with 107 Bird Illustrations/K.N. Dave

Contents: Introduction. 1. Crows and their allies. 2. Tits. 3. Parrot-bills and Suthoras. 4. Nuthatches. 5. Laughing thrushes and Babblers. 6. Bulbuls. 7. Tree creepers. 8. Wrens. 9. Dippers. 10. The Thrush family. 11. Fly Catchers. 12. Shrikes. 13. Minivets. 14. Swallow-shrikes. 15. Drongos. 16. Warblers. 17. Gold-crests. 18. The Fairy Blue-bird. 19. Orioles. 20. Grackles or Hill-Mynas. 21. Starlings and Mynas. 22. Weaver-birds and Munias. 23. Finches and Buntings. 24. Waxwing. 25. Martins and Swallows. 26. Wagtails and Pipits. 27. Larks. 28. The White Eye. 29. The Ruby-cheek. 30. The Sun-birds. 31. Flower-peckers. 32. Pittas. 33. Broad-bills. 34. Wood-peckers. 35. Barbets. 36. Honey-guide. 37. Cuckoos. 38. Paroquets or Parrots. 39. Rollers. 40. The Bee-eaters. 41. The Kingfishers. 42. Hornbills. 43. Hoopoes. 44. The Trogons. 45. Swifts. 46. Nightjars. 47. Frogmouths. 48. The Barn Owl. 49. Other Owls. 50. Osprey. 51. Vultures and Lammergeyer. 52. Eagles, Falcons and Allied Birds. 53. Pigeons and Doves. 54. Sand-Grouse. 55. Pea-Fowl, Jungle Fowls, Pheasants and Quails. 56. Magapodes. 57. Bustard Quails. 58. Rails, Crakes, Moorhens, Watercocks and Coot. 59. Masked Finfoot. 60. Jacanas. 61. The Painted Snipe. 62. Cranes. 63. Bustards. 64. Stone-Plovers. 65. Coursers and Pratincoles. 66. Crab-Plovers. 67. Skuas. 68. Gulls. 69. Terns. 70. Skimmer or Scissorbill. 71. Plovers. 72. Curlew, Godwit, Sandpiper etc. 73. Pelicans. 74. Cormorants and Darter. 75. Gannet or Booby. 76. Tropic Bird. 77. Erigatebird. 78. Petrels. 79. Spoonbill. 80. Ibises. 81. Storks. 82. Herons, Egrets and Bitterns. 83. Flamingos. 84. Swans, Geese, Ducks and Mergansers. 85. Grebes. 86. Divers. Index. Sanskrit-Pali-Prakrit Index.

"In his monumental research in ancient Sanskrit literature, the author has restored  gaps in lexicons, and removed doubts in the later Sanskrit works about the identity of a very large number of birds of the Indian sub-continent. The ancient sages of India were great lovers of nature, with keen powers of observation and an extraordinary sensitivity about animal behaviour. The Vedas, Puranas, Epics and Samhitas are full of descriptions of birds, animals and plants, but the exact identification of names had got lost or confounded over the centuries.

Acharya V.M. Apte, the great Sanskrit scholar described this contribution of the author in the following words: "It will be a study--in the fascination of which will be matched only by its utility. Scholars intellectually constituted with a purely theoretical bias and studying nature not in the open but through books, have not a leg to stand on in this field and well will feel highly indebted to a scholar who introduces the ancient (and also modern, because surviving still) birds in Vedic and classical Sanskrit literature to us in such a way as to make us feel that we can actually admire their colourful plumage and appreciate the effusions of their vocal chords."

This book fills a void in Sanskrit literature, and should prove useful not only to scholars, but also to researchers who may be inspired by it to delve deeper into Sanskrit texts and ancient Indian culture." (jacket)

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