Azerbaijan, a country with a rich variety of habitats and wildlife, lies south of the Caucasus Mountains on the western seaboard of the Caspian and shares a common border with Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Iran and Turkey. This first full description of its birdlife includes an introduction to the geography of Azerbaijan, a history of bird studies in the country, an analysis of the avifauna, discussion of conservation issues, 372 species accounts, detailed distribution maps, an annotated bird list, as well as sections on Important Bird Areas, colonial birds, waterfowl, and the influence of cold winters and oil pollution. The reference list is the most comprehensive yet compiled on the country's birds. "Birds of Azerbaijan" will be a most valuable addition to zoological libraries, and many professional ornithologists, students of ornithology, nature conservationists and specialists in biogeography will learn much from its pages. It will similarly appeal to birdwatchers wanting to find out about a relatively unexplored part of the western Palearctic and to all those with a keen interest in natural history. Michael Patrikeev, a graduate of St.
Petersburg University, Russia, lived and worked in Azerbaijan for 14 years, and the expertise he acquired there meant that he was able to make a valuable contribution to such books as "Birds of the Western Palearctic, Concise Edition" (Snow and Perrins 1998) and "Important Bird Areas in Europe" (Heath and Evans/BirdLife International, 2000). Michael is now an Avian Biologist at the World Birding Center (Texas) and President of the Institute for the Conservation of World Biodiversity (Canada). He is currently involved in bird studies and conservation activities in Canada, Texas, Mexico, and Peru.