The bustards, hemipodes, and sandgrouse represent three taxonomically distinct and diverse families. Most of their members have become adapted to life in deserts, semi-deserts, or steppes of the Old World. This is the first monograph covering any of these groups, and is a companion volume to Paul Johnsgard's The Pheasants of the World and The Quails, Partridges and Francolins of the World. It covers all fifty-one extant species, many of which are rare or endangered, and all but one of them are illustrated by paintings by Major Henry Jones, done from specimens in The Natural History Museum, London. These paintings are owned by the Zoological Society of London and are reproduced with their permission. The lark-quail has been illustrated by a new painting by Mark Marcuson. The text includes comparative chapters on the taxonomy and phylogeny of the three bird groups, their zoogeographic patterns, social behavior, breeding biology, and status (in cases of rare or endangered species). The species accounts include identification criteria, summaries of available biological information, and range descriptions. Keys for the identification of genera and species are also provided, and approximately four hundred literature sources are cited. Collectors of beautiful bird books will want to add this definitive and unique volume to their libraries; it is essential reading for ornithologists, zoologists, naturalists, and anyone concerned with the preservation of this important class of avifauna.Paul A. Johnsgard is the author of 'Bustards, Hemipodes, and Sandgrouse: Birds of Dry Places', published 1991 under ISBN 9780198576983 and ISBN 0198576986.