Basics: 2006, 1st edition, softcover, 245 pages, 400+ color photos, 200 species, no range maps
This photo guide covers 100 breeding birds and another 100 common migrants that occur in the islands, which comprises 63% of the 320+ total species recorded. The Bahamas, along with the Turks and Caicos (a British dependent territory), range from southeast Florida down towards the eastern end of Cuba.
This book is a photographic field guide that, like most photo guides, lacks the detail and plumage variations that are more prevelant in an illustrated guide. Most of the birds are shown with multiple photos, typically to denote the prominent differences between genders and the breeding and non-breeding plumages. It was nice to see that all the islands' specialties were given multiple color photos. As for the quality of the photos, they are good with color and sharpnes but, they are on the small side of 2-3 inches. And, too often, the bird is even smaller within the photo.
The text covers the topics of status/range, description, voice, habits, and comments. As one would expect, migrants receive a little less discussion while the breeders - especially the island specialties - are discussed a little more, often covering the various subspecies. The taxonomy is up to date and covers the subspecies of Western Spindalis (versus the prior Stripe-headed Tanager). While the text may seem a little on the thin side, it did a pretty good job with the birds I encountered on Grand Bahama during a brief visit.
There are no range maps for the birds. I think this is an unfortunate oversight since many of the birds have peculiar scenarios of being on some islands but not others; or, some birds are missing from islands that would be expected to harbor the bird. There was certainly room in the pages to display a modest map.
For a birding trip to these islands, this book will work because of the lower count of species one would normally expect to find. However, I would recommend one of the two books by Raffaele. This is not because Hallett's book is not worth bringing and using, but only because its layout and photos are more conducive to be examined or practiced at home before and after the trip rather than being used in the field. -- (written by Jack at Avian Review / Avian Books, July 2008)
I've listed several related books below...
1) The Birds of The Turks & Caicos Islands by Ground
2) Birds of New Providence and the Bahama Islands by Brudenell-Bruce
3) Birds of the Bahamas by Paterson
4) Birds of the West Indies by Bond
5) Birds of the West Indies by Raffaele
6) A Guide to the Birds of the West Indies by Raffaele
7) Birds of the Bahama Islands by Cory