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Birds of India: Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives [Paperback]

Richard Grimmett , Carol Inskipp , Tim Inskipp
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Nov. 8 1999 Princeton Field Guides

From the snowcapped Himalayas and the Indus valley, to the Ganges delta and the Sri Lankan forests, the Indian subcontinent is home to 13% of the world's species of birds and thousands of birders and ecotourists flock to the area every year. This field guide will be indispensable to those who wish to find and identify the many species of avifauna of the Indian subcontinent and environs.

Featuring more than 150 color plates by eminent bird illustrators from Europe and India, it depicts all the known species in the region, ranging from the Himalayan Snowcock in the north to the Sri Lanka Spurfowl in the south. The plates include all relevant identifiable subspecies, as well as ages and sexes. It contains hundreds of range maps and the succinct text on the facing pages covers identification, voice, and distribution. Specially designed for use in the field, it is a compact version of the landmark A Guide to the Birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives, hailed on its publication as a "stunning book" that "advanced the cause of Indian birding by 20-30 years." With its modest price, small trim size, and sturdy, weather-resistant binding, this field guide is the one volume that every adventurous traveler to the Indian subcontinent must have.


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About the Author

Richard Grimmett was an artist for A Guide to the Birds of Nepal and founding chairman of the Oriental Bird Club. He coauthored BirdLife's Important Bird Areas of Europe. Carol Inskipp is the coauthor (with Tim Inskipp) of A Guide to the Birds of Nepal and An Introduction to Birdwatching in Bhutan and author of A Birdwatcher's Guide to Nepal. In addition to cowriting two books with Carol Inskipp, Tim Inskipp is the coauthor of An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of the Oriental Region.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At long last... April 11 2000
Format:Paperback
Finally, a complete, comphrensive FIELD guide to the birds of India! Gone are the days of hauling 2 or 3 hardcover bird books to the subcontinent just to be able to identify relatively common species. The drawings in this book are excellent, the descriptions very detailed, and the range maps very helpful. My two criticisms are that birders familiar with the common names in Salim Ali's "The Book of Indian Birds" will be confused with the revised nomenclature in this guide (based on the Inskipp's Indian Checklist); some changes are relatively minor, while others are so dramatically different (and frankly puzzling) that cross-referencing is a chore. The second involves the seperation of many of the range maps from the plates and descriptions, sometimes by many pages. This was due to the large number of species featured on some plates- there just wasn't enough room for the maps also. A better strategy might have been to put them all in the back of the book. But the benefits of this book far outweigh the shortcomings- my next trip to India promises to be more rewarding and productive bird-wise (as well as easier on my back)due to this excellent and overdue field guide.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
62 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At long last... April 11 2000
By Tom Kogut - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
UPDATED REVIEW OF THE SECOND EDITION: I just received the second edition of "Birds of India..." and am delighted to say that I can now happily update my (four star) review of the first edition to five stars! All of the deficiencies I noted for the first edition have been addressed and corrected in the second; excellent, updated range maps now appear next to the species accounts- no more searching around to find them. The authors have added alternative English bird names where appropriate, which is perhaps less important now that the newer names have been established and in use for awhile. More importantly, the text and plates have been updated and many new species added based on recent taxonomic changes, as well as ornithological field work. The book has grown considerably in size however (528 pages vs. 384 for the first edition), and is significantly heavier. I'm not sure if it can really be called a "field guide" at this point- I for one do not relish the idea of carrying it for hours on jungle paths along with my photo gear, water bottles, etc. Perhaps the size and weight is simply the price to be paid for comprehensive coverage of India birds, but I would also like to see a true, smaller FIELD guide published that would be compact enough and light enough to put in a pack or vest, and better comply with international airline weight restrictions. Be that as it may, the second edition of this outstanding India bird guide is a great achievement and highly recommended, and a must for anyone with an interest in the birds of the Indian subcontinent!

REVIEW OF THE FIRST EDITION: Finally, a complete, comprehensive field guide to the birds of India! Gone are the days of hauling 2 or 3 hardcover bird books to the subcontinent just to be able to identify relatively common species. The drawings in this book are excellent, the descriptions very detailed, and the range maps very helpful. My two criticisms are that birders familiar with the common names in Salim Ali's "The Book of Indian Birds" will be confused with the revised nomenclature in this guide (based on the Inskipp's Indian Checklist); some changes are relatively minor, while others are so dramatically different (and frankly puzzling) that cross-referencing is a chore. The second involves the separation of many of the range maps from the plates and descriptions, sometimes by many pages. This was due to the large number of species featured on some plates- there just wasn't enough room for the maps also. A better strategy might have been to put them all in the back of the book. But the benefits of this book far outweigh the shortcomings- my next trip to India promises to be more rewarding and productive bird-wise (as well as easier on my back)due to this excellent and overdue field guide.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The birder's companion to India April 13 2005
By Debby Ng - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Going to India? BUY THIS BOOK. Truly a definitive guide to the birds of India, absolutely user-friendly in the field. Accurate slates and distribution diagrams will help you determine, very briskly, the bird you are looking at. This is important in India because there are tons of birds. Morphological and behavioural characteristics are also defined in this intense field guide. Importantly, this is easy to access, it doesn't make you bounce back and forth 3 times from the slate. Pointers on the slate also help you to quickly make distinctions between similar birds. This field guide makes birding fun and an ease. Colourful slates, smart layout, if only all field guides could be this good.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only book we needed March 7 2006
By Gary Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
We bought a second reference because it's hard to know which plates will help amateurs like us identify the species in a place we've not previously visited. However, with the plates, the maps, and the generally brief, but accurate descriptions, this was the only book we needed to quickly identify the over 100 species we spotted on our trip. The soft cover made it easier to stuff into one of our binocular bags.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No more than an illustrated checklist ! Jan. 29 2008
By Fabrice Delabrosse - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book looks like an illustrated checklist : 10 birds by plates and very small description ! No pointers on plates to see the difference between 2 species ! In the Index there are birds not describe and illustrated ... ghost birds ! No alternative names and very strange taxonomy for some birds ! We are now in 2008 and this book isn't updated : many bird species missing !
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Better than nothing. Nov. 23 2010
By P. Reese - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is not up to being a quality guide. The maps are not on the pages with the birds and the maps are so small that for birds in limited distribution, one can not even find them on the map at all. The bird illustrations are very small. Finally, you most likely if you are over 40 to need a magnifying glass to find the bird in the index. My final complaint is that the colors used to separate breeding resident (sort of a blue-green) from winter visitor (dark blue) are so close that just looking at the map you can not tell if it is a winter visitor or a summer resident. Woops, I thought of another complaint. The index to common names is before the index to scientific names. When one is trying frantically to get to the index of common names to check on the id of a bird in the field, it should be contained in the last few pages of the book and not 6 pages before the scientific names. The book also does not have a quick index to bird families as does almost every well thought out bird guide published today.

Now of the good part. It is compact.
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