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Birds of Thailand [Paperback]

Craig Robson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 37.56
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Book Description

Oct. 27 2002 Princeton Field Guides

Thailand is the mecca of birding in Southeast Asia. It's convenient to get to and get around, and its birdlife is wondrously diverse, exotic, and plentiful. With Birds of Thailand, Craig Robson and fourteen leading illustrators give us the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and concise field guide to this magnificent country's rich avifaunal heritage in recent years, covering the more than 950 species recorded as of early in the new millennium.

Facing each of the 128 striking, full-color plates are species accounts accompanied by maps for each, illustrating precise distribution within Thailand. The accurate text covers identification, voice, habitat, behavior, range, status, and breeding for all species and subspecies. Illustrations and entries on a number of species recorded only quite recently are also included.

The country's varied habitats assure something for every birder, from freshwater marshes to coastal areas, from fields and rice paddies to lush jungles and mangrove forests. In Thailand, one can delight in the brilliantly colored pittas, broadbills, and sunbirds; the deep, dazzling green of barbets, parrots, parakeets, and leafbirds; the aptly named frogmouths; the roosterlike resplendence of the (male) red junglefowl; the ruff, whose breeding male in full plumage sports a truly singular head; and much, much more.

Birders and all ecologically minded travelers daydreaming of a voyage to this gem of a country will want the latest source of thorough information on its birdlife--in a highly portable, pithy, and vividly illustrated guide. What they will want is Craig Robson's Birds of Thailand.

  • Comprehensive field guide written specifically for this magnificent, bird-rich country
  • 128 full-color plates by expert artists covering every major plumage variation, with juveniles also illustrated where notably distinct from males and females
  • Over 950 maps for individual species illustrating their precise distribution within Thailand
  • Accurate, up-to-date, and concise text covering identification, voice, habitat and behavior, range, status, and breeding of all species and distinctive subspecies

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Product Description

Review

Winner of the 2002 Best Bird Book - Asia, Worldtwitch

From the Inside Flap

"A guide of exceptional quality that should prove very handy in the field. One can't ask for more."--Hugh Dingle, University of California, Davis

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Wait to Field Test It Sept. 23 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The product came in just a few days of my order and was in super shape. The guide is a familiar format for those who have guides from Princeton. I have been very satisfied to date with them, and look forward to trying this one out when I visit Thailand in January 2014.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just received the book and have looked through it. I will be using it on our birding tour of Thailand in December. Then I will be able to review it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the Asian Paradise Flycatcher of bird books Sept. 2 2006
By David A. Baer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
BIRDS OF THAILAND is the reason the prestige university press and its zero-tolerance approach to schlock products exists. Princeton University Press has done itself proud with this condensed and focused version of author Robson's BIRDS OF SOUTHEAST ASIA.

If you're interested in the birds that inhabit a medium-sized country like Thailand, you don't have many choices in field guides and you may not have many friends. At least, friends who share your precise and tiny interest. For that reason, this review should be read as a referendum upon the PRINCETON FIELD GUIDES as much as on this individual volume.

A field guide's physical quality matters more than with other books since you're meant to carry the thing around. The PFG is quality construction through and through and just compact enough to make for convenient traveling.

The choice of a small font size in Garamond BookCondensed is a wise one, providing exceptional clarity and saving space for the beautiful and competent illustrations (drawn, not photographed).

Because the majority of birders are English speakers by first or second language, bird guides that cover species native to non-English speaking countries often read as though the people who live there (with the birds!) don't exist. This may be a pecadillo rather than a felony, since - after all - such a book is about *birds*, not people. Yet Robson's guide adds the nice touch of Thai indices and page headings, no doubt appreciated by the local colleagues who are necessary participants in a project of this high quality.

The Princeton Field Guides include volumes on mammals as well as birds, with a penchant for out-of-the-way locations. If your interest takes you there, any one of these Guides is a worthy investment you'll not regret.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Thailand guide; good artistry and concise text Oct. 30 2008
By Jack Holloway - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Basics: 2002, softcover, 272 pages, 128 color plates of 950+ species, range maps

With plates and text taken directly out of the author's larger work from two years earlier (Guide to the Birds of Southeast Asia), this book offers a condensed version for all of Thailand's birds. This book is a portable field guide and does a good job at illustrating and describing the birds.

The 128 color plates offer quality artistry. Plumages for the different genders, ages, and seasons are displayed as well as both perched and in-flight when relevant. Many of the illustrations have been rearranged and shrunk slightly from the original book to better fit into the plates. Most of the plates contain 8-12 species each and display anywhere from 18-30 different illustrations. This volume creates a somewhat crowded plate with small figures, especially with the raptors, gulls, and terns.

The one-paragraph text for each bird is on the page adjacent to each plate. This information offers concise descriptions of the birds along with the variations between genders, ages, or subspecies. These descriptions detail the bird well but offer almost zero comparisons on how to differentiate it from a similar species. A few additional lines do a good job at describing the bird's song and calls. A few words are given to describe the habitat.

Each bird has a small range map of Thailand that uses four different colors to represent resident, breeding visitor, wintering, and migrant. The small size of the map (1x2 cm) makes the map useful but only in a general manner; however, the authors did make a valiant attempt to insert detail (scattered patches of color) to represent some of the birds' broken distributions.

One minor awkward quirk in this book is the method of matching the bird in the plate with the accompanying text on the adjacent page. Each bird is numbered on the plate, which corresponds to the text. However, these numbers are often buried within the text and are not always quickly seen. Sometimes it may not be immediately apparent that bird #3 is not the third bird in the text, but simply another plumage of bird #2; thus, making the third bird in the text now labeled as bird #4.

For just Thailand, this is definitely the best book available with its good plates and concise text. The larger book by the author contains the same illustrations plus many other for all the birds across SE Asia. One other book is recommended for Thailand, which is the 3rd revision (1991) of A Guide to the Birds of Thailand by Lekagul and Round. The plates are less crowded and the illustrations and maps are slightly larger; however, the artistry is just a notch below the Robson book and fewer plumages are shown. The descriptive text is also a little better in Robson's book. -- (written by Soleglad at Avian Review or Avian Books, October 2008)

I've listed several related books below...
1) A Guide to the Birds of Thailand by Lekagul (1991)
2) Photographic Guide to Birds of Thailand by Webster/Fook
3) Birds of Thailand by Eve/Guigue
4) A Guide to the Birds of Southeast Asia by Robson
5) A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Southeast Asia by Strange
6) A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia by King
7) The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 1-2 by Wells
8) A Photographic Guide to Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore by Davison/Fook
9) Birds: A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore by Strange
10) Birds of Myanmar by Lwin/Thwin
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Birds of Thailand Robson 2002 Jan. 28 2013
By David - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Currently the best guide for Thailand. However there have been numerous re-classifications in the last 10 years; I had to make a lot of corrections to be up to date. Also I found it easier to bubble in pencil the plates that show the species as in many cases it isn't obvious. A new guide is definitely due for this area.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best guide to the birds of Thailand Oct. 10 2012
By Mike "Madbirder" Nelson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've used this now twice in Thailand and have had no complaints with it. The guide is easily portable and not too heavy. This is a condensed version of The Birds of Southeast Asia by the same author with only the birds relevant to the region. Two pages of contents list the families and which pages they occur on and the introduction covers the basics and map keys then you are into the plates.

Each of the 128 plates have excellent artwork on them depicting several plumages where relevant and most of the plates aren't too crowded allowing for decent size depictions of the birds. Each image is numbered in reference to the text on the facing page which covers description of the male, female and juveniles where relevant and also some descriptions of winter plumages which comes in handy in a region where there is a large influx of migrants during the non-breeding periods. When necessary other subspecies are described and then there are notes about voice, habitat and behavior.

Between the plates and text you should be able to identify most of the species you will come across here while not tiring out your arms to look through it. The range maps are helpful but could be a smidge bigger next time but they are still sufficient to make out where you are in Thailand and are located with the relevant text which makes this a nice easy guide to follow.

Birds of Southeast Asia (Princeton Field Guides)
5.0 out of 5 stars just what I need to get started Aug. 27 2013
By emma - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I like this version as it is a paperback and so light to pack on my travels. There is enough information for the beginner as well as that little bit ectra for those who do this birdwatching seriously. I am orginally from Africa and so Asian birds are mostly unknown to me. This is exactly as I hoped it would be: compact, informative and easy to transport. One small complaint would be the sizeof the maps. a tad bigger would have been better, but that is personal.
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