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Birds of Pakistan [Paperback]



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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid, complete field guide with good illustrations June 7 2009
By Jack Holloway - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
THE BASICS:
softcover; 93 color plates show all 670+ species with good artistic quality; key plumage differences are shown between genders, ages, and subspecies; very brief but pointed identification material is given for each bird; a range map with four colors is provided with each species

THE REVIEW:
This book, like its four other sister-books (Northern India, Southern India, Bhutan, Nepal) is a reduced version of the author's previous and much larger work: A Guide to the Birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. This lighter Pakistan version is a true field guide-sized book that focuses on just those birds found within Pakistan. The same illustrations and nearly all of the same text are used in this Pakistan book as in the sister books.

The color illustrations are shown in 93 different plates. These show good artistry for the 670+ birds found in the country. What is also nice to see is that most birds are shown with multiple plumages when significant differences exist between genders, age, or subspecies. Each of the plates contain 3-10 different species and illustrate anywhere from 8-30 illustrations. The non-passerines, especially the raptors, gulls, and shorebirds, are show with the most drawings. Plates for these groups of birds can be congested with 25-30 illustrations of perched and flying birds. This causes many of the birds to be a bit small on the page; however, they are still very useful for identification.

Like the book's counterparts, the text accompanying each bird is the weaker part of this book. To be clear, the text is not bad, but, it is often very scant. Each bird receives as little as 3 lines or up to 15 lines to describe it. This text may not always be sufficient to differentiate between many of the more similar birds (e.g., Bush or Leaf Warblers). For some of the birds, a line or two is offered about the habitat or distribution. The raptors receive the most coverage information (6-17 lines) while the passerines receive the least (e.g., as little as 3-4 lines per bird). There is only the sparsest of information given for vocalizations on some of the birds.

Unique to this book is the inclusion of range maps across Pakistan. None of the other four related books have maps. The maps provide very good detail of the bird's range, outlined with four colors representing summer, year-round, wintering, and migrant.

To help supplement the relatively thin text on identification, eight tables are included as appendices. These tables provide a list of identification features that compare the more difficult bird groups such as nightjars, warblers, rosefinches, and the Yellow Wagtail subspecies.

This guide will serve you very well in Pakistan and is probably the second-best option, aside from the superior, but more expensive, book Birds of South Asia by Rasmussen.

If you're looking at other titles by these authors (Inskipp and Grimmett) keep in mind this Pakistan guide comes from the combined (but still condensed) Birds of India, which includes range maps for the entire subcontinent. Basically, if you own Birds of India, you already own everything in this Pakistan book. And, these two books (India and Pakistan) all come from the aforementioned larger work that has everything along with extensive, in-depth text. -- (written by Jack at Avian Review with sample pages, June 2009)
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice condensed guide to Pakistan Oct. 17 2012
By Mike "Madbirder" Nelson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a condensed guide of the same authors guide to the whole subcontinent with just the birds relevant to the country. The artwork will be familiar to anyone who owns one of their other guides. Two nice maps begin the book with one for geographical features and one for the districts and towns. Then information about the book, habitat types, important bird species and some nice information on birding areas. Information on national and international groups, acknowledgements, glossary and bibliography follow. The next section is one familiar from other books by these authors and that is the family summaries. Brief descriptions of each of the families concerned in this book are given with typical characteristics and habits and page references. Each of the families is represented by one small piece of artwork depicting a typical member of the family.

The main body of the book begins on page 48 with the first of 93 plates. Each plate has good illustrations with a little crowding on a few plates and a few species represented with small illustrations but on a whole most are easy to see and detailed for identification. The text faces each plate with a good color range map. Four colors for summer breeder, year round, winter resident and passage migrant are shown. Most maps cover the whole country for those species spread across the range but if a species range is smaller, a regional map is used showing only the area of Pakistan where the species range is, a very good idea and one I wish more guides would do. The descriptions cover several plumages and subspecies where relevant and notes on habits, habitat, voice and range are all included though not separated by bold titles so it all flows together, a common theme with the authors.

The book concludes with a list of vagrant and extirpated species as well as tables for comparison of nightjars, phyllosocpus and acrocephalus warblers as well as wagtail subspecies and rosefinchs. This is a handy feature when trying to separate some of the more similar species you will encounter.

Overall I like this guide in that is has the more modern style with range maps, text and plates all together. It is small and portable so will be easy to carry in the field. For more thorough text you might want to reference Roberts, The Birds of Pakistan Volume I and II, though this is a stay at home pair and one I doubt you'd take with you even to leave back in the hotel.

The Birds of Pakistan: Volume 1: Regional Studies and Non-Passeriformes
The Birds of Pakistan: Volume 2: Passeriformes: Pittas to Buntings
4.0 out of 5 stars A good field guide !! Sept. 8 2012
By Monal - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is good to get a book dedicated to the birds of Pakistan. The other guides (which are good itheir own right) contain many many birds which are not to be found in Pakistan. It is sometimes testing to find the right bird from these regional guides. The Birds of Pakistan makes it easy to identify birds. As the number of birds in this guide is less, it means it is relatively smaller in size and contains relatively more information. The starting chapters contain a wide spectrum of basic information which is helpful for the new birders and for the people who are new to the areas of Pakistan. The bird drawings are of good quality, so is the printing and the over all quality of the book. For me it is money well spent!!
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book for new birders in Pakistan Nov. 12 2011
By Hugo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Helm Field guide Birds of Pakistan is certainly a nice guide and an improvement from the much more extensive Birds of the Indian Subcontinent as it focusses on Pakistan only. However, I still miss a number of plates for identification and the drawings frankly speaking do not equal those of e.g. Collins/Swensson's Birds of Europe. Too bad that no flight drawings of e.g. wheatears are included. Inevitably, some areas of Pakistan have been better covered than others, but who is to blame for that?
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most detailed species account I have ever seen for Pakistan April 2 2009
By Four by Four - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This books is an absolute joy, the detailed maps for every species are fantastic and the color plates are most beautiful and accurate.

Birds of Pakistan in the past unfortunately have been lumped with birds of India in so many older texts.

This new book however has changed that. It is the most authoritative modern text on Birds of Pakistan. Authors have done an amazing job.

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