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Birds of Northern South America: An Identification Guide, Volume 2: Plates and Maps Paperback – Feb 28 2007
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If you are a bird watcher and you spend money to go to this region without Birds of Northern South America, you are wasting your money.
and to use with other field guides.
It is very heavy but otherwise an excellent resource.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
There are an incredible 2,308 species included in the guide with 6,400 images on 306 color plates according to the back cover. The illustrations (done by author Robin Restall) are excellent and a special feature of this book is the inclusion of depictions of most known subspecies along with male, female and juvenile plumages.
This book joins the ranks of the best field guides for South America including Birds of Ecuador, and Birds of Peru (I haven't seen the new Venezuela guide yet) and like these books has only minor flaws. The Ecuador book is excellent and mainly is just too large for the field and the Peru book which is another great accomplishment has somewhat too large illustrations that could have been condensed. Both of these books have considerable information regarding their depicted species, the Peru book on the opposite page and the Ecuador book on a page referred to in the text. This book has almost no text and you would have to purchase the companion volume. What is included are excellent range maps and very brief comments about the birds habitat preference. For example the Roraiman Antwren on plate 163 has this mention: "usually among topmost leaves of upper canopy may sortie out after a flushed insect". Each species is tagged with a mark keying in an identifying feature.
Rangemaps are bicolored (green for terrestrial ranges, blue for coastal ranges) and are on the same or opposite page of the illustrations for easy reference. Maps include the size of the bird, a key for altitude range (eg LT= lower tropical, sea level to 800-900m), status (resident/migrant), abundance and threat status (CR critical, EN endangered etc.).
Unlike the new Princeton Guide for Birds of Central America and Mexico this book is too large to easily slip into a pocket for field birding and you would want to have the companion guide (or another more text filled book) back in the car or lodge to refer to during a trip. Despite this and the brief amount of text this is still an excellent addition to the guides for South American birds and works for many areas that until now had no field guide. If you could only have one guide for Northern South America this should be the one.
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