Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Book Review on Birds of India: Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and The Maldives

Not long ago, I had a conversation with my friend Howard on birding in India. It is a place that is on my to-do list and I am hoping to get there this year or early next year. Imagine my surprise and delight when I recently received a review copy of the Birds of India: Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and The Maldives (second edition) in the mail from Princeton Guides. I spent some time reviewing this edition and also compared it to the first. I am pleased to report that this is a home run or if you are from the sub continent and familiar with cricket, it is a massive SIX out of the ground!!!

This 2nd edition, addresses many of the shortcomings of the first edition and includes one very important aspect where, updated range maps now appear next to the species. This eliminates the time wasted flipping through pages searching for them. The text and plates have been updated with many new species added based on recent taxonomic changes, as well as ornithological field work. The drawings in this book are excellent, the descriptions very detailed, and the range maps very helpful.

The additional information has made the second edition a bit hefty as it grew from 528 pages vs. 384 for the first edition. However, this is still a manageable book in the field and a worthwhile trade off for what I feel is a comprehensive guide. So if you are planning a trip to the sub continent, this is the guide you want in your backpack. I know this is the one that I will be taking with me when I do go!

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1 comment:

Chris E said...

I just got a copy of this guide in the mail this week, anticipating going to Kerala and the southern Western Ghats next year, and really like — compared with other national guides — how well it's presented. Having just been enjoying Crossley's frequency phrases, like "uncommon in saltwater marshes," that's one thing I would have loved to see. But it's just about the only thing.