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Best bird guides by region...Australasia?

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Old Monday 23rd April 2012, 15:04   #1
colonelboris
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Best bird guides by region...Australasia?

I've seen lots of threads from people new to birding, or going on holiday somewhere unfamiliar, who ask what's the best field guide for such-and-such a place. I wondered if the denizens of the books department here would mind helping to create a list of the best field guides for different regions of the world.
Doesn't have to be country-by-country, although a few places are pretty well single-country areas, like Australia.
Here goes:


Australasia
Australia
Tough one - four main field guides to Australia (bit of a review here):
The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia - K. Simpson and N. Day. 8th Edition, 2010.
The Slater Field Guide to the Birds of Australia - P. Slater, P. Slater and R. Slater, 2009.
Field Guide to the Birds of Australia - G. Pizzey and F. Knight. 8th edition, 2007.
Field Guide to Australian Birds - Michael Morcombe. Revied 1st edition, 2003.

New Zealand
Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand - H. Robertson and B. Heather. 2007.
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Old Thursday 21st June 2012, 07:03   #2
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For New Zealand I would go for The Hand Guide to the Birds of New Zealand, Robertson and Heather. I feel that the Field Guide by the same is just too much book! Both could do with an up-date though.
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Old Thursday 21st June 2012, 17:26   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colonelboris View Post
Australasia
Australia
Tough one - four main field guides to Australia (bit of a review here):
The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia - K. Simpson and N. Day. 8th Edition, 2010.
The Slater Field Guide to the Birds of Australia - P. Slater, P. Slater and R. Slater, 2009.
Field Guide to the Birds of Australia - G. Pizzey and F. Knight. 8th edition, 2007.
Field Guide to Australian Birds - Michael Morcombe. Revied 1st edition, 2003.
In Oz, I find that at least two out of these three are needed; Morcombe shows well the ID features, although the illustrations are pretty eclectic. However, I understand that Morcombe is now available on an I-thingy, which reduces the weight: this appears to be the only format of this FG that will now be updated. If pushed, I'd take the latest editions of Slater and of Simpson & Day, although Pizzey & Knight have vocal adherents. Slater is the only one that fits in a pocket unless you are deformed or have negative fashion sense.
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Old Wednesday 31st October 2012, 13:12   #4
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van Perlo book including New Zealand?

Any opinions on the "circum-Pacific" - so to speak - book by van Perlo that includes New Zealand?
http://www.amazon.com/Birds-Hawaii-Z...rec_02_02_t_lh
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Old Saturday 3rd November 2012, 03:19   #5
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I have 'The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds' 2nd edition and love it. I recently saw one for smartphones with the sounds of each bird, very handy in the field... but I have yet to get a smartphone.
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Old Saturday 3rd November 2012, 17:19   #6
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Any news of the forthcoming fieldguide by the the artists who did the Oz handbook?

See - http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....ia+Field+Guide
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Old Saturday 17th November 2012, 07:09   #7
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Originally Posted by John Cantelo View Post
Any news of the forthcoming fieldguide by the the artists who did the Oz handbook?

See - http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....ia+Field+Guide


John,

I checked with one of the illustrators and he said it's still several years away.

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Old Friday 21st December 2012, 20:56   #8
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Pizzey and Knight 9th edition

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Originally Posted by colonelboris View Post
...........Field Guide to the Birds of Australia - G. Pizzey and F. Knight. 8th edition, 2007.
.....
There is a newer 2012 (9th) edition of this book. Does in now include the species of the outlying islands like the Slater FG? Is says there is a new species sequence. So which sequence is it following now? Any other major changes?
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Old Sunday 17th August 2014, 08:38   #9
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New Guinea?

Can't find a reference to New Guinea, neither here nor in the Asia thread. So a classical case of falling through the meshes?
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Old Sunday 17th August 2014, 21:18   #10
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Yes, but New Guinea would fit better here, I think.

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Old Monday 18th August 2014, 13:30   #11
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Birds of New Guinea 2nd edition

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Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
Yes, but New Guinea would fit better here, I think.

Niels
Yes, that's what I think as well.
So here is the addition:

Birds of New Guinea: Second Edition (Princeton Field Guides) to be published in October 2014.

Sample pages can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Birds-New-Guin...+of+new+guinea
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Old Monday 18th August 2014, 20:02   #12
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The surprise me button works surprisingly well in this link

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Old Monday 18th August 2014, 20:24   #13
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The surprise me button works surprisingly well in this link

Niels
It did not work for me. But I then realized that the plates only show when you are signed in! And when one is signed in, one also gets the plate samples at the Amazon UK site.
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What's your species on the avatar? I often have no clue
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Old Monday 17th November 2014, 11:28   #14
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Hi everyone,

I see that the thread is a couple of years old...
Any updates? Shall I still buy 2 or 3 of the suggested ones?
I am planning to go to Australia next year August. I would like to buy the guides now...


Any other guide you feel to suggest? Are there "where to find birds" types of guide?
And an equivalent of ornitho/e-bird??

Thanks a lot for any info!
Best,

Pietro
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Old Monday 17th November 2014, 18:51   #15
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To take the last question first: ebird recently merged with an Australian counterpart and now therefore has quite good coverage in Australia as far as I know.

http://www.publish.csiro.au/pid/6411.htm is the bird finding guide you need (but this other one is brand new, and I have never heard good or bad about it: http://www.publish.csiro.au/pid/6518.htm)

Regarding field guides, also check the discussions in this forum: http://www.birdforum.net/forumdisplay.php?f=399 - personally I have used Pizzey and Knight on two visits and been happy with it. Ideally, supplement whatever book you choose with an app having voice recordings for your smartphone/tablet.

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Old Monday 17th November 2014, 19:30   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
To take the last question first: ebird recently merged with an Australian counterpart and now therefore has quite good coverage in Australia as far as I know.

http://www.publish.csiro.au/pid/6411.htm is the bird finding guide you need (but this other one is brand new, and I have never heard good or bad about it: http://www.publish.csiro.au/pid/6518.htm)

Regarding field guides, also check the discussions in this forum: http://www.birdforum.net/forumdisplay.php?f=399 - personally I have used Pizzey and Knight on two visits and been happy with it. Ideally, supplement whatever book you choose with an app having voice recordings for your smartphone/tablet.

Niels
The Dolby/Clarke site guide looks much better to me than the Thomas one. I think the Dolby/Clarke supplemented by Ebird records and maybe some trip reports will be the best solution for finding birds.
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Old Tuesday 18th November 2014, 10:46   #17
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Quote:
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The Dolby/Clarke site guide looks much better to me than the Thomas one. I think the Dolby/Clarke supplemented by Ebird records and maybe some trip reports will be the best solution for finding birds.
What Andrew says. I have the Dolby/Clarke guide, a very attractive book indeed, and there are a lot Australian birders entering data on eBird - it's an indispensable resource.
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Old Wednesday 17th June 2015, 20:40   #18
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Birds of New Zealand, new edition

There is apparently a new, the fourth, edition of FG to the Birds of New Zealand out since April. http://www.andrewisles.com/all-stock/publication/38116

Any comments on this one? It must be a major revision.

So far, the only place I found it listed is by Andrewisles. No info on NHBS, Wildsounds or Amazon.
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Last edited by Swissboy : Wednesday 17th June 2015 at 21:01.
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Old Wednesday 24th June 2015, 11:42   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swissboy View Post
There is apparently a new, the fourth, edition of FG to the Birds of New Zealand out since April. http://www.andrewisles.com/all-stock/publication/38116

Any comments on this one? It must be a major revision.

So far, the only place I found it listed is by Andrewisles. No info on NHBS, Wildsounds or Amazon.
comment left in your thread on the book: http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=306795
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Old Saturday 29th October 2016, 20:53   #20
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Thumbs up Finally, a FG for all of Indonesia (except NG)

A first FG covering all of Indonesia (with the exception of New Guinea) is about to be published:
http://www.lynxeds.com/product/birds...an-archipelago

And for New Guinea, there will be a second FG later on in 2017:
http://www.lynxeds.com/product/birds-new-guinea-2

Thus, while the latter book is not going to break new ground, the first one certainly will. Looking forward to read first reviews soon.
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Old Saturday 29th October 2016, 21:14   #21
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Fantastic news! I can't wait to know a bit more about the Indonesian guide and surely hope it's going to be top quality. But even if not exactly top, it will still be indispensable on any trip to the archipelago :)
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Old Saturday 29th October 2016, 21:24   #22
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Fantastic news! I can't wait to know a bit more about the Indonesian guide and surely hope it's going to be top quality. But even if not exactly top, it will still be indispensable on any trip to the archipelago :)
They have a pre-publication offer that ends tomorrow! So anybody who wants to get it anyway, should hurry up!
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Old Saturday 29th October 2016, 21:30   #23
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I'm curious about the price, a fair bit more expensive from my usual supplier who is usually very competitive?


Hardback 69.95 offered post free at 62.95


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Old Sunday 30th October 2016, 08:54   #24
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I'm curious about the price, a fair bit more expensive from my usual supplier who is usually very competitive?


Hardback 69.95 offered post free at 62.95


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You would probably have to order directly from Lynx at this point. They list the special price as 49.79. And that includes free shipping as well.
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Old Sunday 30th October 2016, 16:07   #25
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Quote:
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A first FG covering all of Indonesia (with the exception of New Guinea) is about to be published:
http://www.lynxeds.com/product/birds...an-archipelago

And for New Guinea, there will be a second FG later on in 2017:
http://www.lynxeds.com/product/birds-new-guinea-2

Thus, while the latter book is not going to break new ground, the first one certainly will. Looking forward to read first reviews soon.
Whilst clearly not so groundbreaking as the Indonesian guide, the PNG guide includes the Bougainville & the Bismark archipelago (which aren't covered in Pratt & Beehler). Having had the privilege of reading and commenting on early drafts of the text and the final manuscript, I can say with some confidence that the author's done a great job in compressing a lot of useful information into a reasonably sized package. Hopefully, you shouldn't have to wait too long into 2017 to see if I'm right!
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