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Best bird guides by region...Central and South America

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Old Sunday 28th June 2015, 21:02   #26
Jim M.
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I have both the older Ridgely and Greenfield and the "fieldbook" (McMullan and Navarrete). While I think the drawings are mostly better in the first of these, It is also 4x the bulk, and having updated ranges (in the second book) might offset that advantage.
IMO, the separately bound Ridgely & Greenfield plates make an excellent portable field guide for Ecuador, provided you research ahead of time what birds you're likely to see in a particular region (which can be readily done with trip reports/eBird). Though of course I know some people are squeamish about cutting books apart.
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Old Sunday 28th June 2015, 21:38   #27
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By the way, Birding Ecotours blog has put together a useful listing of the best current field guides for each region of the world. It is available here:

http://birdingecotours.com/blog/?cat...e-7-continents

They welcome feedback, and I made a few suggestions that were incorporated.
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Old Tuesday 30th June 2015, 14:43   #28
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Some people still swear to the Ridgely and Tudor: Songbirds volume and the non-passerines volume by Erize, Mata, Rumboll (in some order).

I will agree with that combination for Argentina, also adding the Narosky & Yzurieta field guide (a proper field guide) that even though some poor drawings, it has great identification keys and with the new acquisition of pictures it has improved a lot.

We are all waiting for the long promised Pearman book for Argentina, but I am quite sure that it will not be precisely a field guide more than a thick library book for consulting (but I have to admit that the plates from Aldo Chiappe I have seen are magnificent)

Best regards.

Julin.
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Old Tuesday 30th June 2015, 14:58   #29
njlarsen
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IMO, the separately bound Ridgely & Greenfield plates make an excellent portable field guide for Ecuador, provided you research ahead of time what birds you're likely to see in a particular region (which can be readily done with trip reports/eBird). Though of course I know some people are squeamish about cutting books apart.
Its more a question of if I can find a place to do the binding on the island where I live ...

Niels
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Old Friday 24th July 2015, 23:20   #30
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Robert,
I am currently planning my trip to Ecuador in August. I have both the older Ridgely and Greenfield and the "fieldbook" (McMullan and Navarrete). While I think the drawings are mostly better in the first of these, It is also 4x the bulk, and having updated ranges (in the second book) might offset that advantage.............. (Some thread here on BF says that a similar size fieldbook is available for Colombia, with relatively poor drawings) ..............
Niels, I have just received my copy of the Ecuador Fieldbook (from NHBS), though no plans for another trip in the near future. But I figured such a compact version is always handy, just in case. Well, I also have the Colombia equivalent you mention. I actually have both the first and the second edition. The latter is supposedly much improved, but it is still waiting for me in the US. So I can only compare the first edition with the Ecuador book. And I think the two are pretty much on the same quality level. My main complaint for my copy of the Ecuador Fieldbook is that the birds look a bit less than crisp. And as this same complaint holds for my first edition version of the Colombia FG, I presume that lack of crispness is not just an artifact of some copies. But there are also considerable variations within the book. I find some depictions of the seabirds particularly terrible. In fact, I doubt that I would be able to identify a Sooty Shearwater from the pictures in the book. But over all, that compact book should be adequate most of the time. It'll be interesting to get to know about your experiences.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old Saturday 25th July 2015, 02:19   #31
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Thanks Robert, I have since been able to have the Ridgely & Greenfield plates separately bound, and may still bring it to Ecuador (depending on the total weight of my luggage).

Crispness might have more to do with printing than with drawing quality.

Niels
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Old Saturday 25th July 2015, 15:48   #32
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...........
Crispness might have more to do with printing than with drawing quality.

Niels
I agree, that's why I hope the second edition of the Colombia FG will be better. Looking at the publication date of the Ecuador one, it must be earlier than the second edition for Colombia. So there is hope. A fair number of pictures, by the way, are the same ones in the first editions of both countries.
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Old Monday 27th July 2015, 14:38   #33
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The problem of suggesting books for a thread like this is that the thread becomes outdated pretty quick.............Niels
Reply to post #1: Niels, I think these threads have remained very much worthwhile, thanks to the continued activity and updates by many here on BF. So let's just hope it remains like that.
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Old Monday 27th July 2015, 15:33   #34
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Kind of hidden in the history: this was not the first post in its original thread, and the original thread tried to include the whole world in only one thread (that is why there is a reference to Lars Jonsson in that post! )

Since that thread was split into smaller areas, the threads have become much more useful and worthy of sticky status.

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Old Monday 27th July 2015, 20:16   #35
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Kind of hidden in the history: this was not the first post in its original thread, and the original thread tried to include the whole world in only one thread (that is why there is a reference to Lars Jonsson in that post! )

Since that thread was split into smaller areas, the threads have become much more useful and worthy of sticky status.

Niels
Thanks for the correction, Niels. I had forgotten about that splitting, but you are correct.

Lars Jonsson really did not make sense there, but I took it as a reference to what type of illustrations you'd prefer. I like him a lot as well, though not as a FG illustrator all that much.
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Old Tuesday 17th November 2015, 12:45   #36
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Do you think we can expect an update to 15-year-old Guide to the Birds of Mexico (Howell & Webb)? I assume it is still the one to take there?
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Old Tuesday 17th November 2015, 13:10   #37
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There has been no rumors about any update that I have heard. And it is certainly the one I am taking when I visit Mexico.

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Old Tuesday 17th November 2015, 13:50   #38
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Thanks Robert, I have since been able to have the Ridgely & Greenfield plates separately bound, and may still bring it to Ecuador

Niels
Niels,
re our chat on another thread, you mean take not 'bring'.......


Andy

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Old Tuesday 17th November 2015, 13:51   #39
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Do you think we can expect an update to 15-year-old Guide to the Birds of Mexico (Howell & Webb)? I assume it is still the one to take there?
What do people think about E.P Edwards 'Birds of Mexico and adjacent areas' which also covers Belize, Guatemala and El Salvador?

Andy
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Old Tuesday 17th November 2015, 14:15   #40
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Andy look at this thread: http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=211122

The Edwards book is described e.g., in post 3.

One interesting proposal made in that thread: if only interested in Yucatan, there is a field guide to Belize that should be pretty good.

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Old Tuesday 17th November 2015, 14:15   #41
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Niels,
re our chat on another thread, you mean take not 'bring'.......


Andy
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Old Tuesday 17th November 2015, 14:19   #42
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What do people think about E.P Edwards 'Birds of Mexico and adjacent areas' which also covers Belize, Guatemala and El Salvador?
No range maps (just brief range statements), but it provides an alternative set of plates at very low cost as a complement to Howell & Webb and van Perlo.
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Old Wednesday 18th November 2015, 13:41   #43
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Thanks for info! As for the Belize guide, it seems about half the size, so maybe it would be worth trying... but I wonder if range maps cover any area beyond Belize?
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Old Saturday 19th December 2015, 05:18   #44
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How useful is Sibley's Western North America for Mexico? I see that the maps cut the bottom of the country off. Are there many Mexican species not covered in the Sibley?
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Old Saturday 19th December 2015, 21:57   #45
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The text on howell and webb mentions about 180 species endemic to the region covered (including areas down to western Honduras and Western Nicaragua). If you travel beyond the isthmus of Mexico, there are a good number of birds that would be likely to overlap with e.g., Costa Rica but not with the US. Some species look quite different when you reach down to Yucatan even if they officially are the same species. If you are only visiting the 200 miles nearest the western end of the US border, no problem I believe

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Old Saturday 19th December 2015, 22:02   #46
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Thanks Niels. Looks like I need two more books then :)
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Old Monday 21st December 2015, 21:19   #47
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I'm going to travel from Cancun south to Panama from Jan 5th. I already have Sibley's Western North America guide but is it safe to say I can buy one or maybe two more books to cover the whole region?

Birds of Costa Rica. And one for Cancun south?
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Old Monday 21st December 2015, 23:58   #48
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No, the Costa Rica Guide only covers to western Panama. If you expect to go to the canal or even further east, the similar Panama guide will be needed. For the northern part of your trip, a recent book for Belize (I think that is what I remember) should cover all but a few of the possibilities, some pre-work with photos and sounds should make that doable.

Regarding your description of what you would like to do: NW of Cancun up to the northern coast of Yucatan would be a worth-while addition for a good number of species found in slightly more dry areas. Down in Yucatan, the western Sibley would do very little benefit, the eastern Sibley would be much better, if you need anything more than the guide to the country just S of Yucatan.

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Old Thursday 24th December 2015, 02:14   #49
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Wow. I need too many books for this trip. I'll need to compromise and miss some out as I'm backpacking and can't carry so many books without major inconvenience. Bah.
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Old Thursday 24th December 2015, 05:03   #50
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Wow. I need too many books for this trip. I'll need to compromise and miss some out as I'm backpacking and can't carry so many books without major inconvenience. Bah.
Jimmy,

There's a book by Ber van Perlo called Birds of Mexico and Central America that will cover all the species on your trip. (Tried to link to it on uk amazon, but link was automatically converted to textbooks.com link when I saved this post--bizarre!)

You should also check this thread: http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....33#post3329533

Hope this helps,
Jim

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