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Best bird guides by region...Central and South America (1 Viewer)

oleic

Well-known member
Do you know when will this FG released?

Zona Tropical has published a new FG for Nicaragua. I wrote a brief review: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=362364
No need to repeat it here. But its conclusion is that this is a FG that can be highly recommended.

It will be interesting to compare it with the upcoming FG for the whole region:
Birds of Central America: Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama

by

Andrew Vallely and Dale Dyer
 

CaliSteve

Active member
United States
I find amazon rather useless these days for buying books but I bought virtually all my books from sellers on amazon a decade ago. These days I much I prefer to buy books either directly from publishers or supporting smaller book shops specialising in natural history.

The Central American guide is already out btw as my copy arrived earlier this week.
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
I find amazon rather useless these days for buying books but I bought virtually all my books from sellers on amazon a decade ago. These days I much I prefer to buy books either directly from publishers or supporting smaller book shops specialising in natural history.

The Central American guide is already out btw as my copy arrived earlier this week.

Living far from appropriate suppliers, it is my most efficient way to get access to the books I want. They are often sent by stores that use Amazon as a vehicle.

Meanwhile, Amazon has moved the date about a month back. So it's obvious the publishers can't supply to everybody at the same time. A feature well known from LYNX.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
I find amazon rather useless these days for buying books but I bought virtually all my books from sellers on amazon a decade ago. These days I much I prefer to buy books either directly from publishers or supporting smaller book shops specialising in natural history.

The Central American guide is already out btw as my copy arrived earlier this week.

What's the verdict, worth having?
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Living far from appropriate suppliers, it is my most efficient way to get access to the books I want. They are often sent by stores that use Amazon as a vehicle.

Meanwhile, Amazon has moved the date about a month back. So it's obvious the publishers can't supply to everybody at the same time. A feature well known from LYNX.

Indeed!!!!
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
Plate printing quality?

I find amazon rather useless these days for buying books but I bought virtually all my books from sellers on amazon a decade ago. These days I much I prefer to buy books either directly from publishers or supporting smaller book shops specialising in natural history.

The Central American guide is already out btw as my copy arrived earlier this week.

Steve, could you please let us know whether your book has all the plates printed decently? My own copy has many of them look like one would go birding on a slightly misty morning. I have posted a picture in the special thread: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=368306 See post # 15.
A swallow plate on the left is from my copy.
 

Arbu

Well-known member
Which would be better for Guatemala - Birds of Central America: Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama
or Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Northern Central America?
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
Birds of Bolivia

Looks like we completely ignored the FG to Birds of Bolivia in this sticky thread. It was issued 2016 in Bolivia and only few copies seem to have made it out of the country. There had always been attempts to make it available in the northern hemisphere. Buteo Books had some few copies once. NHBS has been trying to arrange for the book becoming available, probably via a second printing, this time north of the equator.

Well, Buteo Books has just sent me a note that they presently have some copies again. https://www.buteobooks.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=BBBAO&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=14746 So if one needs/wants it, it is best to get one while they last. I presume stocks to be rather limited, but I don't actually know. At US$ 95.-, the book is not exactly a bargain. As for having it sent to Europe, the cheapest version seems to be a flat-rate envelope at $35! Thus, total cost will be around $ 130.- at present.

Edit: checking again, the few copies they had seem to be all gone again. But they may try to get more. Thus being on the backorder list or at least on the notification list seems to be the way to go at present.
 
Last edited:

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Looks like we completely ignored the FG to Birds of Bolivia in this sticky thread. It was issued 2016 in Bolivia and only few copies seem to have made it out of the country. There had always been attempts to make it available in the northern hemisphere. Buteo Books had some few copies once. NHBS has been trying to arrange for the book becoming available, probably via a second printing, this time north of the equator.

Well, Buteo Books has just sent me a note that they presently have some copies again. https://www.buteobooks.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=BBBAO&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=14746 So if one needs/wants it, it is best to get one while they last. I presume stocks to be rather limited, but I don't actually know. At US$ 95.-, the book is not exactly a bargain. As for having it sent to Europe, the cheapest version seems to be a flat-rate envelope at $35! Thus, total cost will be around $ 130.- at present.

Edit: checking again, the few copies they had seem to be all gone again. But they may try to get more. Thus being on the backorder list or at least on the notification list seems to be the way to go at present.


Out of stock already again it seems even at the inflated $95.

A poor effort it seems to me, they produce a niche title, only to fall down badly on the distribution.
 

Dan Miller

Avicasual Birder
Supporter
United States
Which would be better for Guatemala - Birds of Central America: Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama
or Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Northern Central America?

I own both, but have used neither in the field. Having said that, I would probably opt for the Peterson guide - it is more compact, pocketable even.

Both appear to have similar information, though the order species are presented is not the same. Another drawback to Vallely & Dryer is that it will also include species found only in Costa Rica, Panama and farther south, which you will not encounter in Guatemala. See elsewhere on these forums about the "misty" nature of the plates in Vallely & Dryer - it is really noticeable when side-by-each with Peterson.
 

Arbu

Well-known member
I own both, but have used neither in the field. Having said that, I would probably opt for the Peterson guide - it is more compact, pocketable even.

Both appear to have similar information, though the order species are presented is not the same. Another drawback to Vallely & Dryer is that it will also include species found only in Costa Rica, Panama and farther south, which you will not encounter in Guatemala. See elsewhere on these forums about the "misty" nature of the plates in Vallely & Dryer - it is really noticeable when side-by-each with Peterson.

Thanks, I already own field guides for Costa Rica and Panama so it sounds very much like the Peterson guide would be the better option for me.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
I own both, but have used neither in the field. Having said that, I would probably opt for the Peterson guide - it is more compact, pocketable even.

Both appear to have similar information, though the order species are presented is not the same. Another drawback to Vallely & Dryer is that it will also include species found only in Costa Rica, Panama and farther south, which you will not encounter in Guatemala. See elsewhere on these forums about the "misty" nature of the plates in Vallely & Dryer - it is really noticeable when side-by-each with Peterson.

I only know the Peterson guide, and agree I feel it is good for most species. I used it in Yucatan where the large majority of species are covered by this book, and there was a few cases where I was missing the good old trusty Howell and Webb. Most species was easy enough, though.

Niels
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
I only know the Peterson guide, and agree I feel it is good for most species. I used it in Yucatan where the large majority of species are covered by this book, and there was a few cases where I was missing the good old trusty Howell and Webb. Most species was easy enough, though.

Niels

I agree that the Peterson FG covers most of the Yucatan species, with the exception of most endemics. The book served us extremely well, so there was never really the wish for the bulkier alternative. Our tour leader had the plates of the Howell & Webb book bound separately and we used them where needed. The quality of those plates is truly great, particularly considering their age. We were specifically going after the endemics, including Cozumel. Howell & Webb has the latter ones conveniently on a separate plate.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
I have birded in Yucatan a number of times, almost always on my own (without a guide). The advantage of Howell and Webb is not only in the plates but also in the thorough text.

The Peterson FG: how many species would have had to be added to cover the three easternmost Mexican states? 10-20? I still do not understand that was not done. However, that was not a problem on the trip where I had this book as my only one, I was only birding in the southern end where everything is expected to overlap.

Niels
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
I have birded in Yucatan a number of times, almost always on my own (without a guide). The advantage of Howell and Webb is not only in the plates but also in the thorough text.

The Peterson FG: how many species would have had to be added to cover the three easternmost Mexican states? 10-20? I still do not understand that was not done. However, that was not a problem on the trip where I had this book as my only one, I was only birding in the southern end where everything is expected to overlap.

Niels

I agree regarding the text in Howell & Webb. But as there was sufficient joint expertise in our group, we did not need the text in the field. The copy minus its plates was in the car, however.

We concentrated our efforts specifically to the northern two provinces (Quintana Roo and Yucatan) as that is where the desired endemics are.
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
Mexico?

I don't know whether this has come up here before, but after posting trip reports recently, it struck me again. BF - and many others - consider Mexico to be part of North America. But going through these "sticky threads", it seems clear that Mexico belongs to Central America in the opinion of those who discuss the topic of FGs.
 

gdhunter

Well-known member
BF - and many others - consider Mexico to be part of North America. But going through these "sticky threads", it seems clear that Mexico belongs to Central America in the opinion of those who discuss the topic of FGs.

AOU's North American checklist applies to all of the Americas north of South America. The ABA's version of North America consists of the USA (excluding Hawaii?) and Canada. The avifuana of northern Mexico is strongly influenced by (and strongly influences) the birds of the southern and southwest USA, but you don't have to travel far (from about Victoria and then south in Tamaulipas) to encounter habitats and birds more typical of what we call Central America.
 

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