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Birds of Nicaragua A Field Guide, a review (1 Viewer)


Sempach, Switzerland
This is a brand new addition to the Zona Tropical Publications, and it is patterned along the lines of the previous FGs in the series, Birds of Costa Rica and Birds of Panama. Illustrations are by Robert Dean as in those previous books. And where possible, the publishers have essentially used the same illustrations as in those previous volumes. At times, adding some detail illustration like an undertail pattern. Authors in this case are Liliana Chavarría-Duriaux and David C. Hille. https://www.nhbs.com/birds-of-nicaragua-book
I very much like the previous two volumes, and thus, it is small wonder that I'm excited about this new book. Particularly so as it is the first (to my knowledge) thoroughly complete FG for Nicaragua that includes range maps. I know very little about this country with respect to birding. Thus, this book is widening my horizon considerably. As in the previous books, some welcome features have been used here as well, such as color-coded range maps (on the same page-spread), texts with bold printing of diagnostic features, and sizes given both in metric and US units. There is a quick-find index as in the second edition of the Costa Rica FG. A new feature, and a most welcome one, is the inclusion of Spanish names, and a corresponding index as well. And as in the previous volumes, these indices are of the useful kind, unlike what we got in some recent "Lynx" books.
Some small "situational" illustrations have been added. They are nice but not really needed. Rather, I would have preferred if the publishers would have chosen the size of the Costa Rica (2nd edition) book. As it is, the size is like the one for Panama, and that means just about two centimeters larger in both height and width. The book still has good portability for a FG, but one often gets the impression that the illustrations might as well have been slightly reduced without loss of detail. There is one (minor) irritation, at least in my book: in the range maps, some kind of darkish blue is used for winter residents. But for some unknown reason, there are two versions of this blue. I don't think they mean something different, but I don't know. It is particularly puzzling when the two versions are right next to each other like for Baltimore and Orchard Oriole on page 354.
To end with another most positive feature, there is a list at the end called "Hypothetical Species". The previous volumes had some kind of list at the end as well. In those instances, they were for vagrants or rarities. These are now mostly in the main parts of the book. Here, now, the book provides a usually illustrated listing of species that are expected to be found in the not too distant future. Reasons given are for example that a North American migrating species has already been found in Costa Rica. Or a breeding species is known for Honduras when the same mountains with the same habitats extend into Nicaragua.
To conclude, one may not need to buy this new FG for lots of new illustrations, but for just about any other reason.
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