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Collins Bird Guide 2nd Ed; Reviewed (1 Viewer)

Enji

Well-known member
Hah, I've never noticed that little arrow without caption on the Robin! Now I'm not going to be able to NOT notice it... ;)

Talking about captions, for some reason there's at least one caption in my Swedish book that is in English...
 

Pariah

Stealth Birder
Hah, I've never noticed that little arrow without caption on the Robin! Now I'm not going to be able to NOT notice it... ;)

Talking about captions, for some reason there's at least one caption in my Swedish book that is in English...

Tell me about its...its been bugging me since the first edition! ;)

God we are some shower of pedants! :t:

Owen
 

birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
Still think the most worrying thing is in the preface about the total effing around with passerine taxonomy in future that "..we'll have to get used to..." Why?? The book is a field guide, not a scientific guide, so what difference does it make? Most, if not all birders, in the last..what 50yrs or so?...are used to Divers, Grebes, etc etc....now we start with Ducks, Gamebirds which is an arse but only a minor...now if they start switching all the passerines around we're never gonna be able to pick up the guide in a hurry and open it to where we roughly know the bird we're looking at should be.
I've read other comments about we'll get used to it...but why should we have to?? Has anyone from the UK had fun using the India and SE Asian fieldguides which are just taxonically haphazard..it's a nightmare having to use the index to find birds that aren't where they're supposed to be....!! Or is it just me...??
 

Motmot

Eduardo Amengual
Has anyone from the UK had fun using the India and SE Asian fieldguides which are just taxonically haphazard..it's a nightmare having to use the index to find birds that aren't where they're supposed to be....!! Or is it just me...??

I had no fun either, is not just you, same here outside the UK...;)
 

Pariah

Stealth Birder
Still think the most worrying thing is in the preface about the total effing around with passerine taxonomy in future that "..we'll have to get used to..." Why?? The book is a field guide, not a scientific guide, so what difference does it make? Most, if not all birders, in the last..what 50yrs or so?...are used to Divers, Grebes, etc etc....now we start with Ducks, Gamebirds which is an arse but only a minor...now if they start switching all the passerines around we're never gonna be able to pick up the guide in a hurry and open it to where we roughly know the bird we're looking at should be.
I've read other comments about we'll get used to it...but why should we have to?? Has anyone from the UK had fun using the India and SE Asian fieldguides which are just taxonically haphazard..it's a nightmare having to use the index to find birds that aren't where they're supposed to be....!! Or is it just me...??

Dont know if its just you.
But It doesnt bother me. When you think about it..things "being where they are supposed to be" is just an ingrained reaction to a habit you have formed. It might be a bad habit..it might be good, but that does not mean it should be a barrier to advancement of taxonomic understanding and therefore a barrier to a reshuffle of species placement relating to that advancement.

Owen
 

birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
But it makes things needlessly complicated.....again, it's a fieldguide and whether it's ingrained or not, most people have an idea of where the bird they want is...being taxonomically correct doesn't really matter does it??
 

Richard Klim

-------------------------
But it makes things needlessly complicated.....again, it's a fieldguide and whether it's ingrained or not, most people have an idea of where the bird they want is...being taxonomically correct doesn't really matter does it??
Although written from a North American perspective, the following recent article argues for the adoption of a somewhat radical permanent 'standard' sequence for field guides, independent of evolving taxonomic changes:

Richard
 

Jacana

Will Jones
Spain
it doesn't bother me too much, but then i'm younger than all you oldies, stuck in your ways ;)

at least it isn't as bad as the SE Asia guides as Birdboybowley points out! Woodpeckers at the front!! :smoke:
 
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Pariah

Stealth Birder
But it makes things needlessly complicated.....again, it's a fieldguide and whether it's ingrained or not, most people have an idea of where the bird they want is...being taxonomically correct doesn't really matter does it??

I guess that depends on whether you are the author or not? ;)

Owen
 

Jos Stratford

Eastern Exile
Europe
I guess that depends on whether you are the author or not? ;)

Owen

BirdboyBowley is correct. When in a new region of the world, with fast moving mixed species flocks, a fieldguide is supposed to be there to help you in the field. If guides are in the 'standard' order, most of us can quickly identify the family and delve straight into the guide, knowing where the bird illustrations will be, more or less. Get a rapid flock in India for example, you are as likely to spend as long finding the species in the guide as you did seeing it in the field.

And as for 'get used to it', fine, but a few years down the road, new 'discoveries' will lead to new orders, so it will be get used to it again, and again, etc. A fieldguide is a fieldguide - if they want to educate as to their current thinking on taxonomy, then let them add a couple of pages at the end with the order printed as an appendix.
 
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birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
Cheers Jos, glad it's not just me just 'stuck in my ways' (cheeky b*gger Jac - I'm only 37!) As you rightly point out, a few years down the road it'll all change again and no-one will know where they are....
 

Jos Stratford

Eastern Exile
Europe
Although written from a North American perspective, the following recent article argues for the adoption of a somewhat radical permanent 'standard' sequence for field guides, independent of evolving taxonomic changes:

Richard

I find myself in the rare position of completely agreeing with an American proposal

Mind you, the main author, Steve Howell, isn't American ;)
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
I like the argument (I might disagree with a detail here or there, but OK). I would also say that this topic has left the specific guide behind and probably would be better served by a separate thread.

Cheers
Niels
 

John Cantelo

Well-known member
it doesn't bother me too much, but then i'm younger than all you oldies, stuck in your ways ;)

at least it isn't as bad as the SE Asia guides as Birdboybowley points out! Woodpeckers at the front!! :smoke:

Don't worry, Jacana, you'll be an oldie soon enough ..... and I'm sure that this taxonomic turmoil ain't going to end any time soon,
 

John Cantelo

Well-known member
Both this edition and the previous one eschewed taxonomic purity by putting Corncrake & Small Buttonquail on the same page as Quail & Grey Partridge, 70 odd pages astray from the 'correct' taxonomic position,
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
Still think the most worrying thing is in the preface about the total effing around with passerine taxonomy in future that "..we'll have to get used to..." Why?? The book is a field guide, not a scientific guide, so what difference does it make? Most, if not all birders, in the last..what 50yrs or so?...are used to Divers, Grebes, etc etc....now we start with Ducks, Gamebirds which is an arse but only a minor...now if they start switching all the passerines around we're never gonna be able to pick up the guide in a hurry and open it to where we roughly know the bird we're looking at should be.
I've read other comments about we'll get used to it...but why should we have to?? Has anyone from the UK had fun using the India and SE Asian fieldguides which are just taxonically haphazard..it's a nightmare having to use the index to find birds that aren't where they're supposed to be....!! Or is it just me...??

Totally agree with you. Just masturbating systematicists, in a way. FGs don't have to follow systematics at all. They need to be quick reference guides. And they would be optimal if all had the same sequence. No matter which one.
 

username

Well-known member
Not having purchased this book yet...[and staying away from the taxonomic debate]!...i will just give my first impressions an airing having had all of twenty minute peruse of said publication...
Undoubtedly this is an outstanding book and i was very impressed with the new illustrations etc...however..i was a bit let down when checking a few 'things'..!
Now i know that this isn't a British 'only' bird id guide..[so i'm sure my comments are unfair]...but i was disappointed...from a uk point of view..not to find certain illustrations present.
Just two...of a few things i noted which would greatly assist 'would be' rarity hunters. No illustration of Double c cormorant..? Just an adult male Amur depicted at back of book...!!..[apologies if this has already been commented on earlier]...

I could go on but i won't....as i guess...[now that i think about it]...i should have just posted a comment in 'books i'd like to see published'.
So really i just want a book published of this fantastic quality...devoted 'just' to British birds...[plus a few potentials]...;)
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
US edition published today?

The Princeton US edition should be out today if they have been able to stick to the announced date. Paperback, and with a more appropriate title Birds of Europe. I already have too many with the title "Collins bird guide..." That is too much centered to just the most important local market.

Wonder whether it has the same issues we discussed for the UK version. I assume the British status symbols will be there just like in the first edition.
 
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