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The newer Hilty “Birds of Colombia” published by Lynx is the most up to date / authoritative and generally going to be the best bet, but it is a bit large. If you already know neotropical bird families and genera reasonably well, I find the smaller McMullen book, despite the lesser artwork, is actually extremely useful and, despite the art being a bit rough and ready it is pretty accurate when it counts. I’d still say that if you’re going to get one, get Hilty. But for carrying in the field, the McMullen is pretty good and I have gotten a lot of mileage out of his CO & EC books over the years.
I do not know, unfortunately. I've managed to have all three versions over the years, I bought the 3rd edition via the kickstarter / funding project they ran for it, and had it shipped to the US, then collected it there on a visit. A bit of a laborious way to go about it.
I have not used it in the field. My initial impression was exactly the same as yours, but using it on a few images in the id forum, it seems that it at least is precise: I do not remember which but two otherwise similar drawings had a different length of tail which reflected comments by experts in the id forum, etc. I do like that the maps are multicolored to show the different subspecies ranges. Whether I would bring this one or the Lynx guide to Colombia and whether I would use the Merlin app or a book in the field is an open question.