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Info on Japanese Field Guide (1 Viewer)

Larry Lade

This post was on our MOBIRDS Listserve. I thought perhaps some of you all could offer some advise:

I will be traveling to Japan for two weeks next month, with one day at Pusan,
South Korea. I have attempted without success to find a field guide for the
area. Apparently a field guide for Japan was published in 1985, but it is out
of print and unavailable through the usual internet sources. There is a book
by M. Brazil et al. called The Birds of Japan, published in 1991, which is
also out of print, but for which some used copies may possibly be found;
however, I do not know if this book has any pictures or is otherwise usable in the
field. Does anyone have any recommendations, or a copy of the 1985 book you
could sell or loan?
Last edited:


Well-known member
Mark Brazil's "Birds of Japan" is not really a Field Guide - more a reference book without many illustrations.

I managed to get hold of a copy of the Wild Bird Society of Japan - A Field guide to the birds of Japan ISBN 4-931150-04-7 which I think is the out-of-print one you refer to.

The Collins Bird Guide to Britain & Europe by Mullarney,Svensson etc.
ISBN 0-00-219728-6 will cover a lot of the species but not the endemics obviously.

There's some info on my web pages about birding in Japan which may be of use to you
Hi Larry,

This one's been discussed before - the Wild Bird Society Birds of Japan is out of print. Worth checking second-hand sellers though.


PS Probably best edit out the person's e-mail addy, before the spambots pick it up! - they cruise this site regularly

Charles Harper

Since this thread is entitled 'Japanese FG Info', it really needs an update.

At January 2009, there is now available 'A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Japan and NE Asia' by Tadai Shinba (Christopher Helm 2007, ISBN 978-0-7136-7439-2) It is lousy as a field guide-- meaning that you cannot key your way through it-- but at least the brief range and status information has been updated from 1985.

Still unpublished is Mark Brazil's new 'BIRDS OF EAST ASIA'. This should be a much more useful field guide.

In the meantime, I have been recommending 'A Field Guide to the Birds of Korea' (Lee, Koo & Park) ISBN 89-951415-1-4, which covers most of Japan's birds (includng many of its accidentals and rarities in detail), but lacks information on Japan's endemics, many of its pelagics, and species of our tropical islands south of Kyushu.

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