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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

New Zealand bird guide recommendation (1 Viewer)


Ginga Ninja
Planning on a trip to NZ in August, and am wanting a bird guide so I actually can at least try to work out what I am looking at.
Would prefer something cheaper, and doesn't have to be small as I'm more into just reading up on it at home and then that gets the birds into memory so that when I see it I have at least some idea of what I'm looking at - also don't mind if it is photographic or illustrated

This is probably the one to get, although it's not that cheap or easily available:
Suspect the Merlin ID pack for NZ would work well. There aren't a massive number of bird species and the IDs are generally not too hard. A lot of the common birds are European introductions, so will be familiar.
My wife and I went to NZ five years ago and were utterly captivated by both the country and its birds. If I had discovered NZ when I was younger I would have emigrated there. New Zealand rocks (unfortunately literally, from time to time). I don't know the Princetown guide. My wife's brother, who lives on North Island, sent us a copy of the 2015 edition of Heather, Robertson and Onley. I found it great. The illustrations, while not up to Collins Field Guide standard, were perfectly adequate for the job. Back then this book came in two versions. I hope I'm remembering this correctly, but I think one was called the Hand Guide to the Birds of New Zealand and the other the Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. The Field Guide (which was what we had) was the bigger book. The first part had colour plates opposite ID pointers and maps, cross-referenced to fuller species accounts in the manner familiar from Helm guides. The Hand Guide just had the first part of the book (the ID plates) – adequate for ID, but inevitably lacking all the background info like distribution, geographical variation, population, breeding, feeding, etc). The Field Guide also had an appendix of birdwatching sites, which I found helpful (though far from exhaustive). As said above, there are far too many European (and Australian) imports among the NZ fauna, winged and otherwise. Frankly, they make you weep. NZ is the only place where I've seen squashed mammals on the road and not felt a single pang of remorse. Anyway, ID of the landbirds is very straightforward because there aren't really any confusion species. The seabirds involve more homework though, especially the petrels and albatrosses.

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