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What's the best field guide for Ecuador? (1 Viewer)

THE_FERN

Well-known member
But electronics does not like humidity and mud.
Yes, but neither does paper. Modern sealed phones are probably more water resistant.

The risk is why I take 2 different models. Through painful experience, I've learnt to save things to SD card and not rely on internal storage.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
Cyprus
Yes, but neither does paper. Modern sealed phones are probably more water resistant.

The risk is why I take 2 different models. Through painful experience, I've learnt to save things to SD card and not rely on internal storage.
I recall once being in a place in India, which had a few books. When I opened a couple of them, they were badly damaged by the humidity0 moldy and almost falling apart. How do people protect their books if they live in such conditions, aircon helps I suppose?
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
I guess it depends on the actual humidity where the books are placed. I live in the Caribbean, and if I left a book in the area with roof but no walls it would eventually become ruined even with no rain falling on it. Indoors (where I use the AC once in a blue moon) they actually seems to hold up. In my case I believe that the sun on many days heats the room enough that the inside air dries a little and that is enough.

Niels
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
The guide I like is the McMullan guide by Jocotco Publishing but the one I was trying to remember that I also like are just the plates by McMullan. You can see the two field guides side by side although the smaller one is just the plates of a particular area, such as NW Ecuador. Both of these are perfect for 'in the field' as they fit into a binocular case. I like the information on the McMullan as it provides a small map with range, provides elevation, and provides a small habitat narrative. :)
 

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David Swain

Well-known member
For a recent trip to Ecuador, I used Freile and Restall as well as McMullen and Navarette (2nd ed). I found the little "fieldbook" very handy for quick reference, although obviously out of date on many matters. Freile's text is excellent, and I really wish he had gotten into the Lynx FieldGuides series and had their illustrations (Restall's are accurate but mostly look like old skins in a museum drawer). McMullen's plates on wading birds and raptors are very good and a bit leisurely, while his plates for most passerines look out of focus, hurried, and and often have muddy colors. The more generous treatment in the first half is offset by crowding in the second half, where I really wanted the detail. We don't go to Ecuador for terns but tanagers. I would trade a slightly bulkier volume for sharper treatment of passerines. Otherwise, really concise information and useful field tips.

In any case, by chance I ran into Navarette in Quito and asked him if a 3rd edition was coming, and he said yes, in either late 2023 or 2024, and that they were working on improving the plates. He emphasized that they wanted it to work for birders, but that they also had a limited production budget.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
For a recent trip to Ecuador, I used Freile and Restall as well as McMullen and Navarette (2nd ed). I found the little "fieldbook" very handy for quick reference, although obviously out of date on many matters. Freile's text is excellent, and I really wish he had gotten into the Lynx FieldGuides series and had their illustrations (Restall's are accurate but mostly look like old skins in a museum drawer). McMullen's plates on wading birds and raptors are very good and a bit leisurely, while his plates for most passerines look out of focus, hurried, and and often have muddy colors. The more generous treatment in the first half is offset by crowding in the second half, where I really wanted the detail. We don't go to Ecuador for terns but tanagers. I would trade a slightly bulkier volume for sharper treatment of passerines. Otherwise, really concise information and useful field tips.

In any case, by chance I ran into Navarette in Quito and asked him if a 3rd edition was coming, and he said yes, in either late 2023 or 2024, and that they were working on improving the plates. He emphasized that they wanted it to work for birders, but that they also had a limited production budget.
Good news, this has been my favorite book on the visits I have made (I have the first edition). I have not used the Freile and Restall.
Niels
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
I didn't see this mentioned?

I haven't been to Ecuador yet (soon...), however I have purchased this and IMHO is a good book for pre-trip studying, as the text includes a lot of useful info like specific sites for species, whether something visits feeders, ID (obviously), etc. It's also covering half of the content so less space is devoted to birds you won't see if you are visiting the Mindo region, for instance.

Obvious faults being is that its a photo guide, and not all of the photographs are of equal quality or show the distinctive features well. Also, West-East Divide means that some species you are likely to see at a place like Guango Lodge, which is frequently added to Mindo itineraries, are not illustrated, and stuff from the far southwest is. I think I would like the guide more if it focused on the Northwest and included some adjacent sites frequently on a Mindo-based itinerary, even if they dip onto the east slope.
 

David Swain

Well-known member
I considered getting the photo guide to Western Ecuador, until I realized its taxonomy was no more accurate than the others; its photo examples were limited compared to the Merlin collection for a given species; and finally the realization that Nick Athanas had authored 600 species in the region for Merlin. It is also bulkier than Freile. Much as I like the idea of the photo guide, it is made redundant in many respects by the Merlin North Ecuador pack. It does have some site-specific tips, but nothing one cannot find through diligent reading of eBird reports by guides and independent birders.
 

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