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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars13
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on March 15, 2008
I am not a birder, first of all, but a biologist who is very interested in Panama. I thought this new release was a classic-type bird guide, so was rather shocked to open the book and see not one photo. What this is, is a guide to hiking trails and and other areas where you are likely to see birds and other wildlife. If only I had had this book on my last trip to Panama I could have saved myself much grief and actually have found the trails I was looking for. Panama is a beautiful country, but the trails are very difficult to locate without a guide. This book solves that problem. There are long species lists for folks who want that information. But you can skip those and you will find that most of the text is quite readable. If you are a nature-lover planning a trip to Panama, I would definately recommend this book. There is so much to see there that is not immediately obvious to the traveller. If you just want a book about birds, however, this is not for you.
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on January 31, 2010
I've known Dodge Engleman for over 35 years (Lorna a few years less), and went on birding trips in Panama back in the mid-70's. This guide takes you down the remote roads and trails, right to the locations for the best birding, as well as areas for insects, butterflies and moths, which are the preferred food for most birds. The 3 authors have spent thousands of hours running all over Panama in all sorts of weather searching out these locations and compiling many years of field notes that have resulted in the best "field" guide for Panama available. Anyone looking to see "natural" areas in Panama should have this book. It takes you well beyond the "tourist" locations.
I lived in Panama for over 5 years, and have gone back once or twice a year for 2-week trips since 2001, and when Dodge and Lorna sent me a copy of this book a couple years ago, I used it to find some great places I hadn't seen, and didn't remember how to locate, in over 30 years. Add this to the bag with your Ridgely's Birds of Panama book. The two should be together whenever you are in Panama.
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on October 28, 2008
As with most site sensitive bird finding guides, the content is only as good as it is current. It's great to read about a wonderful, virgin forest that is sure to produce such and such a bird, only to show up and you are in the middle of a newly created suburbia. The good news is that this book is a 2008 revision of a 2006 original printing. Both dates are not distant past enough to be rendered invalid for finding those wonderful exotics. The text is accompanied with excellent maps and directions for each area covered. Also, which I have not seen before is an individual species list for each area discussed. The content is clear, easily understood, and well organized. Also included are places to eat and overnight for each birding site. A feature that is useful for `planning' your trip to Panama as well as where to go when you get there. A very worthwhile purchase. Enjoy....
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on January 19, 2009
I received my copy of A Bird-Finding Guide to Panama just 2 weeks ago and already it has paid huge dividends. My reason for buying the book was not to learn all the best places to find rarities (although the book appears to do this well), but to visit area that would provide the opportunity to visit and sample a wide diversity of species and habitats. This book clearly does that.

Sorted by major geogrpahic regions, the book focuses on places rather than species. Within regions, specific locales help the bird-watching planner decide where they can go to see the greatest variety of species, without getting too hung up on where the latest rarity is. The book provides a sampling of species too look for in each region,and where to look for them, but tends to describe more about the kind of habitat you'll be visiting. And this point becomes increasingly important as you learn about the tropics and why they have as many species as they do. It quiote simply boils down to speciation, or niche segregation. For the first-time visitor to Panama, understanding habitats is perhaps more fundamental than understanding the species when it comes to finding the greatest diversity. All birders known to look on the ground, look on the trunks, look in the canopy, and look in the sky, but staying in the same or similar habitats and not knowing it doesn't really help.
Although I have yet to field test the book, the level of detail for gettig to various locales, and the maps that accomodate those descriptions, seems more than appropriate. I for one however will be using a GPS with turn-by-turn instructions and pre-defined waypoints to help; the latter of which I have determined from the book and its maps.
Again, at no fault of the book, I have tried to contact some of the people in the guide for permission to access certain sites. None have responded to my request.
Lastly, for the birder who really wants to know, a complete checkist of birds for each location in the book is provided. I found this to be a little redundant, because if anyone was to use this for bird-finding, they would have to pour through the lists simultaneously to see those that are unique to the area you're visiting. For the birder who wants to know if they've seen something new for the area, there is value.
My overall recommendation, pending actual use of the book in Panama,is that it will be very helpful, and well worth the money spent.
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on March 19, 2009
I know these authors personally and was thrilled to buy their book. I knew exactly what type of book it was when I ordered it, so I was not disappointed in the lack of photographs, etc. The authors are extremely passionate about birding, which comes across in the detail with which the book is written. I recommend the book very highly to committed birders.
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on March 16, 2013
It is a must for berders visiting Panama. It is complete, maybe more than you need. I have visisted some of the places recommended by the book.
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on February 1, 2016
Not quite as user-friendly as the similar book for Costa Rica in terms of the detailed information for each site, but otherwise quite helpful in helping to plan a trip to see target birds.
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on May 18, 2013
This a must-have book for birding in Panama. Well written, detailed in its research and easy to follow. Well worth the purchase price.
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on March 26, 2016
Ya gotta have it. However, it is quite outdated and many places are now "off Limits".
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on October 19, 2015
Very useful, maybe a little bit outdated...
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