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Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide (Corrie Herring Hooks Series) Paperback – February 15, 2010


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Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide (Corrie Herring Hooks Series) + The Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide (Zona Tropical Publications) + Costa Rica Birds: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species (Pocket Naturalist Guide Series)
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Product Details

  • Series: Corrie Herring Hooks Series (Book 64)
  • Paperback: 403 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press (February 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780292719651
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292719651
  • ASIN: 0292719655
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #594,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

CARROL L. HENDERSON has headed the Nongame Wildlife Program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for thirty-two years. He is an award-winning wildlife conservationist who has helped bring back eastern bluebirds, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, river otters, and trumpeter swans; an avid wildlife photographer whose images have appeared in the New York Times, Audubon, Birder’s World, and Wild Bird; an experienced birding tour leader to Latin America, Kenya, Tanzania, and New Zealand; and the author of many magazine articles and nine books, including Oology and Ralph’s Talking Eggs.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jack Holloway on February 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Basics: 2010, 387 pp, softcover; 433 color photos of 310 (35%) of the country's 880+ species; life history and ecological overview of each bird; map of Costa Rica shows locations of tour sightings for each species; quick synopsis of 72 birding locations

This book is an extension of the author's prior book, "A Field Guide to the Wildlife of Costa Rica" from 2002. The difference with this newer book is its focus on only birds (versus mammals, reptiles, and insects). The total number of birds has also been expanded from 189 to 310 species, which is approximately 35% of the 880+ species that can be found in Costa Rica. The 310 birds are illustrated with over 430 color photographs with another 35 photos of habitat, nests, and eggs.

Perhaps a bit different from what the subtitle (Field Guide) of this book may suggest, this book is not a true, complete field guide. Instead, a more descriptive subtitle would be "Photo Guide to Some Birds for Home Study". As the author noted in the introduction, this book is "...a reference guide that includes more life history and ecological information..." and "...a book to read and study before a trip to Costa Rica...and to enjoy after a day in the field..." Keeping those two points in mind, the author has done a very nice job with this book, making it a nice accompaniment to a complete field guide.

All 310 birds in the book are shown with a color photograph, with about a third of them shown with two photos. The multiple photos typically display the differences between male and female plumages. The quality of the photos ranges from acceptable to very good. Some photos are rather small, grainy, or blurry (e.g., Golden-naped Woodpecker, Flame-throated Warbler, Dull-mantled Antbird) while others are very attractive (e.g.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By G. Hunter on February 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an informative guide that may suffice for travelers interested in some of the birds seen during a trip to Costa Rica, and birders visiting that company will certainly want to bring it along as a reference.

At least among birders a "field guide" to the birds of Costa Rica will include species accounts for all species known to occur in that country; illustrations that are designed to facilitate identification; text that supplements the illustrations with diagnostic clues, habitat and elevational preferences; and geographic ranges (often described both in text and with maps). Birders intent on seeing as many species as possible (including birds that are elusive, rare, or inconspicuous) will not adopt this as their Costa Rica field guide; that niche will almost certainly be filled by the superb Garrigues/Dean collaboration. In his introduction Henderson concedes that the guide covers only 77 percent of the species he has sighted in Costa Rica since 1987, and he notes that the species accounts "represent about 35 percent of the country's birdlife".

The "updated distribution maps" are of some value, but they document only the sites where birds were found during twenty-three Henderson-led tours since 1987. For example, a birder quickly perusing the guide might conclude that the Bicolored Antbird is found only in two southern Pacific locales, even though it is also found on the Caribbean Slope (a fact noted in the text).

The photos are in most instances useful for identification, but not invariably so. It's difficult to compose a photo of one bird that includes all the diagnostic field marks required to identify the species.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shirley Ann on April 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book offered great pictures and information on the birds it covered, but it was not easy to get from one area to another. It may very well be that a "hardcover" book is much better as a field guide because you can flip amongst the pages to find the bird(s) identification you are looking for more quickly. As a study guide it would be okay, but in the field, it is not unusual to be looking at several birds at one time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. Victorine on December 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
enjoyed the thorough information about each bird but not very helpful in identifying as it's not easy to compare similar birds.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lee Dallas on January 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most interesting book on birds and Costa Rica that I have found. I find my self picking it up at odd times of the day and just enjoying it. I am planning a birding trip and like the fact that the author shows how many times he has seen the bird(s) on his trips to Costa Rica.
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Format: Paperback
Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide pairs photos by the author with a fine survey of Costa Rican birds that travelers to the country are most likely to see. Over 310 birds adds over a hundred species from an earlier volume, also including natural history and insights on behavior all taken from Henderson's forty years of traveling and birding in the country. A top reference for any travel or natural history collection where Costa Rican wildlife is of interest.
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