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Birds of East Asia: China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and Russia (Princeton Field Guides) Paperback – February 15, 2009
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Winner of the 2009 Louis Brownlow Book Award
"Finally. The first single-volume guide for eastern Asia, and it's exquisitely illustrated."--Matt Mendenhall, Birder's World
"Although northeastern Asia boasts a number of regional endemics and is a source of many actual and potential vagrants to North America, the region has been sorely lacking a modern field guide. . . . Birds of East Asia finally provides a treatment that meets the standards expected for modern field guides. . . . I will certainly take it with me on any future visits to the region. That's a compliment I cannot offer any other current or past field guide to the region."--Nick Lethaby, Birder
"Any birder planning to visit this fascinating part of the world will want to get Birds of East Asia for their trip."--Federick Brock, Wildlife Activist
"Eastern Asia, in a biological sense, represents one of the last great frontiers, even for a group as generally well known as birds. Brazil, a field ornithologist with considerable experience with Asian avifauna, has produced the first comprehensive guide to birds of the region. . . . This is an excellent field guide and reference book. Birders who travel extensively in East Asia (or who want to) will own a copy as will any library with strong ornithological holdings."--Choice
"This interesting guide, which covers major islands including Japan and Taiwan, as well as the Asian continent from Kamchatka to the Korean peninsula, is amply illustrated with a plethora of color plates and maps that will provide any traveler with the information necessary to identify any bird of this vast region."--Indiana Audubon Quarterly
From the Back Cover
"Well-written and well-organized, this excellent book will be widely applauded by the professional and amateur birding community."--Susan Myers, Victor Emanuel Nature Tours
More About the Author
Educated at Keele and Stirling Universities, he has been writing since the late 1970s. Since 1982 his column Wild Watch has been published in The Japan Times newspaper, his is now the longest running single author natural history column in the world.
Mark's books include: A Birdwatcher's Guide to Japan, Birds of Japan, Wild Asia, The Whooper Swan and Field Guide to the Birds of East Asia. More about his writings and work can be found at http://www.japannatureguides.com/
Mark is an active field naturalist, and is a frequent lecturer and leader for Zegrahm Expeditions (http://www.zeco.com) worldwide. He is the founder of Japan Nature Guides and leads many birdwatching, natural history and photographic tours throughout Japan.
Top Customer Reviews
The only other comparable book is Birds of China by MacKinnon and Phillipps, which I also own. MacKinnon's book is bulkier and has an awkward layout with maps and plates in front and field notes in the back. One very important caveat is that MacKinnon covers all of China while Brazil includes only coastal China (up to about 110 degrees east). Travelers to Western China are advised to buy MacKinnon's book instead.
Overall, Birds of East Asia is a portable and useful field guide. Highly recommended.
The species accounts in "East Asia" are long and detailed, and the paintings are not just big and beautiful but also accurate. The accuracy of the paintings may be the biggest advantage of "East Asia" over MacKinnon. I photographed a zitting cisticola last year and mistook it for a Japanese swamp warbler, in part because the painting in MacKinnon of the cisticola is inaccurate. The zitting cisticola in "East Asia" looks just like the bird in my photo.
In the prefatory material, Brazil says that "East Asia" originally was going to cover the Japanese archipelago and Korean Peninsula only. Brazil's earlier plan is evident in the book. Eastern China (except for Manchuria) is a bit of an afterthought. Brazil includes all of Northeast China then hugs the Chinese coast to Fujian before turning east to Taiwan. "East Asia" also covers all of Japan, all of Korea, and all of Russia east of about 116 degrees east longitude.
Brazil may have had good reasons for not including the inland Chinese provinces, such as Jiangxi (which would have allowed him to include Courtois's laughingthrush). And it's true that few would agree that ALL of China lies in East Asia. So where do you draw the line? Farther west, I would say. (Suggestion: exclude the ornithologically complex provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan, Gansu, Inner Mongolia west of 110 degrees east latitude, and all provinces west. Include everything else.Read more ›
The recently published book, Birds of East Asia by Mark Brazil is superlative in every way! It is an amazing compilation of Mark Brazil's encyclopedic knowledge of the birds of East Asia. This field guide fills a previous void in coverage of important and major birding areas in East Asia, including East China, Taiwan, Korea, East Russia, and Japan. This book details 985 species of birds, including residents, migrants, and vagrants of the region, and includes 236 beautifully illustrated plates. The powerful and majestic Steller's Sea Eagle, spectacularly drawn by Alan Harris, graces the cover of both the USA and European versions. The only difference is that the background of the USA version is black, and the European version is white. However, the cover of the white European version is truly stunning, as it also shows the winter habitat of the Steller's Sea Eagle, as it flies over snow, ice, and sea.
The organization and layout of this field guide are excellent. A general section, good for beginning birders, includes the following: introduction, how to use this book, avian topography and terminology, key to families, and references. The specific sections of 985 detailed species and 236 accompanying illustrated plates are superb. The text and range maps of the species are displayed on one page with the artists plate illustrations directly opposite, making the field guide efficient and easy to use for comparison of species, migration patterns, and range of locations.Read more ›
Although the author clearly relied on the knowledge of regional experts who did not always give him the best or most current information regarding species distribution, the bottom line, I think, is that this is the best guide (at least in both English and Russian) for the Russian Far East. Just don't rely too much on the range maps.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book has been favorably reviewed online and in many publications. I see no point in repeating everything. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Robert A. Behrstock
Great guide; excellent plates, maps, etc., comprehensive seasonal mapping.
Frequent taxonomic discussions make this ( like other Princeton series guides) and excellent field... Read more
Took it with me on a 3-week trip to China. Heavy, but worth it since so many birds are unlike any we have in the United States.Published 7 months ago by KTinTX
Incredible - Compact and easy to find what one is looking for.
We used this guide on a two week trip to Korea and Japan in April 2015. The trip was with non-birder friends and we spent a day at Suncheon Bay Eco Park as well as looking at birds... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Agamemnon
Generally excellent illustrations. The text is very small and perhaps includes too much information. In a "field guide" I prefer the bare necessities. Read morePublished 10 months ago by M. Kato
Living overseas with a young boy bird enthusiast. Great book to add to his collection and helpful for identifying the various birds we have encountered. Read morePublished 11 months ago by T&CB.
Got this field guide for a recent 10 day trip to Taiwan. Watched birds full time for half that period, the rest was casual bird watching. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Amar HSS