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Birds of the West Indies (Collins Field Guide) Hardcover – February 4, 1985


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Hardcover, February 4, 1985
$109.79 $2.91

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Product Details

  • Series: Collins Field Guide
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; 5th edition (February 4, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002191911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002191913
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,484,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This illustrated guide will be a great boon to professional and amateur, even traveller and visitor with the most casual interest in birds". NATURE "Mr Bond's volume is intended for a quick reference and is planned to enable the birds of the West Indian islands to be identified with the minimum of trouble and minimum of description. For purposes of identification the colour plates in this volume could not be bettered". TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

About the Author

Roger Tory Peterson, one of the world's greatest naturalists, received every major award for ornithology, natural science, and conservation as well as numerous honorary degrees, medals, and citations, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Peterson Identification System has been called the greatest invention since binoculars. These editions include updated material by Michael O'Brien, Paul Lehman, Bill Thompson III, Michael DiGiorgio, Larry Rosche, and Jeffrey A. Gordon.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
I am sadly disappointed by this book. The plates are sporadically placed throughout the book, and some species of birds are not illustrated. For example, what does a Greater Antillean Grackle look like? There is a brief description in the text, but will I be able to differentiate between it and a Great-tailed Grackle?
There are no distribution maps either, so I have to rely on checklists printed from my Thayer's Birder's Diary program to determine which species to expect in, say, the Cayman Islands.
I will be field testing this guide in May 2002 and may have a better feel for the usefulness, or lack thereof, of this book. Meanwhile, studying the birds prior to my trip is a bit cumbersome due to the design of this book. In any event, would recommend a North American supplement for any trip to the region.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By J. C. M. Bannerman on May 17, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You will find the Ornithologist James Bond's old employer, Philadelphia's Academy of Natural Sciences does not sell copies of this book. They will sell you Herbert Raffaele's updated version of this book instead.

Why?

Because, it is at least from the 1930. it contains information which is seriously dated. Not to mention that the pictures are mostly in black and white with only about 10 colour plates. The pictures that are contained in the volume are not very representative of the birds you will encounter.

This book is acceptable if you intend on bird watching on your caribbean holiday, but we spent much of our time guessing if we were really looking at a bird. Yes, you can take a book of Eastern US birds with you, but do you want to take a birdwatching library with you on your holiday? Not to mention there are birds which will not show up in a US Bird book (e.g., bananaquit and parrots).

You will notice that the most effusive reviews of this book come from fans of Ian Fleming's 007, not bird watchers. That is because this book is much more a piece of 007 trivia than useful to modern bird watchers.

The story of How Ian Fleming's agent was named was that Fleming was at Goldeneye, his Jamaican house, and needed a name for the protagonist of his spy novel. Fleming wanted a plain name and his eye came upon his copy of James Bond's "Birds of the West Indies", which Fleming described as his bible. Fleming thought that James Bond would be the perfect name for his spy (No, Audobon would not have been a possibility). Mr. Fleming paid the ornithologist a dollar a year for the privilege of using the name James Bond in his novels.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Mulle on February 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
Unless one is collecting Peterson Field Guides, I do not recommend this book. Its organization is dated. Color plates are segregated from the bird descriptions. Many of the descriptions are accompanied by a black and white sketch. Some of the birds described lack any sketch or color plate. The book does not contain distribution maps. Redeeming aspects of the book are (1) it is small in size and (2) it includes a comprehensive list of species in the area with a written text for each.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Moses on January 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
When I ordered this guide, I was expecting a format that was similar to the other Petersen bird guides. Unfortunately, this book is nowhere near as well organized. The plates are small, the artwork is not as good, and not all the species are illustrated. The text was also rather thin in life history information. If you are traveling to the Caribbean in winter and aren't up to speed on North American migratory singbirds, you will need to take an Eastern U.S. bird guide with you as well, as the numerous migrants that comprise the wintertime fauna are merely mentioned. I managed to identify most birds that I saw while using this guide, but it was a frustrating process.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Betsy B on May 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
THE field guide to West Indian birds, a must-have for birders travelling in the Carribean, Northeast coast of South America, or the Bahamas. This book has only gotten better since being taken over by those wonderful folks at Peterson, and it was fine before that. Make sure you have this with you when you hit the airport, but consider taking along a North American guidebook, as well, and be aware that a few of the names vary from one book to another.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jessi May on February 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
Yea, The book could definently use some improvements, but overall the pictures did depict the birds pretty well. The only species illustrated {in color} are those endemic ONLY to the Carib islands. Any birds that are seen in the continental US are only given black and white drawings, and small descriptions. So a field guide and familiarity to eastern migratory birds are a plus! I am VERY dissapointed with the quality of the pages in the book. After a week in the Islands, mine looks worse than any of my regular guides! Bring a water-proof sleeve or something, because it's going to get wet! Not a bad book though, I had a lot of fun, and pretty much every bird you see tends to be a new species! Have fun!
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By ROBERT D. WAPPLE on September 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very helpful on our trip, great piece of work. A really good companion to the island-specific guides that are out there.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Various editions were shown, and the one I selected was more recent and had much better illustrations. Wish someone had asked before substituting.
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