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Birds of Southeast Asia (Princeton Field Guides) Paperback – August 21, 2005

3.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"One of the best bird field guides ever published."--Oriental Bird Club Bulletin

"This guide is a magnificent achievement, regionally without peer, and clearly the essential guide for future visitors to the region."--World Birdwatch, journal of BirdlLife International

About the Author

Craig Robson is the author of "A Guide to the Birds of Southeast Asia" (Princeton). A regular traveler in Southeast Asia for the last twenty years, he was a founder of the thriving Oriental Bird Club, serving on its council for five years and writing extensively for its journal during that time.

Richard Allen is a Canadian historian now retired from the Department of History at McMaster University.

John Harrison has a lifelong interest in wildlife, and birds in particular. In 1973 he was appointed as a radio producer in the BBC Natural History Unit; during the 18 years he was there, he worked with most of the top naturalists and ornithologists in Britain. He now works on a voluntary basis as
Press Officer with the Wildlife Trust in Bristol. As a birdwatcher and wildlife enthusiast, he has made many visits to Sri Lanka over a number of years, and has a first-hand knowledge of the Sri Lankan avifauna.
Tim Worfolk is a full-time wildlife artist with several publications to his credit. Amongst others, he has worked on the Handbook of the Birds of the World, Pica Press Shrikes of the World, Birds of South-East Asia published by New Holland, and Birds of the Indian Subcontinent, by Black.


John Cox is a FIDE Master and a former junior international and British Junior Champion. This is his second book for Everyman Chess; his first was "Starting Out: Alekhine's Defence.


Steve Madge has gained first-hand knowledge of most species of corvid during his extensive travels throughout the world and has published widely in journals. His previous book with Hilary Burn, "Wildfowl, was voted ''Best Bird Book of the Year'' in 1988 by the journal "British Birds. He helped form the company Birdquest and is a former member of the British Birds Rarities Committee. Hilary Burn is recognized as one of the leading bird artists in the world. Her work has appeared in many books, including "The Birds of the Western Palearctic, the RSPB Book of British Birds, Wildfowl, and "The Handbook of Bird Identification for Europe and the Western Palearctic. She is a member of the Society of Wildlife Artists.

Brigadier Andrew Mackay is commander of the British Army's 52 Infantry Brigade. His extensive experience in postconflict environments includes planning for IFOR, SFOR, and KFOR; overseeing justice and security reforms in Kosovo; and training police in Baghdad.
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Product Details

  • Series: Princeton Field Guides
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (August 21, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691124353
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691124353
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeffrey RR Skrentny on November 21, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased Birds of SE Asia for some birding days I would have in Singapore in November of 2007. Everyone I asked said it was the best you could find...and my search results indicate they are correct, you can not find a better bird guide for this part of the world than Robson's. BUT, and I mean this only for those of you who will seriously digest this book and use it as a field guide as intensely as I did for my two days in the field, it is not perfect. Sure it covers 1270 species, but I only wanted to know about 400 of them in Singapore. Yes, I am sure that Robson used the most up to date information he had at the time of publication, but for the Singapore birds he just didn't have it all right, including some basic scarcity ratings, and in one case the bird plate just wasn't that accurate a plate.

Still, all things being equal, for example NO GUIDE, Robson's guide is a heroic effort to cover a great deal of territory and almost 1300 birds in a FIELD GUIDE sized book. Here he succeeded wonderfully, and I was able to make most of the needed IDs of the 70 or so species I found in 2 days with his guide book.

Until there is something more country specific, I don't think you can find a better guide book for this area of the world...assuming that specific guides for countries don't become available soon, I hope that the author will update his work and include the appropriate corrections soon.

If you are heading to SE Asia and hope to do some birding, don't leave home without it.
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Format: Paperback
This edition is the first quality guide to the birds of Southeast Asia that is easily portable. The original hardback version of Robson's book is too bulky and heavy to be handy in the field. I have used the hardback version for six years and found myself making notes in the field then researching the guide only when I returned to my hotel. I look forward to being able to carry the book with me on most walks. Another vast improvement in the new guide is that the bird descriptions are now on the page facing the illustrations. No more need to thumb back and forth between picture and text. This is the book I've been waiting for!
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Format: Paperback
Bought this book since I already had the same author's "Birds of Thailand", which was quite adequate and wanted the wider area coverage. Now wish I hadn't bought it. There are NO RANGE MAPS for each species, which is virtually inexcusable for a modern field guide, and particularly in this case where unfamiliar range names (such as Tenasserim and Tonkin) are used without any definition. The fact that it is a small guide covering a large area is no excuse - the excellent "Birds of East Asia" by Brazil covers a similar area in a compact format and includes range maps. I won't be taking the Robson book on birding trips to Southeast Asia as the lack of maps outweighs any advantages it may have.
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Format: Paperback
I purchased this guide for a combined trip to Borneo and Peninsula Malaysia. I had a copy of the pocket guide to the Birds of Borneo and was looking for a guide to cover some of the birds that were not pictured in the small Borneo book as well as the Birds of Peninsula Malaysia. For this purpose I was pleased. A few endmic Borneo birds were of course not included but most were included.

As for the stand alone qualities of Birds of Southeast Asia, this is well designed for use in the field. It is compact with a plastic cover and contains an amazing amount of information for its size. The pictures are high quality and when the scale changes on a page, it is noted next to the picture. The inside cover has small pictures of a representative of each family with the starting page # for that family. Species descriptions, including many juveniles & females, voice, range and time of year are included opposite the pictures.

I am writing this prior to my trip so the true test, how many lifers are gleaned from its use, is yet to come.
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Format: Paperback
A really great work! I wish I had this book last year when I made a stopover at the Bangkok Airport going to and from Germany. Even though I was unable to step outside, I did some birdwatching from the large window overlooking the beautiful spacious garden outside. At that time I used a hardback edition of Craig Robson's "Birds of Thailand," that I purchased at the bookstore within the airport.

But this paperback edition of "Birds of Southeast Asia" is actually a bit smaller, and less cumbersome, than the field guide dealing specifically with Thailand. Although no range maps are given (a real strength of the Thailand field guide), the general range is clearly stated in the text. And the status is given as well. This field guide covers Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, and Singapore.

Another major strength of this field guide (also true of "Birds of Thailand") is that the text faces the plates, which are all in color. All 1,270 species covered in the text are illustrated.

The only two very minor weaknesses is that only the Southeast Asia range is described in the text. The other is that there are no lines or arrows pointing to major field marks. But these are very minor, and do little if anything, to detract from the excellent points of this book.

This is THE book to carry with you if you are traveling to, or through, Southeast Asia.
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