Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Field Guide to Mexican Birds: Field Marks of All Species Found in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize (British Honduras, El Salvador)
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on July 4, 2000
This book describes birds of Mexico in the usual annoying Peterson format - decription on one page, illustration on another. The illustrations and descriptions are good, and for birds of Mexico, there are only a couple other guides to choose from. Two problems:
1. Mexican birds that are covered in Peterson's guides to the birds of North America, or the guide to birds of Texas, are not illustrated. You'll have to bring at least one other book.
2. Really glaring omission: no mention of the Spanish names of the birds! Did Peterson really think we would do all our Mexican birding from the north bank of the Rio Grande, with a really good spotting scope? (The Spanish names of the birds can be found on the website of the Museo de las Aves)
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on February 3, 2000
Although this book is up to Peterson standards it only contains the birds in Mexico not found in the North American guide. For example this book contains no shore birds. If you are out bird watching in Mexico you will need to bring both books.
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on April 16, 2001
Other reviewers have already indicated the limitations of this book: pictures of many species and Spanish names are missing. I would add that the bibliography is lacking up-to-date references to the most usefull other guides about Mexican birds:
- A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America, by Steve N.G. Howell and Sophie Webb;
- A field guide to the birds of Mexico and Adjacent Areas, by Ernest Preston Edwards. (revised edition, 1998)
Both these books also have their limitations but they are essential complements to Peterson's guide and Howell and Webb's guide is much more comprehensive.
For Spanish-speaking people I would strongly recommend to buy the Spanish version of Peterson's guide:
- Aves de Mexico. Guía de Campo. (Editorial Diana, Mexico).
This Spanish version includes explanations and pictures of all Mexican birds and it even has the English names (no index of English names, however). Amazon is not stocking this title but perhaps they will, if you insist.
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on November 17, 2005
Peterson pioneered field guides for American wildlife identification and they are still the best choice for many groups in North America. However, I think Peterson stretched himself in trying to cover the massive Mexican avifauna. And this particular Peterson has not kept pace with the much improved, newer field guides, so it has now become all but obsolete. It's still useful as an aide memoire for the pocket, but for the last ten years the best field guide to Mexican birds has been Howell and Webb and it looks unlikely to be superceded while I'm still birding. Though Edwards is an interesting book, I'm not sure I agree with the suggestion of using it as a serious field guide. So, either buy Howell and Webb or wait for Peterson to be thoroughly revised or perhaps for another pocket-sized guide to appear.
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on September 24, 2002
I love Peterson's Guides, but the birds of Mexico is severely lacking. The art certainly holds up to the standard set by the guides to North America, but unfortunately, it can only be considered complete if you tag along two other Peterson Guides. Perhaps a good addition if you wish to complete your collection of Peterson Guides, but otherwise, buy Howell's or Edward's Guides, both of which far outshine this guide when considered alone. Howell's is certainly the most complete, but Edward's guide is a bit handier in the field.
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on July 31, 2006
Attention, publisher and smart shoppers: Can we all agree that even paperback reference books should be securely bound to support repeated, long-term use? A BIRD BOOK should be bound like a Sherman tank because it ought to withstand being tossed into a backpack and perused in the swampy jungle. My copy of Roger Tory Peterson's "Mexican Birds" is almost new and I've opened it just a couple dozen times inside our air-conditioned home in Ixtapa. Yet this morning, as I was trying to determine whether the yellow-bellied bird in the Parota tree outside our window was a Great Kiskadee or a Boat-billed Flycatcher, I set the open book down on my desk and eight of the color plates separated from the binding! What Lesser Yellow-Headed Vulture engineered the binding of this book? (made in U.S.) I own Penguin paperback detective novels that hold together better than this, even though I don't need them to do so. So to the publishers, I must quote the purported cry of the extinct Do-Do Bird, "DUH!" To my fellow birders, I say, come to Mexico! We have woodpeckers and Egrets galore, White-Throated Magpie Jays (who have twice hovered a few feet in front of our faces, yodelling softly while they watch us back!), Yellow-Winged Caciques (who gather together in trees by the hundreds at bedtime and whoosh out in a long, musical procession at dawn) and much more! (I list only birds we see DAILY in our Club de Golf, Ixtapa neighborhood!) But when you come, bring a field guide with a better binding than this one. Happy birding!
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on July 4, 2001
I ordered this book, used, even though there was an unfavorable review. I have a number of Peterson books and like them all. The Mexican book is the exception. The one I received was from a very old edition, had incomplete illustrations of many birds, making identification difficult to impossible, and did not picture many birds found in other Peterson guide books. It is the worst. The reseller did ship the book promptly but I did not pay attention to the edition date and was unaware that there was a later edition of the book.
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on February 2, 2006
The color plates are well executed but they all fell out because the paperback binding is glued in, not sewn. Other owners of this guide have had the same problem. I was surprised because I love many of the Peterson Guides, but this book was not the least bit durable. Eventually, the book became a liability and I didn't bother carrying it. I was angry and Houghton Mifflin sent me a new copy when I complained. My friend had, "A Guide to Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America" by Howell and Webb. It was far superior. It was much more detailed and had range maps which were very helpful. It's only problem was its weight.I strongly recommend you look at the Howell and Webb if you are serious about identifying birds in Mexico.
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on May 3, 2006
I assumed any Peterson guide would be good enough to provide a solid field reference. This was an unpleasant surprise -- it is well short of the mark. For starters, approximately a sixth of the book was bound upside down. (I did not have enough time before my trip to return it.) Next, the number of plates seems particularly limited and, finally, the number of birds covered seems far too limited. The first two entries I went to while in the field irritatingly simply referenced other Peterson guides with no further detail. Note to publisher: this diminishes the Peterson brand.
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on April 2, 2007
Having loved and used Peterson's excellent Texas guide for years (my first copy having disintegrated years ago, the cover now coming off the second), I found this book woefully disappointing. The back cover states that 1038 species are described and illustrated -- not true! While the illustrations the book does contain are quite wonderful in their usual way, most of the birds already found in Peterson's other North American guides offer only a cursory two or three line description, and no illustration at all -- only the letters E, W, and/or T, which means, simply, go look it up in one of the other books!

Unfortunately for me, I found this book at the last minute at my local public library just before a plane trip to Mexico and only learned about its limitations as I was reading the chapter on "How to Use this Book" after I was already in the air. I am glad I didn't BUY the book. I just wish I had at least brought my Texas guide with me, but I didn't realize I needed it.

The book would have been more appropriately titled, "A Field Guide to the Mexican Birds that We Didn't Already Cover" or "Mexican Birds You Didn't Already Know". Unless you are an expert birder and already know most North American birds by sight, this book is only good as a supplement. Although I had been birding for over 30 years, I found this book to be completely useless as a stand-alone field guide.
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