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Field Guide to the Songbirds of South America: The Passerines (Mildred Wyatt-Wold Series in Ornithology) Paperback – July 15, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0292719798 ISBN-10: 0292719795

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Field Guide to the Songbirds of South America: The Passerines (Mildred Wyatt-Wold Series in Ornithology) + Birds of South America: Non-Passerines: Rheas to Woodpeckers (Princeton Illustrated Checklists) + A Field Guide to the Birds of Brazil
Price for all three: $87.67

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Product Details

  • Series: Mildred Wyatt-Wold Series in Ornithology
  • Paperback: 760 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press (July 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0292719795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292719798
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

ROBERT S. RIDGELY, a leading ornithologist and author of A Guide to the Birds of Panama and The Birds of Ecuador, is Deputy Director of World Land Trust-US. He has served on numerous conservation-related boards, and currently is especially involved with Fundación Jocotoco in Ecuador, of which he is president.

GUY TUDOR, a MacArthur Fellow and well-known bird artist and naturalist, was the principal illustrator of A Guide to the Birds of Venezuela and A Guide to the Birds of Colombia.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Finally, a comprehensive single-volume field guide to almost all of the passerine birds of South America!
CW
Between trips, you will just want to sit for hours in your favorite easy chair, enjoying this book and studying for future trips.
S. Paci
The maps of Ridgely and Tudor are very well done, and easy to use in that they are facing the illustrations.
Edwin Price

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jack Holloway on July 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
THE BASICS: softcover, 1,981 species described, 1,500+ species illustrated in 121 excellent color plates, detailed and customized range maps for 1,800+ species, paragraph of text focuses on description, identification, voice, and distribution

THE REVIEW: It was hard to put this book down after receiving it in the mail. It's an impressive merger of the authors' two prior books into a single volume of plates and identification material. The size and weight of this book is well above the limits for a "field guide" and the layout of the material does not lend itself to quick field use. However, that will not prevent me from taking it with me on my next trip - especially if multiple regions are involved.

The 121 plates - taken from the prior books along with another 500+ new illustrations - are superbly done. Plumage variations are shown for the more distinct races and usually for the gender differences. Of the 1,981 birds described in the text, just over 1,500 are illustrated in the plates. And, about 1,800 are accompanied with a range map. These maps include country and state boundaries along with major rivers, which help to bring greater detail to the birds' ranges. These maps also display migrational movements with a nice touch of using two different colors to denote if the bird is austral or boreal in origin.

As noted above, not all species are illustrated, which means you will still need a regional guide for the other 500 or so birds. As a bit of irony, I had to chuckle at the Elusive Antpitta. Antpittas are notorious enough for being hard to find in the field. Well, within this book the Elusive Antpitta goes one step further - it's not illustrated, making it even more elusive. That's just not fair.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By viajera on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently traveled to Brazil for a conference and some birding-oriented travel, and waffled between purchasing this book (accompanied by Erize et al.'s non-passerine Birds of South America) or the single-volume Birds of Brazil by Ber van Perlo. At the advice of a few birder friends who had recently spent time in Brazil, I chose Ridgely and Tudor - and I am so glad that I did! Most other people I birded with had van Perlo's book, so I was able to compare the plates side-by-side. Ridgely and Tudor was superior, often by orders of magnitude, in every single case - better, more accurate drawings; more accurate color rendition; more updated and precise range information; and more in-depth natural-history descriptions. This is the book to buy, no doubt about it!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Internet Addict on July 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
I am mostly pleased about this new addition to SA birding. It is set up in a very easy to use fashion. However, I am disappointed that the bird names are not larger. This makes it a bit hard to read. Also, I am very surprised that not all species are shown. Again, a few dozen are not shown. They tend to be species with smaller populations, limited range, or found in Central America. But if you are going to publish an excellent book such as this, why not go the extra little bit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on November 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
College-level collections strong in South American nature guides, particularly those possessing prior volumes in the series, will find "Field Guide to Songbirds of South America: The Passerines" continues the trend as an essential reference for professional ornithologists and birders: the only volumes to provide complete scientific coverage of the continent's passerines. It's hefty - over 700 pages - yet compact, so birders can take it into the field, and it extracts and updated the identification information from "The Birds of South America", with over a hundred color plates and 150 additional color illustrations of subspecies and females accompanying extensively updated color range maps and more. Very highly recommended as a 'foundation title' for any serious birder's library.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Edwin Price on May 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Guy Tudor makes beautiful and accurate drawings!! I used this book along with De la Pena and Rumboll's "Birds of Southern South America and Antarctica" for birding Argentina. The difference is astounding. I regularly failed to find a bird (that I had gotten an excellent view of) in the latter book, only to find it quite easily in Tudor's plates. The maps of Ridgely and Tudor are very well done, and easy to use in that they are facing the illustrations. The text is useful as well.
I understand the complaints that not all the species are illustrated. Thus there is some limitation to using it as a complete field guide. I haven't run into problems with finding an unillustrated species though. Since the book only covers the passerines, any birder will have to carry another guide (probably a country specific guide) anyway. But my recommendation is to lug this one along too; it is worth the weight to have such excellent plates!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Luciano F. Fernandes on July 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We bird watchers should be grateful to Ridgely and Tudor for making this book... beautifully pictured species and nice content. One can feel how much these guys appreciate those animals. Along with Avifauna Brasileira by T. Sigrist, they are the best guides of SA and Brazilian birds I have ever read. I am just excited to have in hands the next volumes 3 and 4 ! Some suggestions to next edition to be included are:
a. separate atlas and text into 2 tomes for it's more practical to handle with in the field.
b. definitely important to add a list of bird names in Brazilian portuguese! At least put them at the side of American names.
c. include a "book marker" with the mark color legends, etc. It is nice to mark pages and to quick find yourself in the many colors in the maps.
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