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Field Guide To The Birds Of New Zealand Revised Edition,The Paperback – International Edition, April 26, 2011


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Paperback, International Edition, April 26, 2011
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About the Author


About the Authors:
Dr. Barrie Heather is a renowned New Zealand bird expert. Dr. Hugh Robertson is at the Department of Conservation in Wellington, New Zealand. Derek Onley is a leading New Zealand bird artist.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin New Zealand; revised edition (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143020404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143020400
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,361,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 13, 1997
Format: Hardcover
New Zealand is indeed fortunate in the number of bird books which have been published over the past century. Back in 1953, the Ornithological Society of NZ published a "Checklist of New Zealand Birds". In 1959, the Society approached RA Falla, RB Sibson & EG Turbott to compile a practical field guide.
In 1966, this appeared as "A Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand", published by Collins. It rapidly became the bible for several generations of field ornithologists. Several revisions of the original field guide were made, up to 1978. They all grace my bookshelf.
Finally, in 1976, almost 20 years later, this new guide has appeared. It isn't quite as portable as the original, but contains a wealth of information. The guide is divided into two sections.
The first 150 pages are an indentification guide, with brief descriptions and distribution maps facing colour illustrations of the species. The remaining 260 pages provide much more detail on the distribution, population status, breeding and behaviour of the 328 endemic and introduced bird species found in New Zealand.
Barrie and Hugh are to be congratulated on the depth of research they have done to compile the text. Similarly, Derek Onley's illustrations give much better detail of recognition features than do most photographs.
This is the one essential book for local naturalists, or overseas birders visiting New Zealand.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Debby Ng on April 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
And I'm quite sure any Kiwi birder would agree with that. My review is of the revised edition of this book [ISBN 0670-89370-6].

This most certainly is the most complete guide to the birds of NZ with beautiful and accurate slates. I love its neat layout - slates on the right, description and ID on the left. There are no spill overs so its as simple as that. Where necessary, there are distribution diagrams with a detailed key which makes for very effective guide.

Because NZ birds are so unique, you will love the additional Handbook section which introduces the different genuses. This comes after the field guide, at the back of the book. Everything is very detailed and you can tell that this book has been crafted with alot of attention and care. Which must be why this is the only field guide to NZ birds officially endorsed by the Ornithological Society of NZ.

A downside may be that it's a little bulky to haul around the field, but using it is such a joy that this short coming is quickly compensated.

The book for any self-respecting and serious birder, and an indispensible resource for naturalists or the curious amateur.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In my mind the most useful field guides show the birds in profile with no artistic license. We are not using the book to judge artistic skill. We are using the book to id the birds. This book seems more concerned with artistic rendering than in providing a useful field guide. For example the female Rifleman has its back to us. Has good descriptions and maps next to the drawings. Unfortunately, reading the text concerning the birds is very depressing because it is a repetition of how they are mostly all disappearing due to predation by introduced species such as cats and rats.

If you are thinking of going, you had better not think too long.
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Format: Paperback
I was completely satisfied with this field guide before my journey to New Zealand and after it. Compared to continental biodiversity, only a small number of bird species exist in New Zealand. I previously studied the book very extensive and many times so I was able to identify most land and coastal birds directly or at least put them in the right category. (This statement is unapplicable on seabirds because there is a great deal of them in New Zealand’s waters. Furthermore their way of life and the fact that observations are mostly very short make it harder to identify them.)
The book contains the birds of the main islands and all species of the outlying Pacific islands, which belong to New Zealand as well.

It is seperated in four parts:
A short introduction gives some hints about how to use the field guide.
The identification guide presents all species briefly and is arranged after bird families. Introduced birds are presented on separated pages. The species descriptions in this part of the book are brief and give information about size and weight, (seasonal) appearance, frequency, habitat, breeding period and sometimes vocal expressions. The distribution maps are detailed and not to small. Unfortunately they are painted only in red, so that they don’t give hints about sedentary birds, summer or winter visitors.
The illustrations are found on the opponent pages. Mostly 3-5 species are presented, so that the illustrations aren’t too small and the pages not too crowded. Where it is necessary, differences between sexes and maturity, juvenile, breeding and non-breeding birds, different phases/subspecies and flight images are shown.
At the end of the identification guide five species are presented, that are (probably) extinct since 1900.
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