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A Guide to the Birds of Colombia Paperback – August 1, 1986


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 996 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; First Edition (US) First Printing edition (August 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069108372X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691083728
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #559,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A new standard has been set for South American field guides by this book. Hilty and Brown have done an extraordinary job compiling comprehensive information on the approximately 1,700 bird species found in Colombia."--The Quarterly Review of Biology

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
It's a beatiful book, I recomended a lot.
Jaime A. Garizábal Carmona
The splendid paintings by Tudor add to the very helpful in-depth descriptions.
Martin Pruimers
A Guide to the Birds of Colombia is just AMAZING.
Alejandro Cardona Begue

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is currently the best field guide for the Amazon Basin, and anywhere in Colombia. As the worlds #1 bird nation, this bird guide gives you a good insight into the birds of tropical South America, with national maps and still-adequate recomendations of where to see birds. The guide includes illustrations of most of the birds of Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil, all of which lack comprehensive bird guides. Venezuela has a guide, but not as detailed as this one for the Amazon basin. You can't go wrong with this if visiting Neotropical South America in search of birds.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By mkretz@newnorth.net on February 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
We recently toured the peruvian Amazon rainforest and this book proved invaluable to bird sightings and classifications. We are just casual birders, but found the easy to follow format and concise explanations with exquisite plates very useful. Don't leave home for the South American rainforest without it!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By JW on September 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Since no definitive bird guide is available for the Amazon region and Brazil in general, I was forced to choose between this guide and the Birds of Venezuela. I ended up with Hilty and Brown's book by sheer coincidence, and I was not at all disappointed. The text and information is superb throughout, and I was able to identify several species on habitat description alone. For example, the authors clearly describe the preference of many taxa for varzea (seasonally flooded) or terra firme forests, which made a fleeting glimpse more of a certainty, and the range descriptions were invaluable. If I have only one very minor criticism, it is that I have never found plates in black and white particularly helpful, and since several artists were employed, there were differences in visual interpretation in several groups (e.g. the Picidae). However, these are minor detractions from an outstanding volume.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Martin Pruimers on April 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
This work is all a bird watcher could wish for. The splendid paintings by Tudor add to the very helpful in-depth descriptions. Completed by nearly 1500 distribution maps there's nothing left to wish, except go out there and see them. I used it when birding in Peru and I could still determine nearly all the birds I saw.
It's an example for every bird field guide.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bert Ruiz on September 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
"A Guide to the Birds of Colombia," by Steven L. Hilty and William L. Brown is mandatory reading for serious field observers. This book treats all of the 1,695 species of resident and migrant birds known to have been reliably recorded in Colombia and on its island posessions of Gorgona and Malpelo prior to 1984.

Moreover, this massive Princeton University Press text (836 pages) includes sixty-nine color and black and white plates by Guy Tudor (one of the most talented living bird illustrators in the world) & others. And before I forget this book includes superb line drawings by Michel Kleinbaum.

I found the sections on Topography, Climate, Vegetation, Habitat Descriptions, and Conservation & National Parks excellent. In addition, the review of Colombian Ornithology and the Range Maps are valuable field observer tools. In conclusion, this is a meticulous text with an expert index that will absolutely fill all the needs of serious field obsevers. Recommended.

Bert Ruiz
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Es un libro que no debe faltar en la biblioteca de ningún ornitólogo. Describe casi la totalidad de especies de aves del país con más especies de aves en el mundo. Excelente.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ferro on March 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
Although undoubtedly good for its time, this thick and weighty volume is now behind the expected standard for current field guides.
Having said that, I enjoy the "old-style naturalist" species accounts, which are full and interesting (although they are in a separate section to the plates). Other features are identification tables, and black & white line drawings to augment the text.
A portion of the plates are in black and white..which can be frustrating. As you can see from the photos I've uploaded, the colour illustrations are OK, but often a little too small or too few to show variation of sexes or ages within each species. The plates often look crowded. The monocoloured range maps (is it a visitor or resident?) are held in a single index at the back.
So ultimately I think it is not great for field use, although it is indispensable as a reference work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Donald C. Pierpoint on September 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought the book as I am going on a birding trip to Colombia in 2009. I know that the species list for Colombia is long and just wish that there was someway to have the plates as separate booklet. This book is great for studying before the trip but it way too heavy to think about taking it into the field on an all morning trek. This book weighs over 4 pounds! That said, the book is very through and it is wonderful to have a guide to this country that is so full of wonderful birds and for so many years has been out of bounds for the birder from the USA. At last it is possible to go to see these wonders and after my trip I might add to my review.
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