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Birds of Southern South America and Antarctica (Collins Illustrated Checklist) Paperback – February, 1999

3.6 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[A]n outstanding field guide that covers a vast geographic area and includes a wealth of information for more than 1,100 species of birds. . . . It should be purchased by anybody interested in the birds of southern South America."--Floyd E. Hayes, Auk --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Martin R. de la Pena, a veterinarian and ornithologist, studies the reproduction of birds, on which he has published three books, alongside a dozen others, in his native Argentina. He has also produced several films on the life of birds. Maurice Rumboll, one of Argentina's top naturalists, directs environmental education programs for students and plans interpretive trails, brochure texts, and visitor centers for his country's National Park Administration, whose Ranger Training Institute he formerly headed. Previously he directed visitors' services and research at Iguazu National Park and served as Traveling Naturalist for the Argentine Museum of Natural History. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Collins Illustrated Checklist
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins Pub Ltd; Ill edition (February 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002200775
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002200776
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,717,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This guide is good; probably the best available for the region. The birders I ran into (even a park ranger) had this guide. It is a convenient size, fitting easily in my cargo-shorts pockets while both hands held my binoculars. It describes most of species (I found a few exceptions, eg. Gray Gull, but it is fairly complete). I did find that some of the illustrations were somewhat simplistic. More detailed descriptions would be useful, but could also negatively affect the weight of the book. I used it in Parque Nacional Iguazu and los Esteros del Ibera, and it served its purpose well.
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Format: Paperback
This guide book covers a wide range of habitats: from the jungle tropics to the southern tip of the continent and even Antactica. If you are going to be traveling widely, this guide might well be your best bet. The illustrations are good and the descriptions on the facing page are quite useful. The major drawback is that the distribution maps are at the back and that's annoying. (Once you've found an illustration that seems to identify the bird you're seeing, you need to note both the plate and illustration number before heading back to the range maps to see if it's likely to be found in your present location. All too often I found that wasn't the case!)

If you're going to do your birdwatching in or near the mountains or along the southern coast, I'd suggest that you carefully consider, instead, Birds of Chile by Jaramillo et al, a Princeton Guide. It's a superb field guide with many illustrations of the birds in flight, as well as sitting still; its descriptions are excellent and the range maps are on the facing page. I bought a copy of it on my return from Patagonia and it's definitely the guide I'll take next time -- not only to Chile, but to southern Argentina, as well!
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By A Customer on April 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
(From Planeta magazine) - Every bird species you may come across in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruaguay and southern Boliva and Brazil is described here, with more than 1,000 species illustrated in color. The text compliments the visuals, providing info about habitat, sounds and identification features. Excellent!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a very good guide. The thing I like most about it is its size. It is actaully smaller than "Birds of North America". It is a field guide not a desk reference like Howell and Webb "Birds of Mexico", that is about 3x larger or Hilty "Birds of Venezuela" 4x larger. These two books are actually too large to use as field guides. Many rip out the illustrations and bind them separately, because the books are too big to lug around. The only reason it did not receive 5 stars is because the range maps are in the back of the book. But "Birds of Costa Rica" does not even have range maps and it is considered excellent by many.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was extremely frustrated using this book on my recent trip to Antarctica and South Georgia. Some of the plates do not do an accurate job of depicting the birds and the distribution maps are also not entirely accurate. The professional ornithologist on my trip agreed with my observations and recommended that I purchase another book: "Birds of Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, and the Antarctic Peninsula" by E. Couve and C. Vidal.
2 Comments 36 of 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
It was the first time for me in South America, so I didn't know nothing about the birds there. I had the chance to find this guide, which helped me very much, thanks to the good figures. The text is a little bit poor, but for a beginner it's enough. For some families like the Furnariids and the Tyrannids the figures weren't always good for recognising the species in the field. But, in general, I found this guide very useful and the best between all other guides of the region which I saw.
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Format: Paperback
I found this guide to be occasionally inaccurate and lacking much needed info for any serious birding, though it is useful as a backup/reference for other area guides. Instead of this book, I recommend you consider "Birds of Argentina & Uruguay" by Tito Narosky and Dario Yzurieta. If not easy to find on Amazon, try Birdlife International, or just pick up a copy in Buenos Aires.
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Format: Paperback
This appears to be a compact but comprehensive field guide to the birds of southern South America. The art work is adequate, but the plates are crowded and disorganized, and it is sometimes difficult to find the specific number you are looking for to coordinate with the printed information. The other drawback is that the range maps are at the back of the book, a failing common to many older guides. In the absence of anything better, this should serve the purpose well.
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