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The Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi (Princeton Field Guides) Paperback – January 30, 2002

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The Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi (Princeton Field Guides) + Wildlife of East Africa (Princeton Pocket Guides) + The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals
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Editorial Reviews

Review


Winner of the 2001 Best Bird Book - Africa, Worldtwitch


"For birders with an interest in the region and those planning a trip, look no further. With the publication of this guide we have distilled into one book all the good elements of what has gone before but better. . . . The plates are the book's tour de force and are simply outstanding. . . . This is by far the best and most exciting guide available for anywhere in Africa."--Ken Arber, Surfbirds.com

"The illustrations in this guide are of a very high standard and show the detail needed for field identification whilst remaining of an artistic quality that makes the book an attractive object as well as a useful one. . . . The brief descriptions are excellent and the language fresh and punchy. . . . A very fine field-guide indeed and sets a new standard for regional African guides."--Fatbirder.com

"As soon as you open the book, you'll realise that the standard of artwork is exceptional. The text is also of an unusually high standard. . . . If you are planning a trip to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda or Burundi this is now unquestionably the most valuable book you can buy. And if you aren't yet planning a trip there this is the perfect book to get you dreaming."--Birdguides.com

"If East Africa is in your dreams, this should fill the bill."--Charles E. Keller, Indiana Audubon Quarterly

About the Author

Terry Stevenson has made Kenya his home since 1977 and is one of Africa's foremost bird-tour guides, having led numerous tours across the continent. He wrote "The Birds of Lake Baringo" while he was resident ornithologist there from 1981 to 1985, and is a member and advisor to the bird committee of Nature Kenya and to the East African Rarities Committee. John Fanshawe is the Africa consultant for BirdLife International. He has conducted research in the region for many years, and is widely regarded as unrivaled in his knowledge of East African birds and their conservation.
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Product Details

  • Series: Princeton Field Guides
  • Paperback: 602 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (January 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691126658
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691126654
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By John D. Gerhart on December 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
After years of having one of the world's worst bird books, East Africa now has two of the best. The Zimmerman/Turner book on Kenya and Northern Tanzania, the work of 30 years, set a new standard of scholarship and illustration. This book draws on that one, but is even better for the tourist and field birder. It covers all of Uganda and Tanzania, as well as Rwanda and Burundi. It is smaller and lighter to carry. And the illustrations and their placement in related groups on the same page are simply outstanding. This is one of the best bird books in the world and will dominate the market for years to come.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By James L. Spingarn on November 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think I have all the guides to the birds of East Africa in the last 30 years, but this most recent by Terry Stevenson and John Fanshawe is certainly the most comprehensive, artistically excellent and usable. Ber van Perlo's Collins Illustrated Checklist "Birds of Eastern Africa" is smaller and lighterweight but no comparison, nor intended to be, in description or plate detail. This new volume, with a 2002(!) publication date has amongst the best plates and abbreviated descriptions, in my opinion, ever published in a comparable volume on birds. Artists John Gale and Brian Small are fabulous (Norman Arlott lacks their skills, but does his subjects justice as well). It is a exceedingly worthwhile complement to Dale Zimmerman's larger format "Birds of Kenya and northern Tanzania" and includes all of Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi as well. Don't miss this book!
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By J.J. Bouwman on March 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I used this field guide during my recent trip to Kenya and Uganda. Although it is by all means an excellent fieldguide I do have some remarks. A number of the plates contained errors, suggesting the artists didn't see these birds in the field. I realise it is virtually impossible for artists to see all species featured in a book such as this in the field, so that a lot of plates are drawn from skins. It is important however to use skins from the region itself, this may make a lot of difference. We came to the conclusion that for a number of species skins from west Africa were used. Especially the greenbuls had some misleading plates. For a number of species the Kenyan Zimmerman-book is probably better, although those plates lack in other respects.
In addition a number of the maps were incorrect, especially for Uganda.
Still, if you go to the region for birding, make sure to get this book, because it is definitely the best field guide around.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Brent Beach on November 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
This guide has the best illustrations of the 20+ bird guides I own. If any book can make the problem of learning and distinguishing the roughly 1400 species in the region - Uganda, Kenya, Tanganika, Rwanda, Burundi - possible, this book is the one. A little heavy for the field, but contains only the essential material: species accounts and range maps on the left page, illustrations on the right. Even after some study I will still have to refer to the guide to identify which of the 38 species of Cisticola I am looking at, but with this guide the chances are very good.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Rei Raz on January 16, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
everywhere you go in east africa you see birds. if you like them- you better be prepared for the trip! i got the guide a month before, and tried to get as familiar as possible with the birds before arriving to tanzania.

when we went on safari our guide pulled out his worn and faded zimmerman- the descriptions on one part, the illustrations on another and the distribution maps at the end. when i pulled my guide and gave him a try- he was very attached to his zimmerman but had to admit that the stevenson is indeed a worthy companion, with all the info about a species is on the same page...

compared to my european guide it is heavy and big- but the european contains only about 750 spp, while this one has more than 1200!

the illustrations are bright and clear.

i used it during my 30 day trip to tanzania and got more than 200 positive identifications, so i must go again to get the rest...

recommended!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By FFDR on September 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading glowing reviews on Amazon, we chose this book over Zimmerman's Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania. Initially, we were very excited about the book, beautiful birds, beautiful colors. But shortly after starting our birding in Kenya, we realized that the book was not very helpful as a field guide.

Its main shortcoming is its inaccurate illustrations of birds. Often, the color is off, such as the blue of Blue flycatcher and of grey-headed kingfisher. The color differ quite a bit from the nature. African paradise flycatcher's eye ring is blue, in the book, it is grey. Plain-backed pipit's back is pale toupee in nature, but brown in the book. In addition to inaccurate colors, the shape are often wrong too. For example, larks look very exaggerated in the book, they simply do not match the general impression of the larks in the field. Bird ID in East Africa would be a real challenge, if one had to rely on this field guide.

During our 2 week trip in Kenya (Lewa Downs, Lake Baringo, Kakamega forest, Masai Mara), we had at least 6 birding/game drive guides. All use Zimmerman's book for its better illustrations. So during the trip, we used our guides' book and left ours in the tent. People rightly complain about Zimmerman's poor organization, but in the end that is a minor issue compared to the accuracy of the drawings (do not expect too much from Zimmerman either though: the drawings are nowhere near as good as Sibley's or as in Birds of Europe by Svensson/Zetterström/Mullarney) .
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