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Birds and Bats of Palau Paperback – July 1, 2008
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- Publisher : Mutual Pub Co; 1st edition (July 1, 2008)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 290 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1566478715
- ISBN-13 : 978-1566478717
- Item Weight : 1.55 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.75 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,625,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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To the point, I really like this book. My appreciation of this book is enhanced because it is rare to find a quality bird book on a remote, little known area. Outside a few of the accidental or extreme rarities, all of Palau's birds are covered in this book along with the 2 indigenous species of bats. In addition to offering excellent, abundant photos, the book easily demonstrates the authors' passion for Palau. They've created various nuances of how the book is designed and have included unique cultural, yet bird-related features. I chuckled at the touch of using a tropicbird as the directional pointer of a compass, indicating north in the maps.
This book is a combination of formats, being a field, photo, and natural history guide. The design of this book is slightly unconventional, but welcome, and is not of a typical identification guide. However, it can certainly be used as one due to the limited number of birds on Palau and to the few look-alike species present (if we ignore the transient shorebirds). This book alone is probably all you'll need to identify the birds on Palau.
All of the resident or common birds are shown with multiple photographs. As one would hope, the endemic species receive special attention and are show with up to 15 photos for some of the birds. Nearly all of the glossy pictures are very good. The selection of photos appears to place an emphasis on exhibiting the bird in its natural environment and behaviors. In addition to a typical perched pose, other shots show the bird in flight, foraging, fishing, feeding young, or marauding an intruder. Most of the breeders also have their eggs and/or nest shown. The same quality of photos (14 total) is given for the two bat species.
The text for each bird varies with the bird's presence or status on the islands. Transient shorebirds receive 1-2 paragraphs that focus mainly on describing the bird. Other more frequently seen birds may receive up to a full page of information that covers descriptions, voice, habits and behavior, feeding, ranges, populations, and other natural history material. The 12 endemic species receive the greatest coverage in material, depth, and detail. This information is very welcome for a region that has comparatively little ornithological knowledge available. Adding to the extra attention for the endemics, all of them are illustrated in two top-quality plates (pp 26-27). I wish these same plates could be expanded to cover all of Palau's birds.
The first 28 pages of the book offer a great introduction to Palau, to the geography and environments of individual island groups, to the island culture, and provide several aerial photos of the islands with labeled maps layered on top. In an artistic touch, the margins of these introductory pages are adorned with photos of islanders, art, and postage stamps featuring birds or bats.
At first pass, this book might look rather busy, if not a little jumbled. This is due to the many photos, to their wide variety of sizes, and to how they're laid out across the pages with the accompanying text. However, after spending more time with the book, this is welcomed because of what it all represents, which is an incredible source of information on such a small area of the Pacific. You will not find any other single-island book that comes remotely close to what this book offers in both material and photos. -- (written by Jack, shown with sample pages at Avian Review, November 2008)
I've listed several related books below...
1) A Field Guide to the Birds of the Yap Island by Clements (ISBN 0934797196)
2) A Field Guide to the Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific by Pratt
3) Birds of the Solomons, Vanuatu & New Caledonia by Doughty
4) Birds of Vanuatu by Bregulla
5) A Guide to the Birds of Fiji and Western Polynesia by Watling
6) Birds of the Fiji Bush by Clunie
7) South Pacific Birds by DuPont
8) Oiseaux de Nouvelle Caledonie et des Loyautes: Tome I & II by Hannecart
9) Birds of the North Solomons by Hadden
10) The Birds and Birdlore of Samoa by Muse
(written by Soleglad at Avian Review or Avian Books, November 2008)
Most people think of Palau as a scuba/snorkeling desitination. After seeing this book, you will want to add one or two days for "land" activities as well as the aquatic things.
Mandy Etpison, the lead co-author, and her husband are heavily involved with many conservation efforts on the islands and a tour of the website [...] will provide even more information on the manta ray project as well as dugong conservation efforts.