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Birds of Belize (Corrie Herring Hooks Series) Paperback – January 1, 2004

4.1 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a first-class book that will enable users to identify any bird they encounter in Belize." (Victor Emanuel, President, Victor Emanuel Nature Tours)

About the Author

H. Lee Jones is an experienced environmental consultant and research biologist who lives in Punta Gorda, Belize. His previous publications include the Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Belize. He also serves as a regional editor for North American Birds and writes a quarterly column on seasonal bird records in Central America.
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Product Details

  • Series: Corrie Herring Hooks Series (Book 57)
  • Paperback: 317 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0292701640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292701649
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Christopher J. Sharpe on May 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
Due to its small size, proximity to the USA, English speaking tradition, tropical biodiversity and fairly well conserved natural environment, Belize is growing to be one of the most popular destinations for birders. However, until recently the country lacked a national field guide. This book therefore fills a major gap in the bird identification literature.

The book covers all 574 species recorded in Belize at the time of publication. After brief but informative introductory chapters, a group of 56 colour plates is dedicated to every species. As a refreshing change, all migrants are illustrated, reducing the need to carry an additional field guide to North American birds. A brief text accompanies each plate on the facing page, while the full species descriptions are found separately in the main body of text. Range maps for 234 species are found at the back of the book.

Although this book will not replace the immensely authoritative Howell & Webb's "A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America" (on Amazon: ISBN 0198540124) for Belize, it is certainly a much more portable guide to carry into the field. A must for birders planning a trip to this friendly patch of Central America.
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Format: Paperback
I just returned from a 10 birdwatching trip to Belize. First, this is pretty much THE book used in Belize. Just about every guide had one and it is about the only one I saw for sale there. This book is broken up into three sections: 1.Color plates 2.descriptions and other data 3. maps.

The good: Illustrations are well done and "true to the bird" in my experience. It certainly is the most up to date book on birds of Belize. There is a good amount of information about each bird in the second section.

The not-so-good: This book is difficult to use in the field due to its size and organization. For me, the North American Sibley book is the benchmark to which I compare other guides. It packs more information about more birds in about the same size (refering to the "big" Sibley book). Regarding it's organization, if you want to look at an illustration of a bird in the plates section and want to see it's cooresponding map, first you must flip to the second section to find the map page number. Only the second section lists the page number for both the plates and the maps.

Illustrations are good in this book but the vast majority of birds only have one drawing. Sibley has a mimimum of 5. This downfall made bird identification of similar species difficult at times.

This book is large and a bit heavy. I saw one guide that took out the plates section and had a spiral binding placed on it. It looked much more managable but then you have no maps or expanded data.

If you go to Belize, get this book. Despite it's downfalls, it is still the best one available. Be sure to buy it in the US before you leave. I found shops in Belize charging over $80 Belize ($40 USD) for it!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got back maybe 2 weeks ago. This book was so great! It may be a bit big and heavy but so worth it! It would have been 5 stars if it weighed less.

The pictures were better than the mexico/central america book. Plus there weren't certain birds in the petersons that were in this one. Even the local guide just got it and really liked it too!

The drawing of the Blue-Crowned Motmot was right on the money!!

If you are going to Belize, this is THE book
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Format: Paperback
It's unfortunate; this guide could have been really good. Unfortunately, the plates, text, and maps are all in different places, and the only way to get from, say, the plates to the maps, is to look at the text. Very annoying, and something that anyone putting a field guide together should know not to do. Sure, it would have made the guide a bit more expensive, but way more usable.

The plates are decent (about mid-range for a decent field guide). They're not at the level of the best North American and European guides, and you'd be hard-pressed to use them to identify some of the difficult groups (shorebirds, sparrows, flyatchers). But they depict most species pretty accurately.

I can't comment on the maps, as I don't have enough experience in the country to know distributions well. The text is decent.

I would recommend this book to birders going to Belize. But Howell and Webb's "A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America" is definitely a better book, though its larger size makes it tough to take in the field, and the maps in the recent book have way more detail for Belize.
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Format: Paperback
Belize is a bird watcher's paradise. I bought this book right before my first trip to Belize in June of 2006. As an amateur bird watcher, I found it immensely easy to identify birds with this book as a guide. It is somewhat hefty, and a little cumbersome to carry around in the steamy jungles, but its printed on high-quality paper with water-resistant paper boards, and well laid out for quick reference. My wife and I stayed at two resorts during our trip, and all of the resident expert bird guides carried this book! The plates are wonderfully hand drawn in color, which is much better than color photographs for any field guide. Another couple we met also had this book, but felt the drawings of some of the species were not on par with other publications, but obviously a volume dedicated to the single country you are in makes this volume well worth the price.
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