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Birds of Aruba, Curaçao, and Bonaire (Princeton Field Guides) Paperback – February 26, 2012
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"This island trio is located just off the coast of South America, but, fascinatingly, the birdlife has a strong West Indian element and includes migrants from the north as well as visitors from the south. (American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush, Ovenbird, and Prothonotary, Blackpoll, and Connecticut warblers occur regularly.) Until this handy book, there was no comprehensive field guide."--Bird Watching Magazine
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The introduction covers the history of the islands then there are pages on general flora and fauna, avifauna, how to use the book and birding topography. Each of the islands gets a page with a map covering the special birding areas. A few notes about conservation law and the first Ramsar sites in the western hemisphere and a few paragraphs about local names.
Next are the 70 plates and species accounts. Each plate is faced with text. Names is English and Latin are given with local names for Ar, Bon, Cur and in Dutch. Descriptions and identification hints follow with specific ID points in bold text. Description of Voice is covered followed by Habits and Habitat. Status covers breeding and migration for the islands and there are some notes where relevant about taxonomy.
After the plates there is an appendix of escaped and introduced birds followed by a checklist of the areas species and which islands they occur on.
For me the artwork is a bit sub-par considering Robin Restalls rather good work in Munias and Mannikins, there are examples of some quite nice work with the passerines, especially the Warblers, but some of the other plates have some inconsistent work, though most of the features will still aid in identification there are a few discrepancies. That said there is plenty of artwork for the many subspecies one would encounter.Read more ›
The introduction begins with a nice summary of the islands' geological and human histories as well as a bit about their climate. We are then introduced to the general flora and fauna of the islands and then the avifauna. The next few pages are occupied by the ever-present "How to use this book" section, followed by a few illustrations of bird topography. Between the intro and plates, is a section on the islands and their birding sites (a nice surprise), with a separate map (labeled) and description for each island.
We then reach the plates, which follow the commonly used description (no range maps) and distribution on left, illustrations on the right. Each species receives a short description "with key identification features highlighted in bold italics," followed by descriptions of voice, habitat and status and distribution, plus alternate names (not present for every species). Length is provided in centimeters and wingspan is given for a limited number of species.
The plates are done by Robin Restall, whom you may be familiar with as the author of Birds of Northern South America. The book claims to have nearly 1,000 illustrations, many of which are taken from his other book.
The plates are then directly followed by a short appendix that lists a few occasional escapes that may be encountered. A handy checklist to the birds of the island follows. Each island is contained in a separate column with an added column for GTS (Globally Threatened Species) whose IUCN Red List code is marked. The book wraps up with a bibliography and index.
I should add that this book has a sharp European flair to it, with all measurements in centimeters and a few words spelled differently (i.e. Tricoloured Heron).Read more ›
While our primary purpose in Aruba was not bird watching, we ended up seeing and enjoying many birds because of this book. If you are a bird watcher and are going to Aruba, you should get this book and take it with you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great guide in the Peterson style. This is the only English guide specific to these islands I could find. Good drawing and very complete information.Published 1 month ago by ellen foster
The pictures were good. The information on habitat and status was very useful.Published 5 months ago by Albert Holm
With this guide I was able to look up all the bird I saw in Aruba. It added a great deal to the time I was there!Published 5 months ago by Lapswm
Great guide for birders who visit Aruba, Bonaire and/or Curacao. Good descriptions and drawings. Handy size booklet.Published 22 months ago by Nella den Hoed
The illustrations are a little primitive. There are no maps, which is not a huge problem since it covers only 3 islands. Read morePublished on August 27, 2014 by Carol Quiggle
this was the only book I could find for bird identification on the island of Bonaire. It worked out great.Published on April 1, 2014 by Steve Clemens
Had no trouble finding and identifying the common birds of the island. The illustrations were clear and the text gave the necessary information to help with identification.Published on February 4, 2014 by Joan Shewchun