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Birds of Thailand (Princeton Field Guides) Hardcover – October 27, 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Winner of the 2002 Best Bird Book - Asia, Worldtwitch

From the Inside Flap

"A guide of exceptional quality that should prove very handy in the field. One can't ask for more."--Hugh Dingle, University of California, Davis

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Product Details

  • Series: Princeton Field Guides
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (October 27, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691007004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691007007
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,226,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David A. Baer VINE VOICE on September 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
BIRDS OF THAILAND is the reason the prestige university press and its zero-tolerance approach to schlock products exists. Princeton University Press has done itself proud with this condensed and focused version of author Robson's BIRDS OF SOUTHEAST ASIA.

If you're interested in the birds that inhabit a medium-sized country like Thailand, you don't have many choices in field guides and you may not have many friends. At least, friends who share your precise and tiny interest. For that reason, this review should be read as a referendum upon the PRINCETON FIELD GUIDES as much as on this individual volume.

A field guide's physical quality matters more than with other books since you're meant to carry the thing around. The PFG is quality construction through and through and just compact enough to make for convenient traveling.

The choice of a small font size in Garamond BookCondensed is a wise one, providing exceptional clarity and saving space for the beautiful and competent illustrations (drawn, not photographed).

Because the majority of birders are English speakers by first or second language, bird guides that cover species native to non-English speaking countries often read as though the people who live there (with the birds!) don't exist. This may be a pecadillo rather than a felony, since - after all - such a book is about *birds*, not people. Yet Robson's guide adds the nice touch of Thai indices and page headings, no doubt appreciated by the local colleagues who are necessary participants in a project of this high quality.

The Princeton Field Guides include volumes on mammals as well as birds, with a penchant for out-of-the-way locations. If your interest takes you there, any one of these Guides is a worthy investment you'll not regret.
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Format: Paperback
Basics: 2002, softcover, 272 pages, 128 color plates of 950+ species, range maps

With plates and text taken directly out of the author's larger work from two years earlier (Guide to the Birds of Southeast Asia), this book offers a condensed version for all of Thailand's birds. This book is a portable field guide and does a good job at illustrating and describing the birds.

The 128 color plates offer quality artistry. Plumages for the different genders, ages, and seasons are displayed as well as both perched and in-flight when relevant. Many of the illustrations have been rearranged and shrunk slightly from the original book to better fit into the plates. Most of the plates contain 8-12 species each and display anywhere from 18-30 different illustrations. This volume creates a somewhat crowded plate with small figures, especially with the raptors, gulls, and terns.

The one-paragraph text for each bird is on the page adjacent to each plate. This information offers concise descriptions of the birds along with the variations between genders, ages, or subspecies. These descriptions detail the bird well but offer almost zero comparisons on how to differentiate it from a similar species. A few additional lines do a good job at describing the bird's song and calls. A few words are given to describe the habitat.

Each bird has a small range map of Thailand that uses four different colors to represent resident, breeding visitor, wintering, and migrant. The small size of the map (1x2 cm) makes the map useful but only in a general manner; however, the authors did make a valiant attempt to insert detail (scattered patches of color) to represent some of the birds' broken distributions.
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Format: Paperback
I've used this now twice in Thailand and have had no complaints with it. The guide is easily portable and not too heavy. This is a condensed version of The Birds of Southeast Asia by the same author with only the birds relevant to the region. Two pages of contents list the families and which pages they occur on and the introduction covers the basics and map keys then you are into the plates.

Each of the 128 plates have excellent artwork on them depicting several plumages where relevant and most of the plates aren't too crowded allowing for decent size depictions of the birds. Each image is numbered in reference to the text on the facing page which covers description of the male, female and juveniles where relevant and also some descriptions of winter plumages which comes in handy in a region where there is a large influx of migrants during the non-breeding periods. When necessary other subspecies are described and then there are notes about voice, habitat and behavior.

Between the plates and text you should be able to identify most of the species you will come across here while not tiring out your arms to look through it. The range maps are helpful but could be a smidge bigger next time but they are still sufficient to make out where you are in Thailand and are located with the relevant text which makes this a nice easy guide to follow.

Birds of Southeast Asia (Princeton Field Guides)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like this version as it is a paperback and so light to pack on my travels. There is enough information for the beginner as well as that little bit ectra for those who do this birdwatching seriously. I am orginally from Africa and so Asian birds are mostly unknown to me. This is exactly as I hoped it would be: compact, informative and easy to transport. One small complaint would be the sizeof the maps. a tad bigger would have been better, but that is personal.
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