- Paperback: 524 pages
- Publisher: British Ornithologists' Union (1986)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 090744606X
- ISBN-13: 978-0907446064
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,636,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Birds of Wallacea: An Annotated Checklist Paperback – 1986
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Two things make this a good book to have. One, it has good color plates with decent accompanying text and, two, it is nearly the only book available for this region of Indonesia. Located south of the Philippines and between Borneo and New Guinea, the area of Wallacea is comprised of the island groups of Sulawesi, Moluccas, and Lesser Sundas. This is an exciting birding area with over 250 endemic species.
Not quite a field guide due to its larger size, this book will still need to accompany you on any birding trip to this region. The only other relevant book is authored by Strange, which covers less than half of the Indonesian birds.
The 64 color plates illustrate all 700 species in this area. Each plate has 7-16 species, illustrated with 10-35 different illustrations. Some of these plates are crowded (e.g., ducks, raptors). With so many illustrations, many of them are a little on the small side. As for artwork, these illustrations are good but not great. The selection of poses and plumages is typically limited to just a male and female. Subspecies are infrequently shown. Except for the seabirds, raptors, and swifts, nearly all the birds are shown in only a perched position. These limitations will definitely be noticeable when looking at any of the warblers or dark-eyes, which are usually shown with only one plumage.
A nice addition to the text that accompanies the plates is a set of codes designating the status of the birds. A capital "E" denotes the bird being endemic to Wallacea.
The text is split into two parts. Adjacent to the plates are the descriptions of the birds. This is typically brief (3-11 lines). To help with similar species, the author lists several birds along with the shortest of notes on what to examine to help differentiate them. The remainder of the text, composed of range, status, habits, and voice, takes up the last half of the book. For me, the best part of this text is the voice. Many of the passerines are given lengthy, detailed descriptions, which is necessary for the thicker canopies.
Four appendices in the back of the book offer lists to endemics of the various island groups within Wallacea.
A minor annoyance with the layout of the plates is the numbering system. It is often necessary to flip pages to match up the numbered bird with the like-numbered name and description. Additionally, the birds are not numbered in any order on the plate, forcing the reader to scan around the many illustrations trying to find bird #445.
Despite the limitations of the plates and identification text, this is still a book worth having if there is any thought of going to Indonesia.
I've listed several related books below...
1) A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Indonesia by Strange
2) The Birds of Borneo by Smythies
3) A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java, and Bali by MacKinnon/Phillipps
4) Photographic Guide to the Birds of Borneo by Davison/Fook
5) The Birds of Sulawesi (Images of Asia) by Holmes
6) Birds of New Guinea by Beehler
7) Birds of New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago by Coates