- Series: Helm Field Guides
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: A & C Black (July 30, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0713660236
- ISBN-13: 978-0713660234
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,900,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Field Guide to the Birds of the Atlantic Islands (Helm Field Guides) Paperback – July 30, 2006
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'For visiting birders, I would unhesitatingly recommend this book as a must - there is no other guide like it.' Scottish Bird News (June 2007) 'Tony Clarke's guide is more up-to-date, and more pragmatic in its approach, than any other work covering the Atlantic Islands, and should be required reading for every resident or visiting birder.' Birdwatch (August 2006) 'Tony Clarke's energy, enthusiam and awareness shine through time and time again - it's a splendid achievement. I like his whole approach... not only has he filled an important gap in birding coverage, he has done so in a way that, if slightly quirky, works very well.' Birds Illustrated (Spring 2007) 'Tony Clarke's superb new book covers all the species recorded on the islands to date...supported beautifully by Chris Orgill and Tony Disley's illustrations. This is an absolute must-have for the birdwatcher planning a trip to any of the Atlantic Islands.' The Visitor (13th September 2006) 'This excellent guide is the first to deal exclusively with the birds of this spectacular region... This has to be the field guide of choice for anyone visiting the islands.' Birdtours.co.uk (29th August 2006)
About the Author
Tony Clarke is the Canary Islands' top resident bird guide.
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First, to clarify the geography of this book: Only the four northern Atlantic island chains known collectively as Macaronesia (not Macro or Micro) are covered by this book. These are the Canary, Madeira, Azores, and Cape Verde Islands in the eastern Atlantic which range between Portugal south to Senegal of northwest Africa.
This is the only complete field guide to cover these island groups in the northeast Atlantic. All birds, both residents and vagrants, are covered in the plates and text. The real treat of these plates is the many endemic species and subspecies found on these islands. All are very well illustrated. Where appropriate, the birds are illustrated to show plumage differences between gender, age, season, and subspecies. I was happy to see five different illustrations for the African Blue Tit. The five illustrations cover the four different subspecies that are debatedly each a good species.
The artwork is good with good color reproduction. Some of the birds are drawn a little small, such as the waxbills, finches, kinglets and tits. As an example, the plate with the waxbills and finches contains 26 different individuals.
The text is presented in two formats. First, a very brief physical description is shown across from the plate. Letter codes also indicate on which islands the birds may be found. Second, the latter half of the book gives longer species accounts for each bird. The accounts are of variable length (2-7 paragraphs) outlining identification, voice, range, and status. Since this is meant to be an identificaiton guide, there is little to no natural history included.
There are two useful appendices containing checklists for each of the four island groups. One appendix has a full list for each island group. The list contains a separate column for each individual island within the community. The second appendix has a similar checklist for each island group, but for only the endemic species and subspecies.
If you visit any of these four islands groups for birding, this book will be essential. Only a couple of other books are available and these cover only one island group.
I've listed several related books below...
1) Las Aves De Las Islas Canarias by Martin/Lorenzo
2) Las Aves De Canarias by Perez Padron
5) Guia De La Aves De Las Islas Canarias by Moreno
4) Birds of the Atlantic islands: Vol 1-4 by Bannerman
5) The Birds of the Cape Verde Islands by Hazevoet
6) Madeira's Natural History in a Nutshell by Sziemer