A Field Guide to the Birds of Brazil Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195301540
ISBN-10: 0195301544
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Digital List Price: $26.99

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Editorial Reviews


"Van Perlo's book can be considered the best bird field guide produced as far for Brazil due to a combination of its light weight and small size, thorough coverage of species, and generally good quality and useful plates, text, and range maps."--The Quarterly Review of Biology

"This latest publication of a field guide to Brazilian birds moves the bar a couple of notches above the several existing recent attempts, all of which have been published in Brazil. It is certainly the single most useful book for field identification of Brazil's enormous and complex birdlife currently available. If you live in or soon plan to go birding in Brazil, buy this book and make the best of it, it will help you immensely!"--AUK

"Any birdwatcher planning a trip to Brazil needs A Field Guide to the Birds of Brazil. It is the first modern, in-depth guide to Brazil's birds and offers information on size, call and identifying features for nearly 2,000 birds. Clear color drawings pack a portable dictionary including an English-Portuguese dictionary especially for birders and some 1,700 species-distribution maps. Simply invaluable."--Midwest Book Review

"Would I suggest to a traveling birder to buy one? Absolutely."--Indiana Audubon Quarterly

"This is now the essential field guide companion that one would need when visiting Brazil."--Idaho Birding Blog

"Highly recommended. The book will be useful to professional and amateur ornithologists, both in Brazil and bordering countries."--Choice

About the Author

Ber van Perlo is the author and illustrator of numerous popular field guides including Birds of Eastern Africa, Birds of Southern Africa, Birds of Western and Central Africa, and Birds of Mexico and Central America. Until 1991 he worked as a geographer and physical planner for the Dutch National Forest Service.

Product Details

  • File Size: 51955 KB
  • Print Length: 478 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0195301544
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (October 9, 2009)
  • Publication Date: October 9, 2009
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031OQ0OM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,003 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
THE BASICS: softcover, 187 color plates of all 1,800+ species in Brazil; short paragraph of minimal identification or description notes along with simple description of the voice; brief habitat notes; a 9-colored range map for each bird

THE REVIEW: This book is one of very few books to cover all the birds of Brazil. The other books available today (Sep 2009) either have inferior artwork (Souza) or no identification text (Sigrist) or cover only the passerines from the entire continent (Ridgely). Without a doubt, you'll want and need this book when birding in Brazil. It's a bit larger (9.5 x 6.5 inches) and heavier than a usual smaller field guide, but its content makes it a requirement to be carried in your larger pocket.

The bulk of this book is its 187 color plates which illustrate all 1,800+ species in the country. Each plate contains about 10 species with multiple illustrations of each for about 80% of the birds. It seems most of the birds with only one illustration are the passerines, notably the woodcreepers, spintetails, foliage-gleaners, antpittas, and much of the flycatcher family. The multiple illustrations of a bird depict the gender differences and the plumage variations between some of the races and subspecies; however, these races are not always identified in the text. The plates often only refer to the variations with an "a" or "b" next to them.

The quality of the artwork between the plates varies between simply okay to good. As an example, the pelican, herons, tropicbirds, owls, some hummingbirds, puffbirds, tapaculos, and tityras can be sketchy, as if a first good draft was sufficient enough for this initial publication. In contrast, the artistry and detail can be quite nice in some of the woodcreepers, antbirds, flycatchers, and warblers.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As other reviewers have noted, at the moment, this is the only manageably-sized field guide in print that covers the all the birds of Brazil. Several other field guides are currently in the works (most notably Kevin Zimmer, and I believe Bret Whitney is also working on one) so hopefully within a few years there will be plenty of choice. However, if you are going to Brazil now, despite its shortcomings, you need this book.

A big disapointment is that the Illustrations are really fairly poor for the most part. Van Perlo is just not that good an illustrator. Also, the design of the color plates is not good, with many bird images being tiny little specks on a big sea of blank page. Most of the illustrations seem good enough to ID the species, which I guess is the point, but you will not sit down with this book and just love looking thru the illustrations.

Other than this, the book seems well thought out. I just got it, so I haven't used it in the field or even sat down for a good long study session. The plates are on the right hand side and the corresponding text and range maps are on the left. Because Brazil is so big, it is useful to have detailed range maps that cover only it and not all of SA.

Much better, much more beautiful and much larger and more useful illustrations can be found in the new Ridgely/Tudor passerines book, though this one is large and heavy (even in paperback) and covers all of SA. On a trip to Brazil, I'd take the Perlo, but I'd also take Ridgely/Tudor. On a trip to Peru this summer, my guide and I were only able to ID several difficult birds by checking the excellent, accurate illustrations in Ridgely/Tudor.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought von Perlo's field guide because it was the only portable field guide available at the time to the birds of Brazil - and even then it is heavy. It's big, but so is the number of birds he deals with. At first glance (it arrived shortly before my trip) I was disappointed. The illustrations are fairly small and not very good. Maybe his other guidebooks are better. But many birds were recognizable on a quick look-through and there seemed nothing else I could take with me to Manaus, so it was packed away and off I went.
On arriving in Brazil I had a chance to go through it carefully and realized that several plates were misprinted - the colour yellow was missing - so the kingfishers and several hummingbird plates are in shades of blue and pink (no greens). I wonder how many other copies are around like this. Then I tried to identify what turned out to be a palm tanager - he shows this as a pale greyish bird when they are rather olive green with brownish coppery wings. His red-eyed vireo didn't look anything like the red-eyed vireos in the trees above me. To save space, the text is shrunk down to the point where it is almost useless - field pointers as to colour were minimal. The distribution (and seasonal) maps were of great use, and his call descriptions did make sense to me, and did help me (these features are why he has 3 stars not 2). I used the Brazilian WikiAves and several other sites to check every bird that I was unsure of (once back in accommodation) - but still have a pile of notes on mystery birds. His tyrannulets and such-like were impossible.
I had been to South America once before (Ecuador) and so had some idea of the families and genera of the birds that I was looking at. If I had not, I would have been rather lost with Mr von Perlo.
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