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Wildlife Conservation Society Birds of Brazil: The Pantanal and Cerrado of Central Brazil (A Field Guide) Paperback – December 23, 2010
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"This landmark guide―the first in an ecologically focused series―represents a major milestone for birding and conservation in the American tropics. Brazil is by far the richest country in the world for birds and tropical wilderness. Avian diversity and abundance combine magically in the Pantanal and Cerrado regions of Brazil's interior. Finally, we have a field guide covering all the birds of this region, richly illustrated by the best in the business and complete with detailed notes and photographs describing the unique ecology and conservation issues of this captivating piece of paradise. Kudos to John A. Gwynne, Robert S. Ridgley, Guy Tudor, and Martha Argel for carrying through with this labor of love. Birding in Brazil just became a whole lot easier and more rewarding. I can't wait to get back down there and use this book!"―John W. Fitzpatrick, Louis Agassiz Fuertes Director, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
About the Author
ROBERT S. RIDGELY, a leading ornithologist and author of A Guide to the Birds of Panama and The Birds of Ecuador, is Deputy Director of World Land Trust-US. He has served on numerous conservation-related boards, and currently is especially involved with Fundacion Jocotoco in Ecuador, of which he is president.
GUY TUDOR, a MacArthur Fellow and well-known bird artist and naturalist, was the principal illustrator of A Guide to the Birds of Venezuela and A Guide to the Birds of Colombia. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
An example is the masked and black-tailed tityras on page 245. Only the male masked is illustrated, and only the female black-tailed is illustrated. This leaves the birder to trying to ID these similar looking birds by reading the text description--not good! (I noticed the Atlantic Forest guide, the second in the series, at least adds a head illustration of the male Black-tailed, but that doesn't help you if all you have is this book.) Another example on the same page is Pink-throated Becard--only illustrated by the head of the male. One really needs to see the whole bird as well as the far different female plumage.
I hope these deficiencies can be remedied in a second edition. They were likely compromises that helped make the book possible. Of course, it is far better to have this guide than no Pantanal guide at all. But serious birders may want to have a supplement, such as the Van Perlo Brazil guide which at least illustrates more male and female plumages.
The plates are virtually all first-rate. The passerines (perching birds) are the work, borrowed from excellent past volumes of his, of the fabulous Guy Tudor -- one of the best bird guide artists there is. The others, while done by various artists, are very well done, too.
In summation, this is an excellent guide for an exceptional region (World Heritage Class) that is extremely well done, and can be fitted in a largish pocket for bush viewing and solidly bound for some rough use. Amazon is offering it at a bargain price. If great bird guides interest you, don't pass up this beauty!
I had considered buying a guide with all the birds of Brazil, but it would be too heavy to carry. The book I had considered was A Field Guide to the Birds of Brazil. However, the illustrations were so small and unclear that it would not have been worth the weight. Certainly this Wildlife Conservation Society guide is far superior in quality.
This book is new enough (2010) to cover most of the latest changes in taxonomy. Most importantly, the drawings and descriptions are clear enough to allow identification of birds and enable you to distinguish between similar species and subspecies. The drawings also include birds on the fly, as well as male, female and immature.
The drawings include Portuguese as well as English names, with the scientific name in the species description. Essential, in my view, is having the description next to the drawing of the bird. The descriptions contain appearance, habitat, behavior, and vocalizations.
Each bird description contains a range map showing range of bird breeding, boreal migrant, austral migrant, vagrant occurrence and isolated area of distribution. Tiny flags and half flags show endemic and near endemic species. Status as critically endangered, endangered, and vulnerable is also indicated.
Note: I came across a sentence in the description of the American Pygmy Kingfisher that nobody could understand: "American Pygmy is found singly and generally perches close to the surface of shallow water, and sometimes even feeds at stagnant pools; it can be confiding." p.158. Confiding???
Also, a sentence on page xii of the introduction seems odd and unnecessary: "Brazilians speak Portuguese, and are helpful, friendly, and full of fun." The Portuguese part is fine, but the remainder of the sentence seems a bit strange, to me.
To date, the "Wildlife Conservation Society Birds of Brazil: The Pantanal and Cerrado" appears to be the best field guide to buy for touring that area, as well as neighboring regions. It worked for me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The illustrations are very good and give a good indication of what field marks to...Read more