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Thread: Which bird book?

  1. #1
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    Default Which bird book?

    A response to Abhishek's question:

    Personally, I use A Field Guide to the Birds of India by Krys Kazmierczak. I like this book because of:
    • the front papers, which show the different jizzes of various bird groups so you can then jump directly to the relevant page
    • the distribution maps, which aid identification
    • the fact that the Ali-Ripley reference number of the bird is provided (so you can access the bird easily in the 10-volume Ali-Ripley)
    • the index which also gives older names of each species
    • the build quality and size of the book, mine is ten years old and still near perfect


    I think this book costs about Rs 800/- now.

    Use this link to look inside this book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Field-Guide-Bi...ref=pd_sim_b_5

    You can recheck your identification using:

    http://www.orientalbirdimages.org

    I also use the 10-Volume Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan by Salim Ali and Dillon Ripley. This should cost about Rs 6000/- and I bought my copy from Manohar Books in Delhi.

    http://www.manoharbooks.com/

    I also use A Birdwatchers' Guide to India (OUP) by Krys Kazmierczak and Raj Singh. This provides a detailed list of birding locations across the country, what birds may be seen, including local rarities, and birding strategies for each location.

    Other popular guides are:


    Photographic Guide To The Birds Of India; Including Nepal, Sri Lanka, The Maldives, Pakistan, Bangladesh And Bhutan
    Bikram Grewal, Bill Harvey, Otto Pfister

    Birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives (Paperback)
    by Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp, and Tim Inskipp
    Richard Grimmett (Author)

    A review of other bird books here:

    http://www.kolkatabirds.com/bookreview.htm

    For birds of prey, the magnum opus is Rishad Naoroji's Birds of Prey of the Indian Subcontinent.

    I have a review on my blog here:

    http://www.indianwildlifeblog.com/20...tinent-by.html

    Lastly, books to download:

    AO Hume, The Nests and Eggs of Indian Birds Vol 1

    http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/13117

    Douglas Dewar A Bird Calendar for Northern India

    http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/18237

    Douglas Dewar Birds of the Indian Hills

    http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/23755

    Hope this helps,

    Apana
    Last edited by AB Apana; 25-06-2009 at 11:35 AM.

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    Default

    Thanks for the help AB.

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    Default

    An update here on Birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives (Paperback) by Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp, and Tim Inskipp.

    The distribution maps are often not beside the plates so one has to turn back pages to find the distribution maps. And then the maps have plate numbers, so although you might have been looking at 'Sunbirds,' if you did not note the plate number, you now have to go back to the plate, note the plate number, and now return to the distribution map.

    It's not the fault of the authors, it is the fault of the designers.

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    The problem you mentioned is right. The identifications are made well but in some plates the distribution isn't given at all. I bought the book "Birds of the Indian Subcontinent" by the same authors recently. Overall it is nice. It feels better than Salim Ali on the field for identification as juvenile, flight, male, female etc images are given side by side for most species. However I liked the description in Salim Ali better. No idea abt Kazmierczak, but did hear quite a bit about it from you...
    Regards,
    Bibhav Behera
    www.bibhavbehera.com

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    Neither of the books are in stock here in Mumbai, so I bought the Inskipp book through a friend who visited Nainital. I agree about the problem regarding the maps in the Inskipp book, but the Kazmierczak book wasn't in stock even at the bookshops my friend checked out. So I have to make do with the Inskipp... guess I have to get used to it.

    I agree that for the description and other info like behaviour etc. the Salim Ali books are irreplaceable. So in addition, I'll keep and continue to use the Salim ed. 13 that I have.

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    Do invest in the 10 volume Ali-Ripley, great to identify sub-species.

    The Rasmussen-Anderton book (2 vols) is expensive, but has superb sonagrams of the vocalisatrion of various species. The BNHS sells this book at a decent discount to members.

    Apana

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    I have been using the Salim Ali 12th Edition for a long time. However, it has limited number of species. So I felt the need to get the Rasmussen book. The full name is Birds of South Asia The Ripley Guide by Pamela C. Rasmussen and john C. Anderton
    It is divided into two volumes.

    The first volume is the Field Guide and is less thicker in size. So one can carry it into the field.

    The second volume describes the Attributes and Status. The amount of information about taxonomy, distribution, habits etc is phenomenal. The sonogram, though a welcome addition, may not be used by a majority of the people. I wish this would have been available in an e-book format.

    It is pretty expensive. I didn't knew that it was sold through BNHS.

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

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    I have been using the 'A field Guide to the Birds of India' by Kazmierczak. In fact Apana helped me to buy it, we got it in Crosswords . The illustrations are good, and the distribution maps also help to locate faster. Its also quite good to carry in the field.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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    I use 'A field Guide to the Birds of India' by Kazmierczak. It is best of the lot amongst affordable field guides for reasons well noted by Apana.
    But like most field guides it has limitations. It is important to understand the limitations of a field guide.The variations in plumages, Calls and even distribution of birds can confuse and mislead one easily on the field.Nothing can substitute Field experience in the company of experts. I try to accompany some of the veterans on this side of kerala
    on their field trips whenever i can. You get loads of info which you will not usually find in the guides. Especially interesting behavior and nesting patterns, Calls, Elaborations on ID features given in the Guides, Local names etc. Calls in particular unless you have a good audio, I had been taken for a ride by drangos on CSE calls atleast thrice.
    Now i think i can more or less distinguish the two thanks to a local friend who is also a good bird guide. The point im trying to make is using a field guide when in company of field experts will make you realise its worth and also give you a lot more to add to the information you get in a field guide.
    Regards
    Roopak

  10. #10
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    I echo Roopak.

    I have been so fortunate to have expert tracker belonging to Kadar tribe. He can identify ALL species, including subspecies through out the range - not only by seeing them, but also through calls, nests and even droppings.

    Interestingly he was the tracker for Divya Mudappa, Sankaraman,Kannan, Poornima, Alphonse Roy, N.A.Naseer, S.U.Saravanakumar and a score of other wildlifers. Am sure that without his immense field knowledge many of them would'nt have had accomplished their missions. Divya Mudappa referred him to me.

    Salim Ali's 12th edition is very good for its vivid description. Inskipp and Grimmet's edition is good especially for sub species.

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