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Birds of Cuba (Helm Field Guides) Paperback – 29 Sep 2000


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Paperback, 29 Sep 2000
£96.09 £59.99


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Christopher Helm Publishers Ltd (29 Sept. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713657847
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713657845
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 393,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By pandachris on 11 May 2011
Format: Paperback
Cuba has a number of endemics and near-endemics, so a comprehensive field guide is a must for any visiting birder. Unfortunately since publication, four birds described as sub-species in the book have been elevated to full species status. This is not a flaw, just unfortunate timing, so for Common Black Hawk, read Cuban Black Hawk, for Greater Antillean Nightjar read Cuban Nightjar and for Black-cowled Oriole, you've guessed it, Cuban Oriole. Grey-headed Quail Dove keeps that name.

The layout. Yuck. Illustration and description on the same page. Pretty much all standard works observe this convention. It is easier on the book. Failing that, for goodness sake tell us which page the description is on when we're looking at the picture.

I found some of the illustrations rather bland and cannot understand why each page of illustrations has a shadow page to its left, with the species name. Seems like a waste of paper and ink.

If you're used to European field guides, you're unlikely to be impressed, but if you want to identify Cuban species, then buy this book anyway.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By languedoc on 19 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
Having used the excellent Helm Field Guide to The Birds of Costa Rica (Garrigues & Dean),I was looking forward to this Helm product.But,Oh dear!!
Firstly,I must say that the illustrations are superb,and the descriptions and the location maps are very useful. However,the layout ( or lack of it ) makes this book a serious contender for the most excentric bird guide of the year award!
Unlike the Costa Rica guide,where the descriptions and distributions are directly opposite the illustrations,here they are totally separated.Worse still,there is no cross-reference on the illustration page to the descriptions.One has to either thumb through the descriptions,or go to the index at the back for your most likely candidate bird.-not an easy task while trying to observe your bird.
A frequent birder in Cuba has told me that some of the regional guides are often more useful.
However,you may feel that you must have the Garrido guide;he is after all the acknowledged expert on the country.
In that case you may be advised to take advantage of another curious feature of the guide,which is the page opposite the illustrations.This contains nothing other than grey outlines of the birds and the names.A rather wasted page.However,you can use the space to record your own cross referencing and description and distribution notes .Good luck!
A final excentricity,this must be one of the rare " field guides " to include birds that are described as extinct?
Helm! Before you issue a guide under your name you should pay serious attention to the layout!!
A "field guide" must be practical to use in the field !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bertie on 17 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
The contents both the illustrations and the text are good. The problem is the illustrations are printed on high quality paper in one section whilst the text is printed on standard paper in a different section. This was the normal way of printing illustrated books but it now seem very dated.

Once I got used to the layout I did not find it that difficult to use. Most of the description are in the same order as the plates, but for some reason a few are not.

The overall content is good once you get past the layout. We used three guides on our trip, none had seen the book before but they were all impressed with it. As with lots of things I think getting a copy in Cuba would be difficult, best to buy before you go.

The cover is a bit flimsy for field use, I wish I had cover it before we went to Cuba.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By peewit on 29 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Any birders that are going or thinking about going to Cuba this is the ideal book to take. Text is clear and the plates are excellant. One small point the plates are not numbered. Overall a good book for the novice, or experienced birder. I am looking forward to useing this book in the field.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By nigelf on 31 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ordered this book to take on holiday to Cuba as I have an interest in bird watching and needed some guidance to the birds that could possibly be seen while on holiday. It proved to be very useful giving good guidance to what could be realistically seen in Cayo Coco and I managed to see some 45 different species some of which without the book I would have really struggled in identifying. The only criticism I have is that some of the illustrations are too bright compared to the real colour of the bird but still a great help and good value for money.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. N. Tait on 25 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
Just returned from a birding trip to Cuba and everyone in the party had this book, which is not surpising as it appears to be the only one! A bit heavy to carry around in the field, and the colour plates lack the vibrant colours of the actual birds. It is a bit of a nuisance having to go to Index to find the description of the bird which is one one page and then to find the Plate (all bound in the middle) which is elsewhere with no cross referencing between to two. Could do with a good re-edit in a more user friendly style, but very helpful nevertheless.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this as a present for a friend who had just visited Cuba & seen many interesting & unusual birds. Written mainly by Cubans, the contents seem excellent.

I have only two gripes
- the illustrations only show the birds in standing positions - there are virtually no in-flight drawings
- the text pages have clear references for the illustrated plates, but the illustrations do not tell you which pages of text the descriptions are on (having to go through the index is a nuisance...)
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