softcover; 110 color plates show all 760 species found in the country; a limited amount of text (3-15 short lines) provides only briefest of descriptions for each bird; no range maps
This Nepal guide is a reduced version of the author's previous and much larger work: A Guide to the Birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Containing the same illustrations but for only the relevant birds, this is a smaller version and can be labeled as a true field guide-sized book.
All the birds found in Nepal are illustrated quite well and most of them are shown with multiple plumages when significant differences exist between genders, age, or subspecies. The 110 plates are illustrated with good artistry and will be good enough to help with even the more difficult of bird groups (e.g., warblers) to identify. Each plate contains 3-11 different species and show between 8-29 illustrations. Some of the plates of the plates with a higher count of illustrations, especially the raptors and shorebirds, are notably congested with the various perched and flying birds. Although this causes many of the birds to be a bit small on the plate, they will still be useful for identification.
Like this book's sister counterparts (Bhutan, Northern India, Southern India) the text is the weaker part of the book. Each bird receives 3-15 lines that provide a brief description of it. This text may not always be sufficient to differentiate between many of the more similar birds. For some birds, a line or two is offered about the habitat or distribution. The raptors receive the most coverage while the passerines receive the least (e.g., 3-5 lines). There is only the sparsest of information given for vocalizations while many of the birds receive none. There are also no range maps given for the birds.
To help supplement the relatively thin text on identification, eleven tables are included in the back of the book. These tables provide a comparison between the more difficult bird groups such as nightjars, warblers, rosefinches, and the Yellow and the White Wagtail subspecies.
This guide will serve you well in Nepal and is probably the second-best option, aside from the author's larger Birds of India that uses the same plates and covers the entire subcontinent. A superior, but more expensive book for artistry and in depth text is the Birds of South Asia by Rasmussen.
If you're looking at other titles by these authors (Inskipp and Grimmett) keep in mind this Nepal guide comes from the combined (but still condensed) Birds of India, which includes range maps. Basically, if you own Birds of India, you already own everything in this Nepal book. And, these two books (India and Nepal) all come from the aforementioned larger work that has everything along with extensive, in-depth text. -- (written by Jack at Avian Review with sample pages, September 2008)