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A Comprehensive Illustrated Field Guide: Birds of Africa South of the Sahara Hardcover – Jan 2003

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Comprehensive & Well-Organized! 28 Jun. 2009
By Laszlo Wagner - Published on
Format: Paperback
Though Amazon doesn't tell you so, this book is simply another version of the same title, earlier published by Princeton Field Guides - see more reviews posted there, if interested.

The book has taken on a monumental task by introducing the entire bird fauna of a huge region in one volume.
I was sceptical before seeing it, thinking that quantity would probably take priority over quality. It did not!
For a start, it is surprisingly detailed and well-organized. The editors have resisted the usual temptetion of cramming too many similar or small species on one page. Usually there are just 5-6 species on each page, sometimes 7 or just 3-4.
What this means is that illustrations are big enough to show detail, plus there are often 4 or more different illustrations for the same 1 species, showing different colour morphs, juveniles, females, birds in flight, head or wing details, etc.
It also means that the maps and text for each species could be placed on the page facing its picture.
The text itself is still amazingly detailed for a book of this scope, giving the essential information on distribution, appearence, habitat, status and voice.
Too good to be true? Well, some of the illustrations show important colour or pattern details wrongly, even contradicting description in the text - in these cases the text tends be more accurate, so have a look at that one, too!
But all in all, this book is a great value introduction to the bird fauna of Africa, though perhaps unsurprisingly, I found it a bit too bulky to carry on the field.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Birds of Africa south of the Sahara-field guide 28 Mar. 2009
By CW - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A wonderful book; illustrates in full color all species of birds found in Africa south of the Sahara (more than 2100 species are illustrated!). The best single-volume field guide to all species in Africa south of the Sahara. Anyone interested in birds should have this book in his/her book shelf.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A good guide, but very uneven artwork 2 Mar. 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As other reviewers have pointed out, this is a very good birdwatching guide to the birds of sub-Saharan Africa. I don't know enough to evaluate the completeness or accuracy of the information (and unfortunately I have not been able to use the book yet), but the volume certainly looks well organized and easy to use and the maps and descriptions all look very well done and useful. The only reason why I only give this guide 4 stars is that the artwork is very uneven. As you can check yourself using the "look inside" option offered by Amazon, many of the tables (especially in the first part of the book) are done by someone who was no better than a skilled amateur. I do not expect all birdwatching guides to be done with the same mastery as Svensson et al's Birds of Europe, but it is a pity that the publisher did not have the means or the wit to sign up someone with better skills.
I love this book 19 Nov. 2011
By Carolina - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just got hip to this book while in Tanzania. My guide has a copy and having never heard of, nor seen such a comprehensive book on african birds, I was more than thrilled with its content, illustrations, et cet. As soon as I got back stateside I ordered one and it arrived on my doorstep quickly and in an excellent condition. I would absolutely buy from this vendor again.
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