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A Field Guide to the Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific Paperback – 21 Jun 1987

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (21 Jun. 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691023999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691023991
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 12.9 x 3.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 604,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"An excellent and much-needed guide to the region."--World Birdwatch

From the Back Cover

"This book is a landmark in the field. It will long stand as a substantial contribution to our knowledge of Pacific Island birds. At least as important, it will be an impetus to conservation efforts in the Pacific."--C. John Ralph, Research Ecologist, U.S. Forest Service

"This practical, usable field guide covers areas of the Pacific that have lacked adequate treatment until now. By tying the island groups together ornithologically. The authors give a much more coherent picture of island faunas and their evolution than was previously available. . . . Field guides of this quality are exceedingly useful to the most qualified, experienced scientists and to beginning naturalists as well. The illustrations, in particular, will attract and interest many nonspecialists."--Robert J. Shallenberger, Staff Specialist for Migratory Birds, Division of Wildlife Research, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - formerly Refuge Manager, Hawaiian and Pacific Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By boojumjo on 16 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Still the most comprehensive guide on the region. Have been waiting eagerly for the upgraded version to be published, but since the projected date has come and gone last year, it might be assumed that the plans encountered some unforeseen obstacles. A shame really! Whichever funding body let Pratt down in financing the new publication should seriously reconsider. His work is a definite treasure towards ornithological studies in the Pacific region.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jane Smith on 26 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback
This book was printed in 1989 and is in a sense out of date. It's coloured pictures are good but otherwise I have found this book difficult to use as the layout is strange. I prefer to have the descriptions of birds by their picture. Also the index is not where modern field guides are to be found as it is two thirds through the book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 26 reviews
107 of 109 people found the following review helpful
The indispensible Tropical Pacific field guide. 11 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Pratt, Bruner, and Dickinson have produced a superb field guide completely covering all the islands of the tropical Pacific from Hawai'i west through Micronesia. This is a true field guide: it gives the field marks of every species, notes problems in identification with special emphasis on distinguishing similar species, and wastes no space on matters not related to identification. (The exception is that Pratt, a significant ornithologist as well as an expert in identification, summarizes controversies in classification whre appropriate.)
The text is organized by order and family, not by region, so the flycatchers of Tahiti appear next to the flycatchers of Palau rather than near other Tahitian birds. But the illustrations are grouped by region: Samoan land birds appear together, regardless of relationships. This greatly facilitates use in the field.
The illustrations are paintings, not photographs, which allows the authors to show similar birds in identical poses as well as eliminating the accidental marks which appear in even the best photographs and can confuse the user.
The authors have chosen to include the extinct birds of the region as well as the living ones. This puts a certain amount of "deadwood" on the illustration pages, which may be detrimental. But, considering that more than one "extinct" bird has been found after being missing for nearly a hundred years, it is probably worth the minor inconvenience.
I have used the book extensively in Hawai'i and believe it to be the best guide Hawai'i's birds. I would not consider being without it anywhere in its area of coverage.
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Getting a bit dated 6 April 2008
By Keet Kopecky - Published on
Format: Paperback
Still the best field guide to the birds of the tropical Pacific, Pratt's book is now over 20 years old and in need of revision. The bird life of Hawaii is in a constant state of flux, with species arriving and becoming extinct every decade. One of the most common species today, the African Silverbill, was rare when Pratt's guide was published, so is completely missing from the book. Nesting information, feeding habits, and other aspects of natural history are given very little attention. So, while the serious birder will want to own the book and carry it in the field, it is now necessary to purchase a second book to fill in all the missing information that has come to light in the last two decades. For the birder visiting Hawaii, I recommend also carrying the Hawaii Audubon Society's Hawaii's Birds. It is a lightweight supplement that includes all the new species that one is likely to encounter as well as much more information regarding the habits of each bird.
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Needs reformatting 11 Jan. 2007
By James G. Sasser - Published on
Format: Paperback
This field guide has excellent sketches of birds but the layout is quite awkward. This guide like most if not all guides breaks down the birds by family groups. This works well for most areas but not Hawaii. As an example, on the first page for Crows and Honeycreepers there are six birds listed, three are extinct, the other three birds all exist on seperate islands, so if I am birding on Kauai and I look on this particular page there is only one bird I would have any chance of seeing but I still have five other birds on the page as a distraction. On the other pages there are on average 8-10 birds per page but once again some are extinct (and not boldly labled as such) while there may only be one or two birds from each island on the pages. My recommendation to make it easier to ID birds in the field would be to put all the extinct Hawai'ian endemic birds on two or more pages (since there are so many of them) for emphasis and then have seperate pages for each island. Since there are so few birds to be found on each of the Hawaiian islands versus say the tropical forests of Costa Rica, I beleive my recommended format would be much less frustrating than the current format of the book to use in the field.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The book for Hawaii and the Pacific 4 Aug. 2011
By Mike "Madbirder" Nelson - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a huge area of the world and having a book that covers these islands is a great task. The artwork by H. Douglas Pratt is excellent and the species accounts are good with notes about appearance, habits, occurrence, description and other names where they apply. There are no range maps though, which when covering an area so large with many migrants and pelagic birds can be a bit of a problem. There are several maps near the end that cover the areas the book encompasses as well as area checklists covering island groups. Overall this is a very good book and if you are traveling anywhere in the Pacific this is the book to have.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
THE field guide for Hawaii and Pacific Islands 12 April 2011
By ddpix - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has it all - color drawings of key species, detailed species descriptions, and the locations where the birds are found - critical since some species are unique to particular islands while others are ubiquitous. The book is organized well, with the pictures all together, and a good index. Essential if you are birding in the Pacific.
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