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Hand Guide to the Birds of New Zealand [Paperback]

Hugh Robertson , Barrie Heather
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 41.99
Price: 39.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

11 Jan 2001
The predecessor of this book, The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand enabled users to identify wild birds seen anywhere in the New Zealand region. That book was in two parts: the first section was an identification guide with colour plates and distribution maps, while the second section gave more detailed information on the biology and ecology of the species described. The Field Guide was 430 pages long and sold for £55 hardback and £27.50 paperback. The current book comprises the first section of the original Field Guide - plates, maps, and short descriptions - with an Introduction, a section on where to see the birds, and an index. A much smaller, cheaper book than the Field Guide, it will be attractive to a wider audience of less serious bird watchers as well as the more serious who want a more portable version.


Product details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (11 Jan 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019850831X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198508311
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 16 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 291,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

"the standard indentification book for the birds of this wonderful country" Birding World

About the Author

Dr Barrie Heather

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Small group of distinctive flightless and generally nocturnal birds. Read the first page
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Concordance
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad book - just maybe uneccessary? 29 Oct 2007
Format:Paperback
The first thing I noticed upon ordering this book for my first trip to New Zealand last year is that this book isn't really very big. Especially for the money you pay for it in the UK. Secondly the majority of the book is taken up by pelagic seabirds and waders, many of which are rare vagrants. Thirdly the quality of the book is not terrible by any means but the illustrations are not the finest in the world. The text is adequate for ID purposes but presents little information.
Upon arriving in New Zealand I found that there really aren't that many species of non-marine birds there and many of those are introductions and will be familiar to UK birders. Of course when you do finally get to grips with NZ specialities like the Tui and the Kea and so on - they are all fantastic and unique birds. But heres the crux of it - you really don't need this guide in order to id them as they are all so distinctive and there is a lot of information to help you at any of the National Park or Dept of Conservation Offices. There are no complex warbler groups, only one pipit, only one lark etc. Really one of the small photographic guides (which I always think are aimed at the casual wildlife enthusiasts rather than serious birders) will probably suffice unless you want the most comprehensive and complete guide on the market. And if that is the case I would recommend the 'Field Guide' version of this publication which has all the contents of this book plus plenty more information to make it an informative read in addition to an ID guide - and its only a few pounds more. Therefore it kind of makes this book, good as it is, quite redundant.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only bird book I carry 26 July 2005
By Frank King - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I had no experience with ornithology or bird-watching and I wanted to learn. I bought every NZ bird book in the store. This is the one I found most usefull, with its detailed descriptions and detailed images. The binding is robust enough to survive being carried in my pack since 2002.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Portable ID Guide 9 Oct 2009
By D. R. Nightingale - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This excellent guide contains 74 watercolour paintings that depict all 328 species, and most sub-species, of birds officially recorded in the New Zealand region (including offshore islands)and juvenile forms too. On the page opposite each colour plate is a distribution map (if the species illustrated breed in NZ) and sufficient plumage and behavioural details to help you identify the species and gender of the birds you see in the field.

The paintings in this book are exactly the same in size and number as in "The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand", a much thicker book by the same authors/illustrator. The thicker book contains extra information on the biology and ecology of the species described - but I think the "Hand Guide" is a better choice for the field than the "Field Guide" as it is lighter and more concise (it also has a protective plastic cover).

If you get the "Hand Guide to the Birds of New Zealand" and the essential "Birds of New Zealand: A Locality Guide" by Stuart Chambers ([...]), you will have all the books you need for birding in NZ.

[...]
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hand Guide to the Birds of New Zealand 10 Mar 2006
By Ann M. Bancroft - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Great book. There are excellent pictures and useful information. Information on where you are likely to find the birds...Fun to read while planning a trip.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best available 23 May 2010
By B. Frenz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Except for a few recent vagrants, this field guide thoroughly covers the birds of New Zealand: well-illustrated with good descriptions and fine distribution maps, a good index, island maps on the inside covers and a waterproof jacket. The guide also devotes six pages to the key places to visit in New Zealand. I was surprised at its small size 6" x 8.8" x 0.5", but then pleased with how much is packed into a book that is easy to carry in the field.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, Compact Guide. 4 Nov 2010
By Knut A Hansen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Used this guide as our only identification book on recent two week trip to New Zealand. The book is very thin (mostly because there are so few birds species in NZ), making it an easy to to carry companion. Paintings are beautiful, maps seems accurate, and the text desciptive. A few of the species names are a little out of date however.
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