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Phillipps' Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo Paperback – 4 Aug 2011


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Paperback, 4 Aug 2011
£117.58


Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: John Beaufoy Publishing Ltd; 2nd Revised edition edition (4 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906780560
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906780562
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 551,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Lists all 669 Borneo bird species plus distribution maps, including 51 endemics

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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By MHJ Finch on 30 April 2010
Format: Paperback
I recently returned from a first holiday in Sabah (North Borneo) in which birding was a main interest. I took with me Susan Myers' Birds of Borneo, but while there a Bornean bird photographer recommended Quentin Phillipps and Karen Phillipps Birds of Borneo. Of the two books, Phillipps is (would have been!) much more helpful to a new arrival. Species-by-species, Phillipps allows the excellent illustrations (portraits but also habitat displays) to show plumages, whereas Myers supplements the illustrations with lengthy textual repetition of what the illustrations show. Inevitably the eye is drawn to picture rather than words, but neither Myers text nor illustration helped me to be sure that what I saw and photographed at close quarters was in fact Tabon Scrubfowl. In the space freed up by omitting textual ID, the Phillipps species notes contain helpful and often informal comments (random examples: "the bird has an unpleasant smell and is considered inedible"; "the second commonest munia"; "the head can be any shade of grey"; "often in noisy parties, sitting in rows"), as well as information on distribution, habitat, voice, range etc. In addition to the species accounts, Phillipps has sections on vegetation and bird life in Borneo (NB: from 220+ species in virgin primary forest to 12 species after destruction of the forest and planting oil palm), guides with maps to birding in eleven different areas of Borneo, orangutans and birds, migration routes, altitudinal zones and bird life, climate rainfall and breeding seasons, and much, much more. In short, Myers scores highly as a compact presentation of formal information on Borneo species, whereas Phillipps weighs 200gms more but is a user-friendly and visitor-helpful account of these species in their Bornean context.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mike "Madbirder" Nelson on 27 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is the second edition of this book and there are some great updates to the first edition. Several of the plates have been updated noticeably including the Spiderhunters, Blue Flycatchers, Trogons, Hornbills, Broadbills and several plates include food flowers and fruits preferred by the species. New taxonomic information has been included as well as info about the newly discovered Spectacled Flowerpecker. There is also a new birding site map to go with the 12 from the first edition along with more updated information. Also the introduction to birding in Borneo has more updated information and the habitat pages denote endemics with a red star. The endemics page loses the facing plate of Bald-headed Laughingthrush and is replaced with a fabulous plate of Spectacled Flowerpecker with it's inclusion in the islands now 52 endemics. This really is now leaps and bounds ahead of anything else for the island, this goes beyond being just a bird guide to Borneo and into a birding guide to Borneo, you'll find yourself not just enjoying the fantastic plates but absorbing the ornithological history, fauna and an insight of the island along the way, essential! Below is my review from the first edition which still holds true but with a few notes on the second edition differences.

Review of first edition:(with notes on second edition)

Typical, you wait for a guide to come out then two come at once. I found out this was coming out from my guide in Borneo in 2009 and quickly tracked it down once it was available and I'm glad I did. I had taken Mackinnon and Phillipps Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali (link below) with me and this did quite well but having a Borneo specific guide would have been better. This is a vast improvement over the old guide.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By H. Morgan on 16 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
Well researched topic and presented in a truly readable form,superbly illustrated. Highly recommen to those interested in this subject,especially helpful to visitors to that area.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By pticachelovek on 13 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If I am planning on birding in (or just visiting) any country, I try to find a Helm Guide that covers the country in question. However, for the island of Borneo, there appears to be no Helm available at the moment.

There are a few other options, and I understand that the Myer's guide is well regarded. But on the basis of previous reviews of both, I decided to choose Phillipps'.

Borneo is on my wish list of birding destinations, but realistically I may not make it so this book has to cover the dual function of being both an interesting reference book and a guide for use in the field.

It is very similar in style to the Helm type so if this is what you are used to, you will find much that is familiar.

You get one plate per double page, opposite the species notes. Drawings are clear and, I suppose, idealised - I think this is to be expected. The drawings themselves are numerically labelled, cross-referencing the facing text. This is very slightly frustrating sometimes, but causes no real difficulty.

The notes give all the major salient features for identification (visual and audible), behaviour and distribution as you would expect, as well as extra little nuggets such as status, alternative names, Malay names etc. And as you would hope, you get a little distribution map alongside.

Status is notable because the guide includes some species that have never been recorded in Borneo to date - "to date" being the operative phrase. Apparently Borneo is "under-birded" and so the authors have included all 673 species that have been recorded in Borneo along with 53 that are the most likely candidates to either have been missed or soon occur.

This is one example of how this book differs from what I am used to in a field guide.
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