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The Birds of Africa, Volume V: Thrushes to Puffback Flycatchers: Thrushes to Puffback Flycatchers v. 5 Hardcover – 20 Jul 1997


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (20 July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0121373053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0121373054
  • Product Dimensions: 31.7 x 24.4 x 5.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"An extremely useful series of maps at the beginning showing the location of over 350 localities referred to in the text. The largely excellent artwork still makes this book a joy to leaf through. This series is everything a handbook should be: full of concise, mouth-watering plates that just make you want to get out there. Expensive? Of course. Value for money? Definitely. Got to have? Absolutely."--Birdwatch

"More than any other volume, this book opened up for me a new world of African ornithology. The end of a wonderful and lasting project is now in sight."--Alan Kemp, Ostrich

"Without a doubt, [this book] has been worth the wait. In covering ground thrushes through to batises, it treats some of the most difficult groups of birds to identify in Africa--notably the cisticolas and the batises. . . . The plates are generally of a high standard and they continue to improve as the series progresses. The plates are the most comprehensive set of cisticola illustrations ever published and include the previously unillustrated Dorst's Cisticola. This volume is an essential purchase for the keen African birder."--Birding World

"The effort expended has been enormous and remarkably successful considering the immensity of the project. The Birds of Africa is indispensable for anyone with serious interest in African ornithology."--Dale A. Zimmeran, Auk

"A magnificent achievement: the sheer depth and compass are breathtaking."--Leon Bennun, Ibis

"One of the best handbooks that I have seen and a joy to use; this volume in particular is a magnificent work."--David Emley, British Ecological Society Bulletin

From the Back Cover

"It is impossible to not be impressed by the spacious design and almost opulent feel to this tome. All paintings are by Martin Woodcock: a stunning achievement, with 312 species illustrated by 676 portraits on 32 plates. The texts are comprehensive, but not overpowering. It is providing us with one of the great sets of reference handbooks devoted to a single continent. This is an essential purchase for every serious ornithological library. With the recently formed and thriving African Bird Club, there will also be many birdwatchers who will want to own their personal set of volumes."--J.T.R. Sharrock

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Birds of Africa" is a seven-volume reference work covering all species of birds found in Africa, both North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. This is the fifth volume, edited by Emil K. Urban, Hilary Fry and Stuart Keith with illustrations by Martin Woodcock and Ian Willis. And let's not forget Claude Chappuis, who is responsible for the acoustic references.

This volume covers thrushes, Old World warblers, Old World flycatchers, monarch flycatchers, wattle-eyes and puffback flycatchers. The book is a typical reference work, probably unsuitable for occasional bird-watchers or the general reader, but a "must have" for every research library and more advanced ornithologist. At least if his way of advancement goes through Africa!

The species presentations include sections on range and status, description, field characters, voice, general habitat, food and breeding habits. The color plates are good but somewhat confusedly edited. The maps in the introductory section show the best (?) haunts in darkest Africa, including the Bamingui-Bangoran National Park, the Mbaéré-Bodingué-Nyota Forest and the Warsangeli Escarpment. I must remember those, although something tells me they can't be reached by metro...

The book also contains its fair share of surprises. Thus, it turns out that the European Blackbird can be found in Morocco! It's supposed to be a special subspecies, "Turdus merula mauritanicus", but I honestly can't tell the difference with the blackbirds hopping around in my very European backyard. The Fieldfare, Redwing and Ring Ouzel also make guest appearances in this work, since they can all be found in Northern Africa during their annual migrations.

Personally, I prefer HBW to any other reference work on birds, but then, I mostly look at the pictures! As already indicated, I'm sure the fifth volume of "Birds of Africa" also fills a niche. In the end, I give it four stars.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
A blackbird from darkest Morocco 20 July 2012
By Ashtar Command - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"Birds of Africa" is a seven-volume reference work covering all species of birds found in Africa, both North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. This is the fifth volume, edited by Emil K. Urban, Hilary Fry and Stuart Keith with illustrations by Martin Woodcock and Ian Willis. And let's not forget Claude Chappuis, who is responsible for the acoustic references.

This volume covers thrushes, Old World warblers, Old World flycatchers, monarch flycatchers, wattle-eyes and puffback flycatchers. The book is a typical reference work, probably unsuitable for occasional bird-watchers or the general reader, but a "must have" for every research library and more advanced ornithologist. At least if his way of advancement goes through Africa!

The species presentations include sections on range and status, description, field characters, voice, general habitat, food and breeding habits. The color plates are good but somewhat confusedly edited. The maps in the introductory section show the best (?) haunts in darkest Africa, including the Bamingui-Bangoran National Park, the Mbaéré-Bodingué-Nyota Forest and the Warsangeli Escarpment. I must remember those, although something tells me they can't be reached by metro...

The book also contains its fair share of surprises. Thus, it turns out that the European Blackbird can be found in Morocco! It's supposed to be a special subspecies, "Turdus merula mauritanicus", but I honestly can't tell the difference with the blackbirds hopping around in my very European backyard. The Fieldfare, Redwing and Ring Ouzel also make guest appearances in this work, since they can all be found in Northern Africa during their annual migrations.

Personally, I prefer HBW to any other reference work on birds, but then, I mostly look at the pictures! As already indicated, I'm sure the fifth volume of "Birds of Africa" also fills a niche. In the end, I give it four stars.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Good 17 Nov. 1999
By Wayne G. Dengel, Sr. (sldspeak@att.net) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Your price on this book ~ The Birds of Africa (Vol 5) ~ is no better than buying it anyplace else including from the publisher.
Regards, Wayne
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