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The Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi (Princeton Field Guides) Paperback – 19 Feb 2006

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Paperback, 19 Feb 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (19 Feb. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691126658
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691126654
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,441,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


Winner of the 2001 Best Bird Book - Africa, Worldtwitch

"For birders with an interest in the region and those planning a trip, look no further. With the publication of this guide we have distilled into one book all the good elements of what has gone before but better. . . . The plates are the book's tour de force and are simply outstanding. . . . This is by far the best and most exciting guide available for anywhere in Africa."--Ken Arber, Surfbirds.com

"The illustrations in this guide are of a very high standard and show the detail needed for field identification whilst remaining of an artistic quality that makes the book an attractive object as well as a useful one. . . . The brief descriptions are excellent and the language fresh and punchy. . . . A very fine field-guide indeed and sets a new standard for regional African guides."--Fatbirder.com

"As soon as you open the book, you'll realise that the standard of artwork is exceptional. The text is also of an unusually high standard. . . . If you are planning a trip to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda or Burundi this is now unquestionably the most valuable book you can buy. And if you aren't yet planning a trip there this is the perfect book to get you dreaming."--Birdguides.com

"If East Africa is in your dreams, this should fill the bill."--Charles E. Keller, Indiana Audubon Quarterly

About the Author

Terry Stevenson has made Kenya his home since 1977 and is one of Africa's foremost bird-tour guides, having led numerous tours across the continent. He wrote "The Birds of Lake Baringo" while he was resident ornithologist there from 1981 to 1985, and is a member and advisor to the bird committee of Nature Kenya and to the East African Rarities Committee. John Fanshawe is the Africa consultant for BirdLife International. He has conducted research in the region for many years, and is widely regarded as unrivaled in his knowledge of East African birds and their conservation.

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First Sentence
Endemic to Africa, ostriches are huge flightless birds with small wings, massive legs and two large forward pointing toes. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

107 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Kim Geheb (daktari@source.co.ug) on 29 Nov. 2001
Format: Hardcover
There are four main field guides to East Africa's avifauna. The oldest, the Collins Guide to the Birds of East Africa, is annoyingly spartan with its pictures, forcing the reader to identify birds via the text. In any case, not all of East Africa's birds are illustrated. Bird distribution is described in the text, and not via more simple to use maps. It was with precisely these shortcomings in mind that Van Berlow set out to illustrate every bird in East Africa (in this case, Somalia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania). His volume, The Birds of East Africa, does indeed contain a full set of plates, and provides extensive distribution maps. The pictures, however, are often small and difficult to discern, and the maps, all located in the back of the guide, accessible only via a rather complicated plate and species number system. The third contender, Zimmerman et al.'s excellent Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania falls short of requirement - in this case - because of its limited geographical range (through no fault of its own!). Another concern is the location of its distribution maps all placed in the text, often well away from the illustration of the bird. When standing in the field with a small and unremarkable avian in front of you, having to flick between illustration and distribution map is increadibly annoying, particularly when the bird then flies off.
Stevenson and Fanshaw's new volume is the fourth guidebook to enter this market and is by far the best. The illustrations are clear, distinct and beautifully detailed; distribution maps (covering Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi) are located alongside each illustration, as is a short and succinct description, so no faffing about between illustration and text. The volume's hard cover makes it an excellent companion on tough birding safaris. I could not recommend this volume more warmly.
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55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Dec. 2002
Format: Hardcover
I've bought several field guides to the birds of this region and this is by far and away the easiest to use for identifying your encounters on travels in East Africa. The plates are clear, with illustrations of male/female and immature variants. Also the description/narrative lies on the page facing the illustrations - this may sound obvious - but it isn't obvious to those who designed the page layout of the Collins field guide. The Collins has the plates on the centre pages and the narratives at the front and back of the book - this layout makes flicking through in the space of time your bird will sit still quite a challenge! Most of us don't have that kind of time, and would prefer to focus on the bird through our "bins", rather than keep our head in the book looking up several different page references.
I only have one criticism of this Stevenson & Fanshawe guide and that is that the goshawk illustrations somehow show the bird with v short legs, when the long legs are one of the key features you notice when you stumble across one.
I know this guide is more expensive than some of its competitors, but it is worth it.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Iain Thomas on 19 Jan. 2005
Format: Hardcover
This field guide is superb and an enormous improvement on the other guides of the area that fall short with poor illustrations, less extensive geographical coverage and/or inadequate text. Critically it brings together in one place excellent illustrations, good maps and most importantly very detailed text. I found the text carefully crafted enabling even members of some of the more difficult groups (e.g. bulbuls and allies) to be relatively easily identified with clear notes to key field marks. It is a pleasure to use for extended periods in the field. My only suggestion for improvement would be to add a few more reference points to the maps.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Groom on 29 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
I own the previous edition of this book before it was published by Helm and Iam assuming that it is the same book (same cover!!)
I was inspired to write this review as I noticed that this book was not getting any love, compared to its nearest rival by Zimmerman. I used this book exclusively during 3 months travelling Kenya and Tanzania and though I did get to look at Zimmerman during this period I think this book is superior in a few small ways:
1. It has text and illustrations on opposites pages rather than a separate plates section. I realise that this is down to personal preference but when using a book as a field guide - having to flick back and forth from plates to text is a no-no for me!!!
2. The illustrations are better. Again subjective but I feel that they are more lifelike and vibrant.
3. It also covers Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.
Needless to say this is a fantastic book and though Zimmerman is good, I would recommend this one - I certainly made lots of use of it. It was a constant companion and though quite big and heavy it was certainly robust enough to withstand intensive use in the field. This is possibly the 2nd best guide have owned and definately the best African guide I have seen (it also compares favourable with the Struik guides where they cover the same birds - the illustrations are much better in some cases).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Edmondo on 16 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
It's a fairly weighty reference book to carry with you but then there are rather a lot of bird species in East Africa! Format is similar to many other best in market field guides: good quality drawn images with sex/juvenile variations, summary of identification, location/habitat and activity traits plus a thumbnail image of the region showing distribution overview. Just right amount of detail to make it a readily usable field guide before, during and after a trip. Going to East Africa and keen on birdlife? Has to be the second thing you pack after your binoculars.
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