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on 25 April 2004
I came across this book during a full-day boat trip in Chilean northernPatagonia. It was owned by our tour guide, and he used it to identifyseveral birds we encountered during our trip. The book struck me by itsclear illustrations, often showing the birds in flight as well asdifferences between adults and immature birds and between males andfemales. Relevant descriptive texts as well as distribution maps flank theplates. The title of the description also contain the Spanish name of thebird as used in Chile, which I find very useful to communicate with localpeople. Even if they speak English, they are likely to be unfamiliar withthe English name of the bird. I immediately became enamoured with thisbook and bought it from Amazon as soon as I got back home.
The book compares favourably to "Birds of Southern South America andAntarctica" by Martin La Pena (Collins/Princeton Illustrated Checklistseries). Whereas the latter book has the obvious advantage of encompassinga very large geographical area, it has the disadvantage of the maps beingseparated from the plates and descriptions, and the illustrations oftenbeing too indiscriminative for a positive identification of the bird.
As an example, I looked up the flamingos in both books. While "Birds ofChile" spends a whole plate on them, "Birds of Southern South America" hasthree small illustrations, squeazed in into the white space of anotherplate. The illustrations in "Birds of Chile" acentuate the discriminativefeatures of the three species a lot, even somewhat exagerated (the yellowon the legs and beak of the Andean flamingo is not that bright inreality), but I do not mind that too much. In contrast,these
distincitve features are blurred out in "Birds of Southern SouthAmerica", making the illustrations almost useless for identificationpurposes.
So far, I encountered one typo, namely that the scientific name of the"Gentoo Penguin" has been omitted from the title of the relevantdescription. However, the interested reader can retrieve this informationfrom the book's index.
I can wholeheartedly recommend to everybody interested in both birds andChile!
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on 23 December 2004
In an earlier review, I explained how I found out about this book and why I liked it so much.
Quite recently, I returned to Chile for a holiday and was able to put the book to the test. My experience was that - if you take some time in advance to browse through the book so that you are familiar with its general organization - I was able to identify most birds that I encountered in minutes if not in seconds thanks to the very accurate drawings, the distribution maps, and, more generally, the handy format of the book. With this added experience, I find this excellent bird guide actually deserves 6 stars!
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on 4 October 2007
One of the best and most user firendly bird book: small, thin but still full of information and excellent illustrations. Probably the best for birds in the Andes. If every field guide would be as good as this, I would be happy.

No less, than five stars.
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on 16 February 2009
Excellent, comprehensive, good colour plates - lightweight field guide. Well worth taking for any trip to Chile.
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on 5 February 2013
The book proved an excellent guide both at sea and on land. Birding from MS Veendam produced many memorable sightings which were helped by using the book. The land birds proved more difficult as some of the voice descriptions were not up to the superb plates. I had no previous experience of any South American birds so this was very difficult to be too critical especially with a bird like the Dusky Tapaculo. The book and text in general were very good and I have already recomended it to my friend's. On the ship many people looked at my copy and told me how helpful it had been to them.
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on 24 February 2014
Used this book extensively while on a cruise around the southern end of South America. Particularly good for
identifying seabirds.
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on 4 March 2014
Comprehensive, well written guide to birds in South America and Antarctica, I used it continuously until it was stole, then I bought a replacement copy as soon as I returned home.
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on 19 November 2013
Clear text, good illustrations and maps in an easy to use format (all details of a bird found on the same page). Invaluable when visiting Chile
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on 3 December 2011
An essential accompaniment for any serious birder visiting Chile. Small enough to carry around but very comprehensive and easy to use.
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on 25 April 2015
Probably my best holiday and I could not have been without this book
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