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Birds of the Indian Subcontinent (Helm Field Guides)
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100 of 101 people found the following review helpful
on 8 December 2001
Well illustrated pictures and for the keener bird watcher, it's got all the species. The maps are clear, though not always near the pictures/text. It is confusingly classified (not the standard order). Naming follows the American system which is also confusing. In the area bird watchers will refer to species by their English names, so Grimmett is not helpful in this way. It would be better if it included commonly used names as well. An example of the confusion is with what is commonly called the 'blossom-headed parakeet' Psittacula cyanocephala. In Grimmett this is called the 'plum-headed' and, more confusingly, there's another called the 'blossom-headed' (P. roseata). Also, nobody in India seems to call a purple moorhen a purple gallinule.
However, it's a good all-round book. Combined with another which has the ordinary names and a bit more information, it was a good choice. (I took Collins Handguide to the birds of the Indian Sub-continent as well, which gives more info about the more common species).
I hope this review is helpful.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2011
Again a replacement volume. My last copy was too far gone through use and water damage. I had tried the Krys Kazmierczak guide which is its immediate competitor. While the illustrations in this guide are better and more lifelike, its distribution maps lose a little in being occasionally separated from the text.
My suggestion is to have both!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2013
I believe the best current Field Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent is the one written by Krys Kazmierczak & Ber van Perlo, but this guide is the only one available on Kindle.
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on 3 February 2014
I'm a fairly frequent visitor to the subcontinent and wished I'd had this earlier. In fact it's a new and updated edition with recent amendments to some aspects of classification but unless you're a bird nerd that's unlikely to be important. It's not much bigger than the regional guides (e.g. Birds of North India) in the same series and although too big to fit in a pocket it's worth having in your rucksack and wouldn't add much to the weight of your camera and binoculars if you're doing some serious birding. Good distribution maps. Also great value for money, but you can get it in India at some tourist stop offs where it would be marginally cheaper - but you wouldn't want to risk being without a good guide like this.
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on 8 July 2014
A complete, beautiful and must-have book for people who like birds. I bought this item hopping that he had all of the species of the India and the countries around, and I wasn't disappointed with my purchase. And the illustrations are awesome, almost at the level of Collins Bird Guide. Some are so good that look like photos.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 1999
To get an idea of the significance of this book, it may help to know that one of the contributors, Shahid Ali, spent months in London at the British Museum checking entries against preserved specimens. Hence, accuracy has been given due consideration in this volume. Shahid Ali, by the way, is grand nephew of Salim Ali, India's greatest ornithologist to date (his books are still relevant and can be ordered via Amazon!). If you cannot take the book with you into the field why not take Shahid! He is based in Mumbai (Bombay)..............
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on 7 February 2014
I am sure that this book is lovely in full colour and printed version. The information is very comprehensive.
It is not searchable or easily indexed so I found it almost impossible to use on my Kindle.
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on 16 July 2014
Used it for identifying the birds I saw in Kerala and looking forward to using it in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Easy to use.
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on 3 August 2012
Great book - very informative - am looking forward to using it when on holiday when I can check out how accurate it is.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2000
This book has been long awaited. There is nothing to compare. Both illusrations and text are superb. Bye this book now! If you cannot aford it get the paperback edition.
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