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Birds of Mexico and Central America: (Princeton Illustrated Checklists) Paperback – 23 Jul 2006

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; New Ed edition (23 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691120706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691120706
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 387,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review


This useful book adds to the continually growing list of field identification field guides illustrating Neotropical birds. It is recommended to ornithologists, birders, conversations biologists, naturalists, and educators, and ecotourism guides taking people on fields trips to Mexico and Central American. -- International Hawkwatcher



Praise for previous Princeton Illustrated Checklists: "The books are compact, convenient guides for birders and scientists interested in identifying birds while visiting the regions. Their small, lightweight sizes make for easy packing and carrying in the back pocket while trudging around the countryside. They are the perfect alternative to the larger guides that are too large for travelling and often have more information than is necessary for field identification. -- Condor


This useful book adds to the continually growing list of field identification field guides illustrating Neotropical birds. It is recommended to ornithologists, birders, conversations biologists, naturalists, and educators, and ecotourism guides taking people on fields trips to Mexico and Central American. -- "International Hawkwatcher

The little book has an amazing breadth of information, and a quick thumbing through leads you to just about any family of birds you may want to find.--Gary Clark "Houston Chronicle "

The best feature about the book is that it packs a lot of birds, more than 1,500 species, in a small guide that can be easily carried in the field. . . . "Birds of Mexico and Central America" is a god acquisition for anyone with a strong interest in the birds of the region.--Frederic H. Brock "Wildlife Activist "

A new entry into the Illustrated Checklist guides published by Princeton. The [book's] size makes it easy to carry in the field [and] important to travelers who have been burdened with the more weighty field guides previously published for this area.... The plates are well-done and should enable easy identification of the birds found there. A must for all birdwatchers visiting the region.--Charles E. Keller "Indiana Audubon Quarterly "

I would recommend this book highly to anyone birding or banding in Mexico or Central America.--John Woodcock "American Bird Bander "

I wouldn't think of visiting Panama without this series' volume. . . . Superbly designed to present as much visual information about the species included in as small and portable a format as possible. . . . [T]his book will be a constant companion to me while I am in Panama.--John E. Ruitta "Well-Read Naturalist "


The little book has an amazing breadth of information, and a quick thumbing through leads you to just about any family of birds you may want to find.
--Gary Clark "Houston Chronicle "


The best feature about the book is that it packs a lot of birds, more than 1,500 species, in a small guide that can be easily carried in the field. . . . "Birds of Mexico and Central America" is a god acquisition for anyone with a strong interest in the birds of the region.
--Frederic H. Brock "Wildlife Activist "


A new entry into the Illustrated Checklist guides published by Princeton. The [book's] size makes it easy to carry in the field [and] important to travelers who have been burdened with the more weighty field guides previously published for this area.... The plates are well-done and should enable easy identification of the birds found there. A must for all birdwatchers visiting the region.
--Charles E. Keller "Indiana Audubon Quarterly "


I would recommend this book highly to anyone birding or banding in Mexico or Central America.
--John Woodcock "American Bird Bander "


I wouldn't think of visiting Panama without this series' volume. . . . Superbly designed to present as much visual information about the species included in as small and portable a format as possible. . . . [T]his book will be a constant companion to me while I am in Panama.
--John E. Ruitta "Well-Read Naturalist "

"The little book has an amazing breadth of information, and a quick thumbing through leads you to just about any family of birds you may want to find."--Gary Clark, "Houston Chronicle"

Praise for previous Princeton Illustrated Checklists: "The books are compact, convenient guides for birders and scientists interested in identifying birds while visiting the regions. Their small, lightweight sizes make for easy packing and carrying in the back pocket while trudging around the countryside. They are the perfect alternative to the larger guides that are too large for travelling and often have more information than is necessary for field identification."--"Condor"

"The best feature about the book is that it packs a lot of birds, more than 1,500 species, in a small guide that can be easily carried in the field. . . . "Birds of Mexico and Central America" is a god acquisition for anyone with a strong interest in the birds of the region."--Frederic H. Brock, "Wildlife Activist"

"This useful book adds to the continually growing list of field identification field guides illustrating Neotropical birds. It is recommended to ornithologists, birders, conversations biologists, naturalists, and educators, and ecotourism guides taking people on fields trips to Mexico and Central American."--"International Hawkwatcher"

"A new entry into the Illustrated Checklist guides published by Princeton. The [book's] size makes it easy to carry in the field [and] important to travelers who have been burdened with the more weighty field guides previously published for this area.... The plates are well-done and should enable easy identification of the birds found there. A must for all birdwatchers visiting the region."--Charles E. Keller, "Indiana Audubon Quarterly"

"I would recommend this book highly to anyone birding or banding in Mexico or Central America."--John Woodcock, "American Bird Bander"

"I wouldn't think of visiting Panama without this series' volume. . . . Superbly designed to present as much visual information about the species included in as small and portable a format as possible. . . . [T]his book will be a constant companion to me while I am in Panama."--John E. Ruitta, "Well-Read Naturalist"

"An admirable guide."--Melissa Mayntz, "About.com"

About the Author

Ber van Perlo is the author and illustrator of three highly successful Princeton Illustrated Checklists: "Birds of Eastern Africa, Birds of Southern Africa", and "Birds of Western and Central Africa".


Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The good news about this book is that it provides the most extensive coverage of the region, with the birds of all of Mexico and Central America being illustrated in a single volume for the first time. It is also very small, compact and light-weight.

Unfortunately - and predictably - the price to be paid for this is the quality. Illustrations are tiny, often just 2-3 cms in size, and usually dozens of them are crammed on one page. What's more, there are no "arrows" pointing out distinguishing marks between the similar species, making a bewildering page featuring 30+ tiny, green hummingbirds look like one of those "Can you spot the difference?" puzzles.

Text on the pages opposite the illustrations is extremely limited (usually 2-3 lines for each species), simply noting size, basic distribution and habitat info, plus maybe voice and a few key distinguishing features - though the latter are all too often replaced by the word "unmistakeable". With so many species on one page, often even this limited info has to spill over to the previous or following page!

Maps are tucked away in the back of the book, and are also very basic and small. They only show distribution very roughly, and often with the paint completely obscuring topographical features like country boundaries.

All things told, if you just want a cheap, basic and compact introduction to what this exotic region has to offer, this book may be good value. However for actual use as a field guide it is hardly the best, and it may well be worth investing into more guides that each cover a more limited region better.

"A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America" by Steve N.G. Howell seems to remain the best alternative with the widest coverage of this region.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Appears to be comprehensive and accurate. The compromise between size and detail means that the pictures are small and often do not show details such as immatures and birds in flight. The range maps could be located along with other information by using the black space on some pages, but given the sheer number of species it is unlikely that the book could otherwise be improved.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book to accompany me on our trip to Mexico in 2014. I am a keen bid watcher in the UK and wanted a book that covered any species that I'm likely to see in Mexico. This book’s reputation is built on the fact that it lists any bird that one could spot in the region.

One criticism that I have (as have others…) is that the images are quite small. However, there are so many species that any book covering everyone, would have to be either unwieldy or use small pictures. This book goes the latter route.

This book comes thoroughly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although definitely pocket-sized, unfortunately this book is let down by the illustrations being too cramped. The excellent artwork of Ber Van Perlo's is severely compromised by some of the species being reduced to thumbnail size where none of the identification features can be seen properly. Too many species have been cramped into too small a book and whilst useful, it could have been much better by limiting the coverage to just northern Central America. Whilst there are short descriptions, the range maps are on different pages which makes researching species all the more difficult.
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