Hand Guide to the Birds of New Zealand Paperback – 11 Jan 2001
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"the standard indentification book for the birds of this wonderful country"Birding World
About the Author
Dr Barrie Heather
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Top Customer Reviews
Upon arriving in New Zealand I found that there really aren't that many species of non-marine birds there and many of those are introductions and will be familiar to UK birders. Of course when you do finally get to grips with NZ specialities like the Tui and the Kea and so on - they are all fantastic and unique birds. But heres the crux of it - you really don't need this guide in order to id them as they are all so distinctive and there is a lot of information to help you at any of the National Park or Dept of Conservation Offices. There are no complex warbler groups, only one pipit, only one lark etc. Really one of the small photographic guides (which I always think are aimed at the casual wildlife enthusiasts rather than serious birders) will probably suffice unless you want the most comprehensive and complete guide on the market. And if that is the case I would recommend the 'Field Guide' version of this publication which has all the contents of this book plus plenty more information to make it an informative read in addition to an ID guide - and its only a few pounds more. Therefore it kind of makes this book, good as it is, quite redundant.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The paintings in this book are exactly the same in size and number as in "The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand", a much thicker book by the same authors/illustrator. The thicker book contains extra information on the biology and ecology of the species described - but I think the "Hand Guide" is a better choice for the field than the "Field Guide" as it is lighter and more concise (it also has a protective plastic cover).
If you get the "Hand Guide to the Birds of New Zealand" and the essential "Birds of New Zealand: A Locality Guide" by Stuart Chambers ([...]), you will have all the books you need for birding in NZ.
My only big complaint with this book is the font used in the index, making it extremely hard on old eyes. That's why I give it only four stars.
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