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A Photographic Guide to the Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands / Guide Photographique DES Oiseaux DES Iles De L'Ocean Indien: Madagascar, Mauritius, ... Maurice, Seychelles, Reunion ET Comores Paperback – 27 Feb 2006
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"Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands" is the first comprehensive guide to the bird life of a region that embraces Madagascar, the Seychelles group, the Comoros and the Mascarenes (comprising Mauritius, Reunion and Rodrigues). Together, these magical islands and the warm waters of the surrounding ocean host a total of 359 regularly encountered species, many of them endemic to the area, and all of them fully described here in clear, concise text. The species entries, which are accompanied by up-to-date distribution maps, highlight identification features, preferred habitats, current status and vocalization. Each species is beautifully illustrated to show plumage details. A special chapter discusses the practicalities of birding in the region's main locations. The plates, of which there are 71, have been superbly researched and executed by Norman Arlott, Hillary Burn, Peter Hayman and Ian Lewington - among the world's leading bird artists.
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This photographic guide is a follow-up to the earlier and more extensive field guide of 1998 by the same authors. This smaller book takes a different focus that its predecessor. Instead, this book gives us a more limited number of species by introducing the reader to the more striking or extraordinary species of the region; but, not all of them. In all, only 128 species, or about 36% of the region's birds are shown in these photographs.
The birds that are shown are done so with very nice, sharp colored photographs. It's refreshing to see larger sized photos being used. Most of them take up about half the page. Each bird receives just one photo with only a few birds being afforded two. The selection of birds presented in this book are a representative sample from each of the key island groups noted in the book's title.
Accompanying each bird is a brief descriptive paragraph that gives only a general description of the bird. While these descriptions may aid with identifying the bird, the focus of this book seems more to be introducing birders to the islands' avifauna. A few additonal notes cover the bird's range and its general natural history. This material is presented in both French and English.
For those people interested in seeing quality photos of rarer, isolated birds, this book will be enjoyed. Although it should not be considered as a substitute for the author's earlier field guide, it is still a good study aid to many of the unique birds. For a more serious birding trip to the smaller islands around Madagascar, the field guide by the same authors (Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands) is a highly recommended and necessary alternative. -- (written by Jack, shown with sample pages at Avian Review, June 2008)
I've listed several related books below...
1) Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands by Sinclair/Langrand
2) The Birds of Seychelles and Outlying Islands by Penny
3) Oiseaux De La Reunion by Barre
4) The Beautiful Birds of Seychelles by Skerrett
5) Birds of the Seychelles by Skerrett/Bullock
6) Birds of Mauritius by Michel
7) Birds of Seychelles by Beamish
8) Les Oiseaux de Comores by Louette
9) Guide to the Birds of Madagascar by Langrand
10) Birds of Madagascar: A Photographic Guide by Morris