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Roberts Bird Guide Paperback – 26 Oct 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Paperback, 26 Oct 2007
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Product details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Africa Geographic (26 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0620375574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0620375573
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 14 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,788,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

"The Roberts Guide" comprises some 185 individual plates, all annotated to highlight key identifying characters and all accompanied by field texts drawn from the most up-to-date information known about the birds of Southern Africa. In addition to the texts, each species account will have a colour map showing distribution and relative abundance. Also included will be breeding bars below the maps which indicate the prime breeding times for relevant species. "The Roberts Guide" will enjoy a considerable price advantage over the other field guides on the market. Another distinctive feature will be the plasticized cover (silkscreened in full colour) to give all-weather durability.

Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
I bought the new Roberts guide in Norfolk Wildlife Trust's shop at Cley Marsh during the summer in preparation for a trip to Botswana. Being able to compare with Newmans and Sasol was very useful as otherwise you're left with reviews and publisher notes.

What is immediately apparent is the sheer attractiveness of the Roberts guide compared to the other two. The drawings are of a very high standard with annotations pointing out diagnostic features. The descriptions on the facing page are detailed and give useful information on status - ie how common and widespread it is and if not a resident the months during which it might be seen. Differences between similar species are commented on and full descriptions are given for male and female adult, and immature. Adjacent distribution maps use three colours, green for resident, blue for non-breeding migrant and orange for breeding migrant. A breeding bar below indicates peak and full breeding months.

At the back of the book are indices in Scientific, English, Afrikaans, French, German, Portugeuse, many African tribal languages etc!! Perhaps more interesting for many people will be a section that is ordered by Plate number explaining the derivation of the scientific name eg genus Campethera (woodpecker) meaning caterpillar hunter. The checklist at the back doubles up as a common name index, slightly irritating as the order is a little confusing eg Reed Warbler is under 'R' whereas other Warblers are under 'W'.

I had been lent a 1997 edition of Sasol and was intending to take both, but what with other guides and reading material I was becoming to look like a travelling library. I therefore only took Roberts using it repeatedly during the trip and finding it informative and easy to use.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have had the good fortune to see an advanced copy of this book and discuss it with the principal author, Hugh Chittenden. It is a huge improvement on the commonly-used Newman, especially in the colour plates and in geographical distribution maps. Also, it is more comfortable to use in size when compared with the rival Sasol publication which it also outperforms in content. I suspect that a second edition with even better plates will emerge in a couple of years. The major criticism made by some of this work is the changing of the traditional "order" of birds in the book with which we have become familiar and dependent on. Hugh Chittenden explains this with the valid observation that new Far Eastern books have adopted this order on the basis of recent DNA and other scientific argument and it was assumed that the US would follow suit on the basis of being championed by Sibley Snr. For us mere birders the decision is simple. Do we buy this fine book, a much needed very cut-down version of Roberts 7, and learn to live with the new order? Or do we save the money and stick with Newman and Sasol? For myself I shall be getting a copy as soon as it becomes available in the UK.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x906b2654) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90830bb0) out of 5 stars A Must for South African Birding 24 Nov. 2009
By A. Bird - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are going to South Africa (or are already there) and you have even a slight interest in birds, Roberts Bird Guide by Hugh Chittenden is a must for identification. There are so many species in the country that without this comprehensive guide you will just see a lot of birds without knowing which is which.
HASH(0x91481a50) out of 5 stars Terrific bird guide! 27 Jan. 2014
By W Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The perfect companion for my trip to South Africa! Very thorough and it even includes bird names in 13 languages.
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