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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 20 November 2009
This is by far the best field guide for Brazil at present and there has been a lot of work gone into it.

There are a lot of positives about this book and it will be very useful for those who visit Brazil. I have been twice and the birding is wonderful. The lack of a field guide was a big problem.

Brazil has a huge number of species and each one is illustrated opposite a map and brief description. Its a largish book and would have to go in a bag or large pocket. Most illustration are in profile with birds in flight such as parrots which is good.

This guide is a good first edition but I would hope the author and publisher could make it a little more user friendly for the 2nd edition by the following:

I think the species accounts are very brief especially for the trickier groups. This is odd when there is often space at the base of the page. I prefer the bird labelled with a name and I think some annotations on the plate would assist the species account. Often the female is behind the male even though there is plenty of space. Colour coding of the top would help find the group rather than one colour.

The best field guide for Brazil and a big thank you to the author Ber van Parlo. Well done!
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on 8 December 2009
Bought the book just before a birding trip to Brazil. Fortunately the trip was guided as the book was too large to easily take in the field. This was to be expected with over 1800 species illustrated on 187 colour plates. Unfortunately some of the illustrations didn't match the bird too well either. However, if you are going to Brazil, it will help with the bewildering number of birds you see and hear. There certainly isn't a better guide to the Birds of Brazil
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on 13 March 2010
This is exactly what the birder visiting Brazil always wanted but never had - a standard-format field guide. The amount of work gone into the illustrations, succinct descriptions and range maps for over 1850 species is immense. That's over twice the number of WP species, and we can only be grateful to van Perlo for condensing this information into such a portable and convenient form for our benefit.

It's hard to believe anyone would give this book anything other than 5 stars. A superb achievement - I'd give it 6 stars if I could.
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on 19 February 2012
I have used this guide on two trips to Brazil, and like more experienced birdwatchers I have met there have found it very frustrating. The illustrations are less than perfect, but that is a flaw in many field guides. What is sadly lacking is a comprehensive description of the birds. The word "unmistakable" is not of much help if the illustration is not accurate, or if you are trying to identify a bird in poor light. The Helm Guide to the Birds of South America is much better, though too bulky to be a field guide. Nevertheless, this is the best of a bad bunch, and contrary to what some reviewers have said, I did not find it too heavy to use in the field.
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on 27 June 2011
To start with this has got to be one of the lightest field guide (around 1kg) for any country in and around the Amazon basin. Which is not bad as it contains all of the birds you are likley to see on a short trip to Brazil, but if you were going on a long visit or going to live there I would still buy this book but I would also buy THE BIRDS OF SOUTH AMERICA PASSERINES by Robert s Ridgley & Guy Tudor which would cover everything.
Right, now the book. It contains 1800 species which is not far short of the countrys total list. Also the artwork is pretty good, showing adult male / female and juveniles. There is also a map of the area where each species can found, well to be honest with a country the size of Brazil a map 25mm x 20mm is pretty useless. There is also a small amount of tex which is just about enough to get away with on a short break.
NOW I AM GOING TO BE HONEST. I have been to a few countrys in south America and they have all been fully organised trips with both British and local guides. So with there knowledge/I.D. skills I diddn't really need a field guide with me, as I would spend more time looking up each species in the book than looking at the bird, and by the time you have found the right page the bird has probably flown.
The book would be more use as a cross REF book to use back at the lodge/ hotel. Another bad point is the book wll not fit in any of my pockets as its too large 240mm x 165mm (9.5inc x 6.5inc)
One thing I had noticed, that if you have access to printing machinery you could use a guillotine and you could remove 25mm 1 inc of the top 10mm 1/2 inc of the side and 25mm 1 inc of the bottom and you would not lose any of the tex / artwork which would make it a bit easier to carry.
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on 18 November 2010
There is not much to be added to the previous reviews. But I must say that I have somewhat mixed feelings about this book.

On the one hand, I very much like its contents, as far as I can tell from the various but rather cursory inspections so far. Overall, very fine illustrations, and the book has the classic layout with the text AND range maps both being opposite the plates.

So why my mixed feelings? Well, this is a field guide, and it is unnecessarily large. For one, there is a broad (21 mm wide) grey band at the top that I consider basically superfluous. The page and plate numbers could have been fitted without that band. Overall, I think a full inch or 25 mm could have been lopped off in the book's height. And at least one cm could have been taken off in its width as well. That would have resulted in a book that would be quite a bit more compact. As it is now, many plates look like there is an awful lot of white space all around the illustrations. And if the publishers had chosen a print with just slightly less space between the lines, the book could have been made even more compact. As a comparison, this book weighs in at a bit more than one kilogram, whereas a new compact field guide for Colombia weighs a mere 400 grams. And the two countries have a comparable number of bird species. Sure the Colombia guide is a bit suffering from its compactness, but something in-between the two extremes would be ideal for an field guide that covers over 1800 species.

Somehow, I can't avoid the suspicion that there will be a more compact version in the future, after everybody has bought the large one. Doesn't this look like a business strategy we already know from other field guides? It may make economic sense, but it does not further the goodwill of the buyers. I have now made it my policy that I only get the more compact version if I really visit the area. Alternatively, one might also opt for not buying this book now, waiting for the more compact version, or the forthcoming competing books if one has no plans to visit the area in the near future.
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on 2 January 2013
A great book in concept and general information, the illustrations were disappointingly sketchy on the whole (hence three stars instead of five) when compared with other similar books I possess from different regions. The 'Look Inside!' feature had it included more than just the one Albatross page would have been a better aide to managing my expectations.
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on 28 August 2013
I bought this book before a recent trip to Brazil. As we were going to the Amazon region, the Pantanal and then to the south east, I needed a guide for the whole of Brazil, which this book is.
The illustrations are drawings rather than photographs, and they miss the vibrancy of some of the more colourful birds. The Vermillion Flycatcher for instance is a most beautiful bird, but the illustration in the book makes it look fairly ordinary. However, the illustrations in a field guide are purely for identification, and the plates here serve this purpose very well. The book identified the Vermillion Flycatcher for me.
I liked the separate illustrations for male, female and juveniles (in species where the colours are different), and I found the distribution maps very useful, as the areas in each map are clearly identified in the Overview Map of Brazil on page 3.
The book is quite big, and I might have preferred a narrower format (which would admittedly make it thicker), but I carried it with me on all our trips and didn't find it too heavy.
Overall, I am very satisfied with this purchase, and I can recommend the book highly for birdwatchers going to Brazil.
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on 19 December 2010
I was recommended this book for a forthcoming trip to Brazil by a birding tour guide. The plates are generally good. I've compared them to some of the plates in "Field Guide to the Birds of South America: Passerines" and most of them come out favourably. Information on species is very concise and could do with expansion. It isn't perfect but it's the best all round bet at present considering the alternatives.
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on 12 September 2016
A very good book in that it covers all the species likely to be seen on a trip to Brazil. However, there are a few notable flaws. The illustrations of some groups of birds are not particularly good, and could be quite misleading. Some illustrations show the bird's upper parts but most do not. On a recent group trip to the Amazon region we found the raptor illustrations in the Helm Peru book significantly better. Also the text is a little brief, and additional information on key identification features would be welcome. Whilst understanding that the authors have endeavoured to make the size of the book suitable for the field, a little more information and a little more weight would be a better compt
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