11 February 2012

Book Review: Contingas and Manakins

Cotingas and Manakins by Guy M. Kirwan and Graeme Green is one massive book and at first glance, I was entranced by the many orange-blazing Guianan Cock-of-the-Rocks that grace the cover.  Covering 5 families, this book has everything from the big megafauna to the small skulkers, each species gets a detailed write-up including a range map, various photos, and in-depth life history traits. 

I liked that the book covered each species with an artisit rendering by Eustace Barnes.  These 34 colorful plates add a little extra pizazz to the book but I would have liked them better if they were interspersed within the text.  Having them all at the front of the book didn't seem to flow as smoothly but it does get you excited about reading the text. 

This definitive guide on contingas and manakins covers 130 species and is written easy enough for any bird admirer and detailed enough for an ornithologist in the field.  This book will have you booking your next trip to the Neotropics!  I'm already using it to study for my upcoming trip to Panama this summer.  If you're intrigued by this colorful and varied group of birds then this is one book you don't want to miss.  It's a treasure trove of information and beauty from the cover to the last page.

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