03 November 2015

Book Review: Birds of South America: Passerines

Princeton University Press has put out another great bird guide!  Birds of South America: Passerines, written and illustrated by Ber van Perlo, is a quality guide to a large region.  It focuses on the passerines south of Panama and even includes islands of South America.  It tops out at 464 pages and is pretty heavy. I would say that the small size however does allow the option of carrying it in the field and certainly, it's good reference guide when learning South American bird families. This book is a companion guide to Birds of South America: Non-Passerines: Rheas to Woodpeckers by Jorge R. Rodriguez Mata, Francisco Erize and Maurice Rumboll.

Synallaxis & Ovenbirds

First, let me say how glad I was to see a new book out covering South America. Second, I LOVE that they included range maps beside each bird species description. I also love that the plates are beside the descriptions and everything is so concise and easy to read.  Some of the older guides I have of South America tend to keep the plates separate from the descriptions or the range maps are not easily found or non-existant.  I just like it all together and this book hits that square on the head.

The range maps are small and the fact that everything is so tightly packed into the pages may make it hard to read for those with eyesight issues but for me it's perfect. My only criticism with the book is the illustrations. I find them a little pale, a little wispy but they are detailed and I believe it's more of a style preference than a problem. Other than that small fact, I think this is a handy guide but you don't have to take my word for it, give it a gander yourself on this sample page.

This review copy was provided by Princeton University Press.

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