By Bryan Pollock & Noel Ureña | Signal3 | e-Book | Jan 2016 | ASIN: B01A2PSME8

The Publisher’s View: 101 Common Birds of Costa Rica will delight all bird and art lovers who have been waiting for technical and beautiful paintings of the more common birds of the region. Size and a brief description accompany each painting. Not only accurate, but high resolution, you can zoom into see every feather detail clearly; up to 400% without pixelation. The artist, Bryan Pollock, along with Noel Ureña, a fount of avian field knowledge, have spent over three years bringing their vast background and experience to produce this book. They hope this will be the first volume of a series covering the 900 plus birds of Costa Rica.

Other Views: A reader (Cynthia Melcher) writes: My husband and I had the recent honor of being participants on a 2-week trip with one of this book’s co-authors, Noel Urena Chacon, so we already knew that his knowledge of Costa Rican birds was as profound as his attention to important details in renditions of birds. His enthusiasm for his homeland’s avian treasures was boundless, and it shows in this book of gorgeous artwork by artist co-author, Bryan Pollock. The book reminds me—in scope, beauty, and vision—of the original (subscription) volumes of John James Audubon’s paintings of North American birds. The little snippets of text that accompany each bird painting provide interesting anecdotes about each species’ ecology or behavior… an added dimension to the exquisite artwork that will help readers enjoy the bird paintings even more. Although anyone who appreciates birds and/or natural history works of art will enjoy this book, it us a must-have keepsake for anyone who has been to (or plans to go to) and had the privilege of enjoying Costa Rica’s birdlife in person.

Fatbirder View: Before taking a look I wondered exactly what this was for? OK Its nice to have some random pretty pictures of exotic birds, but this seemed to be neither a coffee table bok, an artwork nor a fieldguide and I could not see the niche. All I could think of to compare it with was Peter Sigrist’s Birds of Brazil. Of course, I loved that sumptuous book so it was sufficient to get me to look at this one.

From the opening page I fell in love with this unusual product. Of 101 birds illustrated all but a couple are not just accurate and beautiful but each captures the overall impression of the species and its character. The couple of exceptions were Acorn Woodpecker and Osprey. The woodpecker doesn’t really look like a woodpecker – which it certainly does in like; and the osprey seems rather benevolent and soft compared with the voracious and magnificent fishing raptor I know. This seems such a minor quibble when the rest are nothing short of stunning. Regular readers will know I much prefer art work to photography when it comes to fieldguides and yet these are not the usual accurate but bland illustrations one normally sees but bridge the gap between a scientific illustration and pure art in an almost unique way. I cannot wait for the next tranche of them, roll on the next 101!Fatbirder