Birdwatching in Colombia by Jurgen Beckers & Pablo Florez | Paperback | 247 pages | 240 colour photos | 130 colour maps | Jurgen Beckers | Oct 2013 | ISBN: 9789090277851
Publisher’s View: Home to almost 1900 species (nearly one fifth of the world total), Colombia hosts the highest number of birds of any country in the world. Birdwatching in Colombia describes in detail the best and most accessible birding sites in Colombia.
It covers 127 sites spread across almost every department of the country, including San Andres and Providencia. Eighty-five colour maps make it easy to locate more than 70% of Colombia’s species, including all 73 of the country endemics.Birdwatching in Colombia expertly guides birders through the necessary logistics, explaining how to get to each site, where to stay and where to eat. In addition
Birdwatching in Colombia is enhanced by 240 full colour photos of birds and birding sites.
What Others Say:“I very much enjoyed reading the whole book. My mouth watered almost non-stop!” – Robin Restall, author of various South-American field guides
Fatbirder View: Like most birders I am unable to vouch for the accuracy of this book never having birded in Colombia, but just like the majority of birders I am well aware that it is the most bird rich country in the world. As the text points out Colombia was off the map for visitors for many years but much has changed over the last few years and it is, in many places safer than its neighbours. There are no-go areas but most of the best birding places are now accessible.
Being published by the lead author means that the book follows a unique pattern and is not imitative. In many ways this is a big plus… the symbols used for access etc. are novel and excellent, showing, for example, if a place is good for photography, where gumboots are de rigeur, if a 4×4 is needed and so on. On the other hand I find the over all look pretty garish and that there are far too many photographs of very variable quality, I would much preferred many less better photos selected to fit the format of the book as even some excellent photos are too small to work. The maps are large enough but again rather dazzle and not in a good way. They are neither proper maps nor simple representations. Perhaps the author’s can re-visit this for the reprint as I would image, being the first serious Colombia site guide it will sell well and be around for some decades and deserves to be!
However, from what I can see the shortcomings are about presentation not content. The introductory text is full of excellent info one would certainly need if contemplating a trip and this leads me to trust the information on birding localities.