| The Birds of Panama: A Field Guide | By George R Angehr & Robert Dean | Cornell University Press | 2011 | Paperback | 455 pages | 908 colour illustrations | 911 maps | ISBN: 9780801476747 | £27.99p |
The isthmus of Panama, where North and South America meet, hosts more bird species than all of North America. More accessible than ever to birdwatchers and other ecotourists, the country has become a premier neotropical birding and nature tourism destination in recent years. The Birds of Panama will be an essential tool for the new generation of birders traveling in search of Panama’s spectacular avifauna. This user-friendly, portable, and affordable identification guide features: * large colour illustrations of more than 900 species* the first range maps published to show the distribution of Panama’s birds* concise text that describes field marks for identification, as well as habitat, behaviour, and vocalisations* range maps and species accounts face illustration pages for quick, easy reference* the inclusion of North American migrants and seabirds, as well as female and juvenile plumage variations* an up-to-date species list for the country that reflects recent additions, taxonomic splits, and other changes in classification.
Panama’s unique geography, small size, and varied habitats make it possible to see a vast diversity of birds within a short time. Its western and central areas harbour representatives of species found in Central America; species characteristic of South America may be found in the east. In the winter, birds from northern climes are commonly found in Panama as migrants. This is the one field guide the novice or experienced birder needs to identify birds in the field in Panama’s diverse habitats.
“This ambitious new guide is surely the most user-friendly neotropical bird guide to date. With excellent illustrations of every species (including migrants from the north), up-to-date range maps alongside the illustrations, and clear and concise text, it should be a very welcome addition to any traveler’s library.” – David Sibleyand”
A much-needed guide to one of the richest and most interesting avifauna in the New World. I can’t wait to get back to Panama with it in my pack.” – Paul R Erlich
On my visit to Panama a couple of years back I used the only alternative fieldguide – the Ridgely & Gwynne – twice as heavy and very limited in its illustrations with rather crowded plates and encompassing much of Central America. I go by when with a skilled local but struggled when on my own – particularly with some of the hummers and winter plumage migrants. This book is, as Sibley ably states, a ‘user-friendly guide’ – or as I’d put it a proper birder’s guide – loads of large and uncrowded plates and short on background text with distribution maps in their traditional place along site the brief descriptions. Moreover, Panama was one of those places that Maggie and I fell in love with and thoroughly enjoyed. I can’t wait to go back and test this book in the field – get my room ready Raul!