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Photographic Guide to Birds of New Zealand…
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Photographic Guide to Birds of New Zealand

by Geoff Moon

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Basics: 2003, softcover, 139 pages, color photos of 148 species, no range maps

This compact guide - one in the series covering many countries - provides color photos for 148 species found on New Zealand. This represents about 45% of the nearly 330 birds found on and around the islands. A fair sampling of birds from the various families is given.

Ignoring the smaller size of the photos, which is necessary to fit within the small format of this book, the photos are pretty good for 95% of the birds. The shorebirds tend to be the smallest in the photos. The other 5% of the photos, which include several of the shorebirds and some cormorants, give a pose that does not show the necessary field marks well enough or where the photo is too distant. Just one photo is given for each bird. In comparison to the other sister-books in this series, I find this book to have the better selection of photographs.

In a twist that is opposite most of the other related photo guides, the text consists of one paragraph that focuses primarily on the natural history of the bird instead of identification. Notably more information is offered for the endemic birds. This information covers breeding, nesting, behavior, habitat, and feeding. Very little information, if any, is given on the description or identification of the birds.

The photos in this book will help you practice for a casual trip to New Zealand. Use this guide as a practice tool if identification is your goal and be sure to use one of the several good, complete field guides available for the country. Geoff Moon offers a more complete photo guide with multiple pictures while Heather & Robertson offer a good illustrated guide to New Zealand.

I’ve listed several related books below…
1) The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand by Heather/Robertson
2) The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Birds by Moon
3) The New Guide to the Birds of New Zealand by Falla/Sibson/Turbott
4) New Zealand's Birds by Moon/Lockley
5) Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds: Volume 1-7 ( )
  Soleglad | Sep 24, 2008 |
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