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Birds of Argentina & Uruguay, A Field Guide…
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Birds of Argentina & Uruguay, A Field Guide

by Tito Narosky

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Basics: 2003, 15th edition, softcover, 341 pages, 256 color plates, 975 species, range map for each bird

First published in 1987, this is a brief, concise identification guide covering all of Argentina, Uruguay, and the Falkland Islands.

There are 975 species illustrated, with 3-4 on each page. The majority of the birds are illustrated with multiple views (e.g., perched vs. flying; dorsal vs. ventral) and are accompanied by a very short (20-60 words) physical description of the bird. Only the minimum of text is given to range or habitat – typically only a dozen words.

The artistic quality is decent but not great. The physical structure of the passerines is captured with better realism than other groups such as the gulls, terns, shorebirds, ducks, or petrels. These latter groups have misproportioned wings, bills, chests, or length-to-width ratios. Additionally, similar species (e.g., elaenias, flycatchers, furnarids, etc.) will expose the limitations of the minimal descriptions, small-sized paintings, and average detail.

The color reproduction is much better in the 2003 and later editions than in the books printed up through the mid 1990s. The earlier editions have muted or washed out colors on a thinner paper that allows birds from the other side to bleed through. The new books have sharper edges to the illustrations and are on thicker, glossy paper.

The range maps are tiny at 1x2cm; however, they do effectively illustrate the generalized range of the birds.

Heads-up: This book is the original source used to create four other scaled-down books that use the same paintings, text, and maps. They're mini-clones. These include 1) Aves de Patagonia y Antartida, 2) Guia Para la Identificacion de las Aves de Paraguay, 3) Aves de Costanera Sur y Ciudad de Buenos Aires, and 4) Guia para la Identificacion de las Aves de Iguazu. Owning this one book means you own all four of the other books, other than 60 species added to the newer Paraguayan guide.

If you're going to the Patagonia region, I recommend you also take the Chilean guide by Jaramillo and/or the Birds of Patagonia guide by Couve. The illustrations are superior in Jaramillo's book. Couve's book, even with photographs, is also better. And, text is more useful.

This book is available in both Spanish and English.

Other Related Books:
1) Birds of Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, and Antarctic Peninsula by Couve
2) Birds of Chile by Jaramillo
3) Las Aves de Chile: Nueva Guia de Campo by Martinez and Orlando
4) Birds of Southern South America and Antarctica by de la Pena
5) Las Aves del Uruguay by Gore/Gepp
6) Birds and Mammals of the Antarctic, Subantarctic and Falkland Islands by Todd
7) Falkland Islands Birds by Woods
8) Guide to Birds of the Falkland Islands by Woods ( )
  Soleglad | Jul 18, 2008 |
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