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A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Japan…
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A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Japan and North-East Asia

by Tadao Shimba

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Basics: 2007, softcover, 504 pages, 1,500+ color photos, 600 species, range map for each bird

This photographic guide follows the same vein as other recent photographic books; it offers hundreds of color photos with good clarity and color but of a small size. Most pages have three small photos displaying an even smaller bird in the photo. It seems at least half of the photograph shows only the background. It would have been better to zoom/crop in on the bird, especially with the warblers and sparrows. I could easily cover many of the birds with just the tip of my finger.

The quality of the text is average, giving a fair description of the bird along with its voice and, sometimes a reference to a similar species. The small maps use three seasonal colors and give a general depiction of the bird’s range over eastern Asia.

Is this book useful? Yes, but not as a reliable identification or field guide. It’s good to see an actual photo of a bird; and, most of the photos are pretty good. This book will help the birder learn the birds of Japan, Korea, or eastern China before a visit. However, if you’re serious about a pure birding trip, it wil be necessary to supplement this book with something else.

There are several other superior photographic guides to Japan, but they are written in only Japanese. Despite the language barrier, I prefer these books in tandem with an English field guide. The Japanese books are available on amazon.co.jp.

Other Related Books:
1) A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Japan (4582542301) in Japanese
2) Wild Birds of Japan by Kanouchi (4635070077) in Japanese
3) Birds of Japan: Photographic Field Book 15 (4635060721) in Japanese
4) Birds of Japan: Photographic Pocket Guide (4635062171) in Japanese
5) A Field Guide to the Birds of Japan by the Wild Bird Society of Japan
6) A Field Guide to the Birds of Korea by Lee/Koo/Park
7) Wild Birds of Korea by Yoon
8) A Field Guide to the Birds of China by MacKinnon/Phillipps
9) Atlas of the Beijing Birds by Zhao ( )
  Soleglad | Jul 16, 2008 |
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