Book reviews:    Southern African Birds, A Photographic Guide


book21a.jpg (40980 bytes) Title
Southern African Birds, A Photographic Guide
Author
Ian Sinclair, Ian Davidson
ISBN
1 86825 785 1
Edition
1st
Publisher
Struik Publishers Ltd
Pages
304
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The review of this book could be very short, just two words. Buy it! But let me explain these two words a bit further. This book is simply the best photo book I have ever seen on southern african birdlife. More than 700 species occurring in southern Africa are present in the book. There are more than 1000 color photographs of all these birds. And more important, the quality of the photographs is exceptional. I have seen many photographic guides, but none yet which has such beautiful photographs. Alongside the color photographs there are also 262 detailed color illustrations.

It's a big (A4 size) hardcover book. The book is very well made. The binding of the book, the cover everything is high quality. But more important, the quality of the paper used for the photographs is extremely fine. Beautiful thick glossy paper which brings out the photographs as they are itended.

book21b.jpg (36879 bytes)The book starts with a brief introduction and explains bird topography and the different habitats. Then all species are presented with text on the left side and photographs on the right side. Each species is described in detail for identification. There is no information on breeding etc as this book is intended for identification of bird species. There is also a distribution map, so you can see where the species is most likely to occur. Some species also have color illustrations to show a particular detail or posture of the bird which cannot be shown clearly with a photograph.

On the right hand side pages there are stunning color photographs of the species. Where there are differences in sexes or between immature and adults, different color photographs are presented. The quality of these photographs is really exceptional. This book can really serve as an example to other photographic bird guides. This book has set a standard which others will try to attain.

Conclusion: If you are looking for a photographic guide on southern African birds, look no further. It is a book to read and enjoy at home. It's too big to bring out in the field. And also I would be afraid to damage it. The book shows quality in every detail. You can truly see that it was made with love. It is one of my all time favourite books and I can recommended it without any hesitations.

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