McMullan, Miles, Thomas M. Donegan and Alonso Quevedo. Field Guide to the Birds of Colombia. 2010. ProAves. Paperback: 229 pages. Price: $29.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: Coinciding with Colombia’s 200th anniversary as a republic, the world’s most bird-rich nation finally has a new field guide. The book is easy to use and constitutes the first pocket field guide for the world’s most diverse avifauna.
The field guide includes original illustrations of all the country’s 1,879 bird species, including those of the Colombian mainland, coast, oceans and offshore islands. Also, there are up-to-date distribution maps and even undescribed species.
The last field guide to Colombian birds was published in 1986. Twenty-five years later, there are more than 150 additional species which have been recorded in Colombia, making this field guide a great step forwards for the world’s most important country in terms of bird diversity.
Plates are arranged to show species names, illustrations, maps, text, field notes and notes on endemics and threat status side by side in a single information cell. Emphasis is placed on features that will be most useful in the field. At 250 pages long and just 12.5 x 21 cm, it is the first genuinely pocket-sized comprehensive field-guide for one of the biggest neotropical avifaunas.
All profits from this book will support the pioneering conservation work of ProAves in Colombia. Available in North America from Buteo Books: http://www.buteobooks.com/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=BBBAO&Product_Code=13277&Category_Code=
and in Europe from NHBS: http://www.nhbs.com/title.php?tefno=176450
RECOMMENDATION: This guide's handy size will be useful in the field. I still recommend Hilty and Brown's A Guide to the Birds of Colombia for detailed information on the birds of Colombia ( a second edition of this book is in the works).