Monday, July 12, 2010

New Titles

1) Fitter, Julian. Bateman Field Guide to Wild New Zealand. 2010. David Bateman Ltd. Paperback: 276 pages. Price: about $24.00 U.S. (plus shipping).

SUMMARY: At last a single field guide that covers New Zealand's plants, birds, insects and animals for visitors and New Zealanders interested in this country's natural history. When author Julian Fitter first visited New Zealand he was amazed at the number of field guides to birds, plants, insects, marine life and to specific locations - alpine, forest, seashore. But for the traveller not wanting to cart around a library-shelf of books there was no single volume that described the major and most interesting species covering all NZ's flora and fauna. As author of a natural history field guide to the Galapagos, he set about compiling such a book for New Zealand. The result is a small format, full colour guidebook packed with information on all the species that either are most important, or most obvious to those touring the country covering birds, insects, reptiles, marine mammals, land mammals, trees and shrubs, vines and epiphytes, herbs, ferns, grasses, mosses and lichens as well as a brief survey of New Zealand's varied habitats and fascinating geological history, including major geothermal areas. Over 600 species are described described in detail, with accompanying information on habitat and a full colour photograph and organised in such as way as to make identification as easy as possible.
RECOMMENDATION: A good introduction to the flora and fauna of New Zealand. I wish it had range maps though! The British version is called: Field Guide to the Wildlife of New Zealand. Available from here:

2) Honkala, Juha and Seppo Niiranen. A Birdwatching Guide to South-East Brazil. 2010. Portal Do Bosque. Paperback: 416 pages. Price: about $44.00 U.S.(plus shipping).

SUMMARY: The site descriptions include information on some 50 excellent birdwatching sites throughout South-East Brazil with accurate directions on how-to-get-there, details of what to see and expect, plus important information on conditions. In addition, the book includes illustrations of 558 species.
     The species accounts include all the detail necessary for field identification of the 471 species recorded in the Agulhas Negras area, in the heart of South-East Brazil, plus scientific and common names in English and Portuguese, size, voice descriptions, subspecies, habitat, distribution and status in the area. Each species is illustrated with a high quality, full colour photograph. Range maps show the birds' distribution in Brazil. A comprehensive species list of South-East Brazil, bibliography and a list of useful addresses and websites completes the volume.
RECOMMENDATION: A useful photographic guide for the region. The title is available here:


1 comment:

  1. We enjoyed the story of the Kakapo told by David Attenborough in the Life-series. What an amazing bird now taken care of on a few tiny island in the south of New Zealand. It makes you want to read more on New Zealand birds.