Friday, September 3, 2010
SUMMARY: This CD is an updated version of the cassette originally published in 1994. It features the vocalizations of 153 species of birds as well as other nature sounds. Four new species and 26 new vocalizations have been added to the original play list. In addition, 25 cuts from the original cassette have been replaced with better recordings. The vocalizations are arranged as part of a hypothetical walk covering some of the most productive birding areas at Chan Chich.
All but one of the vocalizations were recorded along the trails and roads adjoining the Chan Chich Lodge which is located in northwestern Belize near the Guatemalan border. The lodge itself is situated in the midst of 300,000 acres of seasonal rainforest and has a well maintained and convenient trail system encompassing over 9 miles of trails and over 10 miles of little used roads. Hunting has been prohibited in the area for many years; and this and its isolation make Chan Chich extremely rich in wildlife.
The CD is available here: http://johnvmoorenaturerecordings.com/pubs/ChanChich/main.htm
RECOMMENDATION: The CD is narrated and the species names are announced. Birders to the region will find this CD useful!
Winker, Kevin (editor). Moments of Discovery: Natural History Narratives from Mexico and Central America. 2010. University Press of Florida. Hardbound: 401 pages. Price: $75.00 U.S.
SUMMARY: Throughout the twentieth century, pioneering biological field work was conducted from Mexico through Panama by such giants in the field as Miguel Alvarez del Toro, Charles Sibley, John T. Emlen Jr., and many others. But the written reports and scientific papers detailing their discoveries leave out the adventure, sense of discovery, and unexpected humor of their time in the field.
Moments of Discovery collects twenty autobiographical descriptions of the incongruous situations, captivating people and places, and the inevitable trials and tribulations that surround some of the greatest biological discoveries in Mexico and Central America from the 1930s through the 1990s. The anthology allows the entertaining and illuminating events that have mostly lived in oral history to be read and enjoyed by a broad audience.
A significant contribution to the history of biological exploration, this book is a must-read for anyone considering biological field work in the region--or the amateur, armchair fieldworker who wonders what those trips were really like.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in Neotropical birds (and mammals).