1) Goodfellow, Peter. Avian Architecture: How Birds Design, Engineer & Build. 2011. Princeton University Press. Hardbound: 160 pages. Price: $27.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: Birds are the most consistently inventive builders, and their nests set the bar for functional design in nature. Avian Architecture describes how birds design, engineer, and build their nests, deconstructing all types of nests found around the world using architectural blueprints and detailed descriptions of the construction processes and engineering techniques birds use. This spectacularly illustrated book features 300 full-color images and more than 35 case studies that profile key species worldwide. Each chapter covers a different type of nest, from tunnel nests and mound nests to floating nests, hanging nests, woven nests, and even multiple-nest avian cities. Other kinds of avian construction--such as bowers and harvest wells--are also featured.
Avian Architecture includes intricate step-by-step sequences, visual spreads on nest-building materials and methods, and insightful commentary by a leading expert.
*Illustrates how birds around the world design, engineer, and build their nests
*Features architectural blueprints, step-by-step sequences, visual spreads on nest-building materials and methods, and expert commentary
*Includes 300 full-color images
*Covers more than 100 bird species worldwide
RECOMMENDATION: A well illustrated introduction into the nest building behavior of birds.
2) van Perlo, Ber. Collins Field Guide: Birds of New Zealand, Hawaii, Central and West Pacific. 2011. Collins UK. Hardbound: 256 pages. Price: GBP 29.99 (about $48.35 U.S.).
SUMMARY: The essential guide to identifying every species of bird you may see in this area, for both tourists and wildlife enthusiasts.
Featuring over 750 species, Birds of New Zealand, Hawaii, Central and West Pacific is the only field guide to illustrate and describe every species of bird you may see in the area, from Australia, New Zealand and New Guinea to Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.
Other features include:
• Text gives information on key identification features, habitat, and songs and calls
• All plumages for each species are illustrated, including those of males, females and juveniles
* The stunning 95 colour plates appear opposite their relevant text for quick and easy reference.
* Distribution maps are included, showing where each species can be found and how common it is, to further aid identification.
This comprehensive and highly portable guide is a must for all birdwatchers visiting the region.
RECOMMENDATION: The range maps are too small and the text is brief. I prefer: A Field Guide to the Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific by H. Douglas Pratt et al. (1987, I understand a second edition is in the works!).