Saturday, April 21, 2012
1) Jones, H. Lee. Birds of Belize. 2003 (reprinted 2010). University of Texas Press. Paperback: 317 pages. Price: $34.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: With nearly six hundred identified species of birds—and an average of five "new" species discovered annually—Belize is becoming a birding hotspot for amateur and professional birders from around the globe. Thousands of birders visit the country each year to enjoy Belize's amazing abundance and variety of both temperate and tropical birds in natural habitats that remain largely unspoiled. But until now, despite the growing need for an authoritative identification guide, birders have had to rely on regional field guides that offer only limited information on Belizean birds.
Birds of Belize provides the first complete guide to the identification of all currently known species—574 in all. The birds are grouped by families, with an introduction to each family that highlights its uniquely identifying characteristics and behaviors. The species accounts include all the details necessary for field identification: scientific and common names, size, plumage features, thorough voice descriptions, habitat, distribution, and status in Belize. Full color, expertly drawn illustrations by noted bird artist Dana Gardner present male and female, juvenile and adult, and basic and alternate plumages to aid visual identification throughout the year, while 234 range maps show the birds' distribution and seasonality in Belize. A comprehensive bibliography completes the volume.
RECOMMENDATION: The color plates, text and black-and-white range maps are in separate sections. Birders will find this book useful!