Review of Birds of South America - Passerines

For anyone with an interest in the birds of South America, this book looks to be a must have in your library. It is intended to be a companion to Birds of South America: Non-Passerines: Rheas to Woodpeckers by Francisco Erize. Now all of the known species of birds of South America are now illustrated in a compact two volume set with the accompanying text and range maps on the facing page. Most excellent for South American birders!

By way of description, this field guide covers all 1,952 passerine species to be found south of Panama, including offshore islands such as Trinidad, the Galapagos, the Falklands and the islands of the Scotia Arc leading to the Antarctic mainland. It features 197 color plates that will aid you in identification (not to mention being enjoyable to look at for a lover of beautiful birds). All plumages are illustrated, including males, females, and juveniles.

As a way of giving you a feel for the book I will open the book to a random page and take the topmost bird and reproduce the text for you:

(Range map is here) SWALLOW TANAGER Tersina veridis 14.5 cm Broad bill and barring across flanks are distinctive. Hurried very high, to ultra-high mixture of notes, including a slightly empasized tjuw. At borders of forest and woodland, scattered trees, riverine belts. Less than 1,500m, locally higher.

SWALLOW TANAGER illustration from facing page
In closing, I will say that for a South American birder, this the ideal guide to take on your travels. This book would be invaluable, if not essential, for a birder traversing more than one South American region. I personally enjoy having it in my library as a way perusing beautiful birds and perhaps learn about new birds - which is a lifelong pursuit of happiness for me!


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