South American Field Guides

To: "'Birding Aus'" <>
Subject: South American Field Guides
From: "Gunnar Engblom" <>
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2006 20:30:34 -0500
I agree with the previous postings that Jaramillos book Hill be essential
for the most part of your trip (Chile and Argentinian Patagonia). However,
if you bird elsewhere - and which you will do you may want to invest in a
couple of other books.

For the rest of Argentina and also the southern part of Bolivia I still
think the Narosky guide is much better than the Collins guide by De la Peña
and Rumboll. The pictures may not be that great, they are kind of sketchy -
but showing what you need in term of field marks and together with dot-on
descriptions, habitat and behaviour notes you will fare much better id:ing
the birds with Narosky than the Peña/Rumboll.

Another invaluable new small book that will take care of all non-passerines
in South America is the newly published Birds of South America - Non
Passerines by Rodriguez Mata et al. The paintings are impressively good. 

For Cusco in Peru - and based on the paintings of Birds of the High Andes by
Fjeldså - is "Birds of Machu Picchu" by Barry Walker and paintings by
Fjeldså and Barnes. This is also a light weight book that will complement
with Jaramillos book very well in Southern Peru (unless you go down to the

Finally for Brazil you could get "All the birds of Brazil - an
identification guide" - Also reasonable in size. The paintings are not great
- again in the style like Narosky - but it still works reasonable well in
the field especially now since the non passerines are already covered in the
Rodriguez Mata book.

Finally, there is a book in production, which probably will not be out too
soon, which combines the Ridgely/Tudor grand voluminous 2 volume set Birds
of South America into a compact version. I would suggest the following.
Scan the plates and put them into a palmtop or similar. The opposite text
you can also keep in the palm or in a small photocopied booklet to make
notes on.

The Ridgely Tudor volumes will be most useful for all Brazil and for lowland
Peru. But you do not want to carry them all through South America. They
weigh too much.

Another, option is to scan everything and bring a laptop!!
With a back-up copy of your information and plates on-line. There are
internet shops everywhere in South America and it is dirt cheap.
Don´t forget from all over South America for bird

Other resources:
For Peru:
And on I
have a series of trip reports (mostly Peru).
We have a group in Patagonia at present so there shall be another trip
report following shortly from a 10 week trip covering almost all of the
Southern Cone!!!

Gunnar Engblom-Lima, Peru.
Kolibri Expeditions   - checklist and data-base. Record your sightings
on-line, forum, pictures, identification, Expedition Birding, etc.
Tel: +51 1 4765016 cel: 51-1-96437749 or 99007886

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