To: David Lord <>
Subject: Fiji
From: David Adams <>
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2009 09:44:22 +1000
On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 8:27 AM, David Lord<> wrote:
> I'll be on Nadi. I don't have a field guide for the Islands. Any
> suggestions?

My favorite guide for Fiji is Dick Watling's "A Guide to the Birds of
Fiji & Western Polynesia". Andrew Isles has this for $A 60, Dick
Watling has it available directly for $US 30:

It's a good field guide with a local focus and includes a short site
guide in the back.

My next preferred guide is H. Douglas Pratt's "The Birds of Hawaii and
the Tropical Pacific". He's a real expert in the field and a brilliant
illustrator. It is a bit awkward to navigate the plates in a book that
covers such a wide range :( The next addition will at least split
Hawaii off into its own volume. I don't think the new edition will be
out for years as he's integrating a lot of field work into the
revisions. (And probably tired after his substantial output of
monographs and illustrations for field guides for other authors.)
Anyway, it's a great book to have for the Pacific and would cover you
in Fiji, for sure. I'm not sure how easy this title is to find at this
point, Andrew Isles lists it for $A 80 but doesn't describe it as in

Given that you have a short trip, you might actually do just fine with
the pocket guide "Birds of the Fiji Bush". This tiny book really will
fit in a big shirt pocket and illustrates the terrestrial birds. The
pictures are not to the standard of something like Pratt, but they're
charming and good enough.

Like anywhere in the Pacific, there are so few birds left in Fiji that
there you may not need a huge field guide. With that said, Fiji has
got tremendous birding if you can get into the native forest. As bird
diversity on islands is largely a function of land area (other
historical factors being ignored), you're well set in Viti Levu as
it's the second largest island in the Pacific. (Hawai'i is just
slightly larger.) Fiji's birds haven't suffered in the way that the
birds in Hawaii have so you can see native birds (Parrotfinch! the
local Myzomela, lorikeets) right around Nadi - not just at higher
elevations. If you can get into native forest, you'll have a good
chance of seeing native flycatchers, parrots, honey-eaters other than
the Myzomela, doves & fruitdoves. I haven't been in forests from Nadi
but Colo-i-Suva is very accessible from the Suva side, if you ever get
a chance to go there on a future trip.


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