Review: ebook version - Craig Robson "Birds of South-East Asia Concise E

To: Laurie Knight <>, Birding-aus NEW <>
Subject: Review: ebook version - Craig Robson "Birds of South-East Asia Concise Edition"
From: Michael Kearns via Birding-Aus <>
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2018 12:38:23 +0000 (UTC)
 Hi all,
For the last few years the concise edition of the Robson guide to the Birds of 
South-East Asia has been available in electronic form as a PDF ebook or an 
EPUB/MOBI ebook.
This is a big improvement over the paperback version of the full guide that I 
used on my first birding trip outside of Australia to Thailand in 2015 (and my 
second trip to Cambodia in 2016).
I think I have the EPUB/MOBI version (but I am not 100 percent sure of this) - 
it opens from Google Play Books on my android phone.
Compared to the full guide, the ebook version I have now:
(i) Doesn't weigh anything or take up any space.
(ii) Is quicker and easier to use in the field. The full guide is too big to 
put in a pocket - I had to choose between stopping and getting it out of my 
backpack frequently or carrying it around in my hands (which did not work well 
with using my binoculars or camera). 
(iii) Is significantly easier to scroll through to find the right plate than in 
the paperback full guide.(iv) Has expanded text on the pages facing the plates 
with:- A brief description of range (making the continued omission of range 
maps far less of a problem).- A more detailed description of appearance.- A 
brief description of habitat.- A short description of voice.[The paperback full 
guide text facing the plates has a short description of appearance and nothing 
else. The main text is good, but hard to use quickly since it is separated from 
the plates in it's own section at the back of the book].(v) Doesn't have the 
detailed full text for each species at the back of the guide (IMHO a gratuitous 
omission in an ebook).
(vi) Has somewhat fewer birds per plate - 142 plates for the concise ebook vs 
120 in the paperback full guide.(vii) Still has no calls - it isn't a real app, 
just an ebook.
This post isn't an actual review - more of a heads up to let people know that 
the ebook version is available.
If I remember correctly, I got mine from [click blue text to see link] Birds of 
South-East Asia
(on the linked page, click the blue "View other formats" text to see the ebook 

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Birds of South-East Asia

The up-to-date text covers the identification, voice, habitat, behaviour and 
range of all the 1270 species and d...



Several other good field guides are now available in ebook format eg Birds of 
Borneo by Susan Myers.

For field guides for which there still aren't ebooks or apps available, I now 
get them shipped to - they cut them up (I don't get the paper 
guide back), scan them, and then I download them as a pdf.

Cheers,Michael Kearns

    On Saturday, 21 April 2018, 11:23:20 am AEST, Laurie Knight 
<> wrote: G’day

I purchased a copy of Robson’s guide via Fishpond prior to my visit to 
peninsula Malaysia a couple of weeks ago.  I already had 2 field guides for the 
birds of Borneo [Phillipps and Myers], but they only covered a fraction of the 
species on the mainland.

The positives are that:
1. Robson’s guide covers 1327 species on mainland SE Asia [Burma through to 
Vietnam] so it covers a fair bit of territory 
2. It isn’t overly heavy.

The negatives are:
1. The taxonomy is dated
2. The pictorial plates are separate form the text [very inconvenient]
3. The order in which the species are displayed on the plates is sometimes 
mixed up
4. The brief descriptions opposite the plates do not give the size range for 
the species and the drawings are generally not to scale
5. There are no distribution maps [a big omission for visiting birders]
6. There are fewer flight drawings and no use of arrow heads to indicate key 
field marks.

The bottom line is that there is a usability cost to the large geographic 
coverage and it is far less useful than the Borneo guides.  I would rate it 5 
out of 10.

I imagine that an app version could be developed that could be far more user 

Regards, Laurie.
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