birding-aus Birds of Tropical Asia CD-ROM

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Subject: birding-aus Birds of Tropical Asia CD-ROM
From: Susan Myers <>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 1999 12:13:08 +1000
Dear All,
I have recently received my copy of the Birds of Tropical Asia CD-ROM by Jelle 
Scharriga and in light of Krys' request (23 Aug on Oriental Birding) thought 
I'd post a quick review. First let me say I think it's great and a very 
exciting addition to the ever-burgeoning catelogue of resources available for 
lovers of Asian birds. The layout is simple and easy to use, the species list 
is extensive and exciting - 21 cuckoos, 15 pheasants & partridges, 20 owls,17 
barbets, 80 babblers (!) and so on. As far as I know it's the most extensive 
collection of sound recording available for the area. 

I have a couple of criticisms however, that may or may not be considered fair 
or warranted! I think given the medium a lot more info could have been provided 
to us eg. the range of the species, maybe some more info on subspecies, maybe a 
short verbal description of the call or song. Some of the recordings are very 
short but one of the beauties of CD-ROMs is that you can easily click on the 
recording to replay it instantly over and over again. For many of the species a 
number of recordings are supplied but invariably they are from the same area 
often recorded very close together in terms of time. I would have liked the 
opportunity (especially with some of the more widespread species such as 
Red-wattled Lapwing) to hear recordings from a number of different areas. The 
main page itself is a list of the birds included but a separate page containing 
a straight numbered list that doesn't necessitate clicking on the group heading 
would be informative and useful IMHO. I think the phot!
os are great - I have heard at least one criticism that there are too many 
birds pictured in the hand, personally I think this is not justified and 
enjoyed the close up studies of some pretty cryptic species. Lastly, it would 
have been great to see a bit more input from Asian birders.

I realise all these points assume far more time and resources than are no doubt 
available to the author and are on the whole quite pedantic. Nevertheless, they 
may be useful in the production of the 2nd edition! That said, I have no 
hesitation in recommending the product. I'd love to hear other people's 
comments, too. 
ps. The website for Bird Songs International is

Susan Myers

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