Bird book for SE Asia

To: Israel Didham <>, Birding Australia <>
Subject: Bird book for SE Asia
From: Mick Roderick <>
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2012 14:58:21 -0800 (PST)
I've come in late on this, but would like to point out that in the text 
accounts for range, Robson does provide a detailed description of range within 
SE Asia, but it is a subset of the range and status of the species throughout 
its entire range. This gives a good indication of where else the birds occur 
and I find it very useful. The Aussie guides have touched on this, but not in a 
consistent manner like in Robson (and many other guides). Maybe because we have 
so many endemic species?
Also - does anyone know where a copy of "Birds of Wallacea" is available? I was 
fortunate enough to blunder into some copies of Mackinnon and Phillips at the 
Sabah Museum (wasn't cheap) but have had trouble tracking down Coates and 
Bishop. I'm not well-versed with on-line searches but the sites I have seen it 
come up on have all said "out of print".

From: Israel Didham <>
To: Birding Australia <> 
Sent: Tuesday, 10 January 2012 5:28 AM
Subject: Bird book for SE Asia

the Robson guide covers mainland SE Asia (Singapore, Peninsular Malaysia, 
Thailand, Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia). If going further eastwards you have 
the MacKinnon guide to Borneo, Sumatra and Java (there's also a couple of 
Borneo specific guides); the Coates and Bishop guide for Wallacea (the Lesser 
Sundas and Sulawesi); and then the Beehler guide for New Guinea. The Wallacea 
guide alone weighs almost 2kg. 
Robson is really the only guide of use if covering several countries on the 
mainland, but it does have certain issues with the pictures. Especially the 
babblers are really crap when trying to identify the birds from them. Its 
almost like the artist hadn't actually seen any of the babblers in life. Having 
said that, I have used it many times in the field and it is acceptable. The 
lack of maps in Robson is a bit of an annoyance but not terribly important (the 
text is concise but describes the distribution of subspecies well). Note that 
there is a Thai version of the guide (covering Thailand only) which does have 
distribution maps.
As also stated, is cheaper than (for 
those who don't know, delivery is free worldwide from Book Depository)

From: Carl Clifford <>
To: Rosemary Royle <> 
Cc: ;  
Sent: Tuesday, 10 January 2012 12:02 AM
Subject: Bird book for SE Asia


I think Craig Robson had to stop somewhere, as SE Asia stretches from eastern 
India to Papua and north to the Philippines. I don't think I would like to lug 
around a field guide that covers the whole of the region. It would be nice to 
have one in the book case though. It would certainly make a lot more room in it.


Carl Clifford

On 09/01/2012, at 8:36 PM, Rosemary Royle wrote:

re Robson - Birds of South East Asia - I bought this book in the UK from Amazon 
for £11.39 in Jan 2011 but it was published by New Holland and has a yellow 
cover. Looking inside the cover I see it is the 2007 edition. The lack of maps 
is an irritant but the distribution information is all there in the text.

Note that if you are going to Malaysia, as we were, this book does not cover 

It would certainly be worth checking that whichever publisher / retailer you by 
it from that you get the latest (2009) edition.


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