Bird book for SE Asia

To: Mick Roderick <>
Subject: Bird book for SE Asia
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2012 10:46:14 +1100

I am afraid that "Birds of Wallacea" is out of print and the authors have no plans to reprint. You can still find it at times on the second hand market, but the last copy I saw listed was priced at USD130.

I have a copy if you would like to borrow it ( there will be the small matter of a lien on your first born as security :). I regularly get up to Newie to see my daughter, so I could drop it off at your office.


Carl Clifford

On 10/01/2012, at 9:58 AM, Mick Roderick wrote:

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 Sabah!

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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