A Photographic Guide to Birds of China Including Hong Kong (Anglais) Broché – 1 juillet 2001
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This compact guide offers decent color photos for 252 (20%) of China's 1,300+ birds. The large size of China with diverse habitats combined with the relatively low percentage of birds covered in this book means this photo guide should only be considered as a practice tool before visiting China. It's certainly small enough to carry around, but it's too limited to be of consistent help.
Nearly all the birds are shown with only a single photo. These photos are clear and well lit. The photos are smaller, which is necessary to make a compact book. However, the photo usually zooms in on the the bird to maximize its size. These pictures will be good enough to identify the bird - if you see that specific plumage of the bird.
Each bird receives a single paragraph of text with the photo. Most of this is dedicated to describing the bird. These descriptions are average and, while offering some details, are generally not in-depth enough to identify all the birds. A few additional lines are given for voice and habitat.
The same range map template is used for all birds. This is small (2.5 x 1.5cm) and uses only one color to denote the distribution. However, it is not apparent what the mapped distribution specifically shows. Breeding? Winter? Year round? At some point during the year? The book only states the maps can be used to "check whether the species can be expected at the given locality."
I liked this book to practice learning the birds, but a true field guide is necessary with this it. This book is really just a sampling of China's birds. Three books I recommend for China are "The Birds of Hong Kong and South China" (8th edition) by Viney, "A Field Guide to the Birds of China" by MacKinnon, and "A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Hong Kong" by the Hong Kong Birdwatching Society. Each has its strengths and limitations.
I've listed several related books below...
1) The Birds of Hong Kong and South China by Viney/Phillips
2) A Field Guide to the Birds of China by MacKinnon/Phillipps
3) A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Hong Kong by HKBS (ISBN 9621428947)
4) The Birds of China by de Schauensee
5) Atlas of birds of China by Qian (ISBN 7534915643)
6) Atlas of the Beijing Birds by Zhao (ISBN 7503822570)
7) The Avifauna of Hong Kong by Carey (ISBN 9627508020)
8) Birds of China by Zhang
9) Les oiseaux de Chine, de Mongolie et de Coree non passereaux by Etchecopar
10) A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Japan and North-East Asia by Shimba
(written by Soleglad at Avian Review or Avian Books, October 2008)