This comprehensive new field guide is an excellent addition to the world-renowned series – the ultimate reference book for travelling birdwatchers. Every species of bird you might encounter in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Andaman Islands, the Nicobar Islands and the Maldives is featured, apart from non-established introductions. Beautiful artwork depicts their breeding plumage, and non-breeding plumage when it differs significantly. The accompanying text concentrates on the specific characteristics and appearance of each species that allow identification in the field, including voice, and distribution maps.
"A new field guide to any area will immediately invite comparison with any existing guides. This new one to the Indian subcontinent is no exception. So how does it measure up? Frankly, in my opinion, not very well in comparison to the Helm one by Grimmett and others published in 2011. The two books cover the same area, both have text and plates facing each other and the texts are essentially similar. However this new one has 61 fewer main plates. Each appears more cramped as there are more species on each and that is despite the Helm guide much more often having more than one image per species. The images on the Collins plates are also identified only by numbers and not the full species names and, most irritatingly of all for a book covering such a large area, all the (slightly smaller) maps are grouped together at the end of the book and not with the text. Having recently returned from my first trip to India and used the Helm guide in the field, I would continue to use it in preference even though it is a little larger and heavier than the new Collins one."
- Peter Lack, BTO book reviews
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Wildlife artist Norman Arlott has illustrated nearly 100 books and his artwork regularly appears in magazines. He has designed special bird stamp issues for countries including Jamaica, Bahamas, Seychelles, British Virgin Islands, The Gambia, Malawi and Christmas Island. He has also led ornithology tours to East Africa.