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A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America

Field / Identification Guide
  • A completely new guide to the 1070 bird species of this region
  • 71 magnificent colour plates
  • Range maps with species accounts
  • Shows many plumages never before illustrated

By: Steve NG Howell(Author), Sophie Webb(Author)

851 pages, 71 colour plates, 39 b.w line drawings, 1087 b/w distribution maps

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Mar 1995 | #28905 | ISBN: 0198540124
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £41.99 $56/€47 approx
Hardback | Dec 1995 | #28906 | ISBN: 0198540132
Out of Print Details

About this book

This is a completely new in-depth field guide to the 1070 bird species, including North American migrants, found in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, and western Nicaragua. More than 180 species are endemic to this region and A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America details their appearance, voice, habitat, behaviour (including nests and eggs) and distribution. Range maps are included with species accounts, and introductory essays give essential background information, with special appendices summarizing useful information on the avifaunas of various offshore Pacific and Caribbean islands. The Guide's striking illustrations include 71 colour plates and 39 black-and-white drawings, based on the authors' field experience and in many cases detailing plumages never before illustrated. Authoritative and up-to-date, this is an essential reference work for every birdwatchers' collection.

"[...] a must for anyone with an interest in neotropical birds"
– David Tomlinson, New Scientist, August 1995

"This guide is a major contribution to field ornithology and birding in Mexico and northern Central America. Most highly recommended."
Wildlife Activist, No. 25, December 1995

"Few, however, who actually looked at this book would question its importance, as it radiates authority and excellence. One of its most prominent features is the sheer quantity of information not available from any of the region's comparable field guides [...] maps are a highly commendable [...] the plates are very good; they are accurate in plumage details and postures, and species within a plate are to scale. Especially striking are the plates depicting cryptically plumaged species such as owls (plates 25 and 26), nightjars (plate 27) and sparrows (plates 63 and 64) [...] wealth of information presented and its excellence. Few guides are better value for money: produced on good quality paper with 71 colour plates, [...]. It will quickly become the main guide to the region's birds."
– Adrian Long, The Ibis, 1996, Vol. 138

"impressive book [...] As a guide to one of the ornithologically richest parts of the world, this book is unlikely to be superseded for a very long time."
Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club, Volume 115, No. 3, September 1995

"This is a first-class book by any standards and will clearly not be superseded in the foreseeable future."
– Bryan Sage, Country-Side, October-November 1995

"the book is well researched, produced, and published, a valuable addition to any birdwatcher's library [...] a most invaluable resource"
– Jack Siegel, Nature Canada, Autumn 1996

" [...] The result of this immense labor is not just a very fine field guide, but also a manual to the birds of Mexico and northern central America. This extraordinary achievement is not likely to be improved in the near future [...] This wonderful book treats about 1070 species [...] the maps in Howell and Webb are excellent [...] mandatory reading not only for all birders but also for some professional ornithologists [...] superb, extremely well-prepared species accounts, its very clear range maps, and its magnificent plates, which are beautifully reproduced, all converge towards making this book an exceptional volume"
Ornitologia Neotropical (1997) 8: 195-236


Introduction: Area covered

1: Geography and bird distribution
2: Climate and habitat
3: Migration
4: History of ornithology in Mexico
5: Conservation
6: Birding in Mexico and northern Central America
7: Using this book
8: Taxonomy
9: Molt and plumage
10: Outline of the species accounts
11: Family and Species Accounts

Appendices on extinct species, hypothetical occurrence, birds of Pacific Islands and Caribbean Islands, and additional species of eastern Honduras

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