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Field Guides & Natural History  Ornithology  Birds of Africa

Birds of East Africa Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi

Field / Identification Guide
By: Terry Stevenson(Author), John Fanshawe(Author), John Gale(Illustrator), Brian Small(Illustrator)
640 pages, 289 plates with 3500+ colour illustrations; 2 b/w illustrations, colour distribution maps, 4 colour maps
Publisher: Helm
Birds of East Africa
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  • Birds of East Africa ISBN: 9781408157367 Edition: 2 Paperback Nov 2020 In stock
  • Birds of East Africa ISBN: 9781472984319 Edition: 2 Hardback Nov 2020 In stock
Selected version: £37.50
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About this book

This spectacular new edition of the best-selling Helm field guide of all time covers all resident, migrant and vagrant species found in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. All ,1448 species recorded in the region are illustrated with full details of all the plumages and major races likely to be encountered. Concise text describes the identification, racial variation, status, range, habitat, and voice, with fully updated range maps for each species.

This second edition covers 1,448 species, which represents around 70% of the birds that have been recorded in sub-Saharan Africa. Recent taxonomic changes include the creation of three new families: Modulatricidae, Nicatoridae, and Hyliotidae. In the first edition, the taxonomy and nomenclature were largely based on the East African list that was published in 1980 (Britton, P. L. 1980, Birds of East Africa, East Africa Natural History Society). Since the growth in birding and citizen science worldwide has seen the emergence of four major global lists: the IOC World Bird List, the Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World, the eBird/Clemenh Checklist of Birds of the World (in collaboration with Cornell University), and the HBW (Handbook of the Birds of the World) and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist. All of these lists are compared online by the comprehensive and regularly updated resource, Avibase. While taking close account of the first edition and the three other global lists, the authors have chosen to base the majority of this revised Birds of East Africa on the HBW/BirdLife taxonomy and nomenclature. Throughout, they have provided alternative common names, as well as explaining any scientific name in notes.

For the maps in this edition, the authors have moved from single-colour interpretations of range, to the widely used colour codes of green, yellow and blue, to provide more detailed information on the distributions of resident and migrant birds In addition, the base map outlines now include major rivers and highland areas above 2,000 m are shaded in grey.

Customer Reviews (1)

  • Great improvement in passeriformes
    By Tom 12 Dec 2020 Written for Paperback
    Am I the only one on slightly disappointed with this new edition? I fully appreciate the many new plates in the Passeriformes section, just mentioning the accuracy of e.g. the Cisticolas, Apalises, Tits and the many seed-eaters and finches, special mention for the beauty of the Batises and ALL the Flycatchers. Still, most of the songbirds’ plates are the old ones and not a single new plate in the Non-Passeriformes (several species added of course). Nothing new in the Raptor section (except for adding Red-chested Goshawk and Congo Serpent-Eagle with a strange map). So still not possible to ID a single juvenile raptor with this book. As to maps definitely an improvement! So there is a strange feeling of an old-fashioned first part and much improvement in the second part. I had a bit the same feeling with the new edition of SASOL in Southern Africa, whereas the second edition of Roberts Bird Guide (also Southern Africa) is a real modern bird guide and by very far the best for non-Passeriformes even for East Africa. Now looking even more forward to the Photographic Guide to come.
    So should you but this new edition? Yes, by far the best guide available for the region, for now
    16 of 19 found this helpful - Was this helpful to you? Yes No


Between them the authors have 40 years of experience leading bird tous and conducting conservation work in the region.

Field / Identification Guide
By: Terry Stevenson(Author), John Fanshawe(Author), John Gale(Illustrator), Brian Small(Illustrator)
640 pages, 289 plates with 3500+ colour illustrations; 2 b/w illustrations, colour distribution maps, 4 colour maps
Publisher: Helm
Media reviews

"[...] This second edition of a guide initially published in 2004 is a hefty tome, hardly a surprise when it covers 1448 resident birds, migrants and vagrants. As the authors note, that total represents 70% of all the species recorded in sub-Saharan Africa. The illustrators are to be commended not only for the superb quality of the drawings, these including breeding and juvenile plumage where necessary, but for surviving the monumental task of producing them. [...] Excellent and thoroughly recommended."
– Richard Sale, Ibis

"[...] Although there are numerous field guides now available only a few African books reach the high standard that we to see. The second edition of Birds of East Africa is one of those, and will undoubtedly become the field guide of choice for most birders visiting Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda or Burundi, and will also prove useful in adjacent countries. Most birders who have already birded in East Africa will probably have a copy of the first (2002) edition. At first glance, one may think that not much has changed between editions, but very significant improvements have been made to the artwork, there are completely new maps, and of course there is an updated taxonomy. Inaccuracies in the first edition have been corrected [...] this really is an excellent guide, significantly different from the first edition and certainly invaluable on your next visit to East Africa.[...]"
– Frank Lambert, Bulletin of African Bird Club 28(1), March 2021

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