This is the first single volume guide ever devoted to the eastern Asian avifauna. The eastern Asian region, centring especially on the major islands off the continental coast (including Japan and Taiwan) and the immediately adjacent areas of the Asian continent from Kamchatka in the north and including the Korean Peninsula are an important centre of endemism.
Birds endemic to this region include representatives of many of the major families, from the world's largest eagle - Steller's Sea Eagle - to the tiny Formosan Firecrest. The east Asian continental coast and the offshore islands also form one of the world's major international bird migration routes, especially for waterfowl, shorebirds and raptors, while the east Asian continental mainland itself is home to a wide range of species little-known to western ornithologists such as Scaly-sided Merganser, Oriental Stork and Mugimaki Flycatcher.
The guide features the most up to date text available, which, in conjunction with extensive colour plates throughout, facilitate the field identification of all of the species known from the region. Distribution maps enhance the text by providing a visual analysis of the summer, winter and migratory ranges of all species.
"So, what of the illustrations? I think this is the finest collection of plates I have ever seen for Asian birds. [...] It is a magnificent achievement, one that should stand the test of time, and well worth buying by every keen birder."
– Bird Guides (17th April 2009)
– Birdwatch (May 2009)
"[...] an excellent, in some respects ground-breaking guide to this region"
– BirdWarching.co.uk (May 2009)
A huge undertaking and therefore it can expected that errors will occur as the author has admitted, Mark Brazil is the first to admit that there will be corrections to be made and requested and welcomed any corrections or updates in our knowledge of the birds of this massive and diverse region. It was a most welcome work for East Asia, a part of the world that has been, and still is, very under watched. I will not go into the numerous errors in the accuracy of the details in the text here, it is completely understandable that there would be many in such an attempt to cover such an area. It is a field guide for which I have been most grateful. So then I can put up with incorrect details of occurrence of the species in various locations, of which I am only too well aware after having lived and watched in Korea since 1985. I therefore have no real complaints about this field guide but Helm Field Guides are printing and binding their books in China and the ones I possess are falling apart even after a limited mount of field work. So Helm, please do a better binding job of your books.