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This new Helm Field Guide covers the species-rich Melanesia region of the south-west Pacific, from New Caledonia and the Solomons through the Bismarks to Vanuatu, a popular destination for tours and travellers and one that has never before had field-guide coverage. The cover star is the Kagu, the region's most iconic bird species and a highly sought-after endemic of New Caledonia. Superb colour plates illustrate the 650 species that occur in the region, allied with concise identification text and a series of distribution colour bars. For anyone travelling to this far-flung Pacific region, this book is indispensible.
Guy Dutson is an ornithologist and tour-leader, and is the world's leading authority on the birds of the south-west Pacific, a region in which he has described or rediscovered several species. He has led expeditions to the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, in the course of which he rediscovered the Superb Pitta on Manus. Expeditions to Indonesia and the Philippines led to the rediscovery of the Tanahjampea Monarch and and the find for which he is perhaps best known, the Cebu Flowerpecker. In 2008 Dutson described a new species, the Vanikoro White-eye.
"[...] the great majority of the illustrations are excellent. With a relatively limited number of species on many of the islands, this guide should certainly enable the user to identify anything seen well. [...]"
- Frank Lambert (19-03-2012), read the full review at The Birder's Library
"[...] This is one of the best field guides I have seen in recent years. Given the significant challenge of being comprehensive (for example the Solomon Islands archipelago consists of over 900 islands) it makes everything really easy to understand. It incorporates all of the features that you need and has been produced at a price that compares very favourably."
- Keith Betton, Birding World 24(12), January 2012