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New Zealand's birdlife developed extraordinary diversity as a consequence of evolving on isolated islands without mammalian predators. For many years, habitat destruction brought on by humans posed a distinct threat to the wide variety of birdlife, but thanks to recent conservation efforts, many of the country's species of birds are now protected in parks and island sanctuaries.
Illustrated with nearly a thousand new photographs from one of New Zealand's top nature photographers and drawing on the latest information from birders and biologists, Birds of New Zealand: A Photographic Guide offers a definitive introduction to the identification and behaviour of the country's extraordinary avian life.
Birds of New Zealand: A Photographic Guide includes expert and up-to-date information on the 345 bird species found in New Zealand, including species ranging from albatrosses and shearwaters to kiwi and kaka. It will be a valuable addition to the existing literature on birding.
Please note that this book is published in Australia and New Zealand by Auckland University Press (ISBN 9781869407339)
Paul Scofield is Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand. Brent Stephenson operates his own photography business and works as an ornithologist and birding guide.
"[...] This photographic guide represents an interesting departure from traditional bird guides. The format makes this book somewhat too large to function as a field guide [...] This lovely book is also accompanied by a smartphone app that is available across a number of platforms. Whilst this might be useful for some birders, particularly for southern hemisphere pelagic birdwatchers, I doubt it will provide the same experience as the hardcover [we have listed as a paperback, as this is not a proper hardback, but a flexibound book. - NHBS]. The photographs, information and general format of this book endear it to being repeatedly revisited. It will be equally useful as a reference for the visitor planning their first visit (along with the Where to Watch Birds in New Zealand site guide by Kathy Ombler, 2007, New Holland Publishers) and as a coffee-table book that will re-kindle fond memories in the past visitor."
- Damien Farine, Ibis, August 2014
"[...] There are several bird books covering New Zealand on the market already and while most are good, this one raises the bar by several notches, with more than 1000 photographs to show each species in several plumages and conditions. [...] There are some who prefer the long-standardised format of colour paintings on the right with matching text on the left, and I suspect there will be always be a demand for that type of field guide. (However,) The last five years have seen significant changes in the use of photography in field guides, and this book is a great example of how to use photography at its best."
- Keith Betton, britishbirds.co.uk, 11-04-2014
"[...] This new photographic guide provides full field identification characters for all NZ birds, including these, as well as the rare visitors to NZ and the many non-native landbirds that are now considered established there. Its well-focused text, clear distribution map and generous selection of top-class photos will enable even the novice NZ birder to identify birds confidently and help them maximise a trip or life list. [...]"
– John Marchant, BTO book reviews
"Scofield and Stephenson's book will be a major step above all others in the market, both in its scholarship and the quality of photography. It will be a "must-have" for birders."
– Phil Battley, Massey University
"Upon returning from a trip to New Zealand last year, I had one regret: Scofield and Stephenson's brilliant new guide was not yet available! When you go, take this book. It will enhance any birder's experience with the stunning photos, maps, and detailed notes on identification, biology, and taxonomy of one of the world's premier island bird faunas!"
– John Marzluff, co-author of Dog Days, Raven Nights; Gifts of the Crow; and In the Company of Crows and Ravens