This compact field guide, based on "Birds of Seychelles" by Adrian Skerrett, Ian Bullock and Tony Disley (Helm 2000), is the only field guide to cover every species recorded in they Seychelles. It covers more than 250 species, including all residents, migrants and vagrants. Concise text on facing pages highlights key identification features, including habitat, distribution, status and voice. The plates are based on the authors' previous work, but with the addition of many new images. The text has been completely re-written and revised for this edition, and the plates are been re-worked to accommodate a number of new additions to the country's list. There are now 12 more plates than in the first edition.
Birds of Seychelles
by Keith Betton in the United Kingdom (24/01/2012)
Seychelles lies in the western Indian Ocean. The land area is small at just 458 sq km, but in total there are 155 islands spread across an area of ocean covering 1,374,000 sq km.
This book is a condensed version of that of the same name published by Helm in 2000. That field guide (which was co-authored with Ian Bullock) was the only modern book to cover every species recorded in the Seychelles. It is still available and provides a huge resource of information.
Once again all species are included in the new volume, but the main difference is that the text has been considerably reduced and rewritten. This highlights key identification features, including habitat, distribution, status and voice. The original plates have been repeated but many have been resized and a number of new images have been added, with 12 extra plates. In total there are around 1000 illustrations.
Every species is given an English name following the traditional Voous order (used by the African Bird Club for many years until its recent decision to follow the IOC List). Creole and French are both official languages of Seychelles, along with English, and all names in each language are listed in an appendix. In addition, there are brief notes on each of the main islands and Important Bird Areas. There are no range maps but the author uses a table of 16 distribution bars in four different colours to indicate status of each species on each of the islands. This is a good idea and works really well.
This is a handy book that will take up very little room in one's bag. It really is designed for field use but I expect many people will still want the original book to read in their hotel room.
"[...] Could I find anything to criticise? Well no, it's a fine work. I am mindftil that the large range of species covered may make it difficult for some audiences to access the information. Casual birders and, in particular, school children may find it difficult to use, and a cut-down version focusing on the regular species would be great for education and engagement. But as a singe resource to take with you to the Seychelles, this compact and comprehensive guide certainly does the job.[...]"
- James Millet, Bulletin of the African Bird Club 20(1), March 2013
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Adrian Skerrett splits his time between the UK and they Seychelles, and is a leading authority on the birds of the archipelago. He was the senior author of the previous edition of this field guide. Tony Disley is a leading bird artist whose previous books include "Birds of Gambia and Senegal", and "Birds of Melanesia".