The world's fifth-largest island nation comprises in excess of 7600 islands and islets, and is one of the most populous and ethnically diverse in all of Asia, with more than 180 native languages still spoken. To birders, however, the Philippines is famed for the country's remarkable endemic avifauna. Of the c. 770 species or distinctive subspecies groups covered by Birds of the Philippines almost 300 occur nowhere else on Earth. Sadly, the looming threat of extinction, due to sometimes rampant and ongoing habitat loss and fragmentation, imperils many of these species: among the endemic birds, no fewer than 75 are categorized as Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered. These unsurprisingly include some of the Philippines most sought-after birds, from the stunningly beautiful Palawan Peacock-pheasant to the emblematic Philippine Eagle, via an array of secretive pigeons, spectacular kingfishers, hornbills and broadbills, fancy woodpeckers, no fewer than 17 owls, and of course many babblers and flycatchers. If this was not enticement aplenty, in addition to the resident backbone, the islands receive many visitors, including migrants moving between northern Asia and Australasia, whereas others such as the globally threatened Chinese Crested Tern have only recently been discovered to winter in the Philippines.
- Taxonomy follows the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World.
- Detailed texts covering status, habitat and behaviour, age, sex and geographical variation, voice, and confusion species.
- Over 1615 illustrations covering all species and distinctive subspecies, birds in flight, males and females, juveniles and non-breeding plumages, where appropriate.
- QR code for every species, linked to complementary audio-visual material.
- More than 620 full-colour range maps for all regularly occurring species.
- Well-marked subspecies groups receive full accounts, and the distributions of subspecies breeding in the region are clearly mapped.
- Local conservation status included.
"[...] Birds of the Philippines replicates the format of the increasingly familiar Lynx and BirdLife International field guide design. In particular, the inclusion of clear, colour distribution maps alongside the illustrations and the text opposite the relevant plates makes this very practical in the field. [...]"
– Frank Lambert (01-01-2021), read the full review at The Birder's Library