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Every species of bird you might encounter in the region is featured, apart from non-established introductions. This includes coverage of China (south of the line used to define the Palearctic), Hainan (treated separately from SE China), Taiwan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and the Coco Islands. As many of the major subspecies as possible are also included.
Beautiful artwork depicts their breeding plumage, and non-breeding plumage when it differs significantly. The accompanying text concentrates on the specific characteristics and appearance of each species that allow identification in the field, including voice and distribution maps. The layout of the guide follows the conventional format of text with plates on the facing page, although the distribution maps are in a separate section in the back.
Wildlife artist Norman Arlott has illustrated nearly 100 books and his artwork regularly appears in magazines. He has designed special bird stamp issues for countries including Jamaica, Bahamas, Seychelles, British Virgin Islands, The Gambia, Malawi and Christmas Island. He has also led ornithology tours to East Africa.