This is the US edition of Collins Traveller's Guide - Birds of New Zealand which is now out of print.
New Zealand is commonly described as "the land of birds." Now, there is an easy-to-use guide for all those interested in this country's remarkable bird population. A Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand contains over 600 stunning photographs of the more than 350 bird species likely to be seen in this area of the world. Comprehensive and compact, the book includes full descriptions of all native species and regular visitors, distribution maps and measurements, key information on national parks, and useful information on ongoing conservation efforts in the country. Filled with handy tips for nature enthusiasts wanting to make the most of their trip, this is the only bird guide that anyone exploring this region will need.
Birds of New Zealand
by Keith Betton in the United Kingdom (24/01/2012)
This is an easy-to-use "Traveller's Guide", featuring all 350 species you could possibly see in New Zealand. This is certainly a great country, and is often voted as the world's best destination. I've now been three times, and I need to manage your expectations on how many of the 360 you might see. I love the place but you need to realise that if you just dawdle around you might only see 100 species, and if you really "go for it" you'll maybe only get 140 in two weeks. That said, it has over 60 endemic species, so if you haven't been you really are missing out. The book also gives complete coverage to those sub-Antarctic islands that are part of New Zealand.
The layout of this book is text on the left-hand page opposite colour photographs on the right. Each species is given 150-200 words to describe plumage, calls, breeding habits, feeding preferences, population, range, threats and conservation management. There are also tips on where to get the best views and a very small distribution map. This information faces a page of colour photographs with usually one or two images per species, with both sexes shown where they differ.
There is also an eight page section giving details of the key birding areas on North and South Island and the surrounding waters (but not the sub-Antarctic islands). Unfortunately none of these are shown on the maps at the beginning of the introductory chapters.
Sadly Don Merton did not live to see this book published. He led teams who saved the South Island Saddleback, Kakapo and Black Robin from extinction, and if anyone in New Zealand deserved a knighthood it was him. I think he would be pleased with the way this book has been created.
"A Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand, by Julian Fitter and Don Merton includes outstanding photographs of all of the 350 species that can be seen in New Zealand. Also included is excellent text and distribution information [...] The book is pocket sized and easy to carry and use in the field [...] This new offering from Fitter and Merton is the book to have."
– Wayne Mones, Audubon Magazine blog
"Probably the best photographic guide to the birds of New Zealand currently available."
– Ian Paulsen, Birdbooker Report
"Anyone with an interest in birds that is planning to visit New Zealand can easily fit this pocket-sized guide in their carry-on or luggage. Don't leave home without it."
– Dan R. Kunkle, Wildlife Activist
"A little book of excellent quality that will prove useful for many visitors and residents alike."
– Alan McBride, ABA Blog
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Julian Fitter is a longtime resident of New Zealand and a key member of Friends of the Galapagos, the Galapagos Conservation Trust, and Falklands Conservation. He is the coauthor of Wildlife of the Galapagos (Princeton).
Don Merton (1939-2011) was one of New Zealand's most internationally acclaimed conservationists. Prior to his retirement in 2005, he was a senior scientific staff member of New Zealand's Department of Conservation and helped save the Kakapo and Black Robin from extinction.