This is a book for all bird lovers. It is designed to be rewarding to twitchers everywhere, while being particularly useful to visitors to southern Africa. It is not meant to be a comprehensive guidebook: it focuses on birds you may see on a regular game drive and will help you to become familiar with the 300 most common species. To achieve this end, the book is unconventional in its grouping of birds. Usually, related bird species are grouped together in families: species and sub-species. In this book, the grouping is based on shared habitat to enable birders to know what can be expected in any given area at any particular time. Where further subdivisions are necessary, other factors are used to make more distinctions. Bear in mind that the groupings into habitats are not mutually exclusive and many birds will naturally occur in two or even three of the habitats.
These broad divisions will help the reader with useful clusters and will help to make quick and easy sense of what can be a bewildering range of birds. For the sake of expedience and practicality seabirds are not included (they would double the size of the book!), likewise LBJs (‘little brown jobs’) as they are so ubiquitous and have myriad sub-species.
Southern Africa has a great variety of different climates, biomes, vegetation types and general habitats, which in turn give rise to an amazing richness of birdlife. With over 960 bird species in the region south of the Cunene and Zambezi Rivers (which constitutes southern Africa), many birdwatchers find that starting out with comprehensive bird guidebooks can be overwhelming. Most game reserves in southern Africa are situated in savanna and grassland. Many birds found in these biomes are also common to various others. Birds of Southern Africa will be useful in game reserves all over the region.
As an HPH title, the book has hugely added value in the fact that the photography and reproduction is of a stunningly high standard. Phillip van den Berg is the expert in bird photography in this extraordinary nature and wildlife photography family enterprise.
Hardcover, 280 x 211mm, full colour
Price includes post and packaging.