July 23rd, 2010

Thanks, Rehabbers

I just wanted to say thanks to all bird (and other wildlife) rehabbers, along with anyone who’s ever volunteered at, or contributed to, a rehab facility. Rehabbers do an incredible job at a vital and unfortunately necessary task. Thanks.

And thanks to Julie Zickefoose for posting a heart-warming account of raising birds. If you’d like to learn more about what rehabbers do, I highly recommend the book Flyaway: How A Wild Bird Rehabber Sought Adventure and Found Her Wings, by Suzie Gilbert.

July 1st, 2010

Preparing for Peru: Bird Field Guide

In December, 2010 I’m heading to Peru for a birding tour with Kolibri Expeditions. Preparing for Peru is a series detailing the preparations that I’m making for the trip.

Besides binoculars, when birders travel to an unfamiliar place there is one item of paramount importance. Clothes? So what if you forgot to pack any, you can just keep wearing what you traveled in. Deodorant? The birds won’t mind the smell. No, you can forget everything else as long as you’ve got your field guide.

Birds of Peru field guideWhen it comes to a field guide for the birds of Peru, there are a couple of options, but really only one choice – Birds of Peru. This guide was updated in May, 2010 and is as up-to-date as you can expect a neotropical field guide to be. (I think there is at least one new species that has subsequently been discovered, but I don’t think it has even been officially described yet.). The artwork is very nice, and even though different plumages (gender, age, and subspecies where appropriate) are illustrated, the plates are not crowded. The maps and text accounts are on the facing page. The accounts are not extensive, but include the details needed for identification.

This is a relatively small and portable field guide (for the neotropics, at least!). You won’t be able to fit it in a back pants pocket, but you should be able to find a way to carry it into the field, such as a pack or vest.

Anyone birding in Peru should have a copy. I know I’m planning to have mine with me at all times when I go.

If you’d like a more in-depth look at this excellent field guide, I’ve written a full review at The Birder’s Library.

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