Complete Photographic Field Guide. Birds of Southern Africa

This complete photographic field guide to birds of Southern Africa describes and illustrates all 958 birds, plus 17 species from Antarctica and Southern Ocean Islands.
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Title: Complete Photographic Field Guide. Birds of Southern Africa
Authors: Ian Sinclair; Peter Ryan
Imprint: Struik Nature
Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa 2009
ISBN 9781770073883 / ISBN 978-1-77007-388-3
Softcover, 17 x 25 cm, 480 pages, throughout colour photographs

About: Complete Photographic Field Guide. Birds of Southern Africa

The Complete Photographic Field Guide of Birds of Southern Africa covers all birds recorded in the southern African subregion, defined as the region south of the Zambezi and Kunene rivers. This includes Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, southern Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho and South Africa. We have included the African sector of the Southern Ocean, Antarctica, and the islands in the region, Tristan da Cunha archipelago, and Gough, Bouvet, the Prince Edward and the Crozet islands, places where many of southern Africa's non-breeding seabirds breed. Anyone traveling to these isolated wilderness areas, which include South Africa's only overseas possession, the Prince Edward Islands, as well as the South African weather station on Gough Island, will find this information invaluable. Also, with the increased attention being paid to seabirds, especially off the Cape, the list of species not recorded in southern Africa that are present in the adjacent Southern Ocean has gradually dwindled.

Only eight species of seabird that breed in the African sector of the Southern Ocean are as yet unrecorded from southern Africa's territorial waters: Emperor, Adelie and Chinstrap penguins, Snow Petrel, Common and South Georgian diving-petrels, Crozet Shag and Kerguelen Tern. We have included the few landbirds breeding on the islands (five at Tristan, two at Gough and one at the Prince Edward and Crozet islands), but have excluded vagrants that have not been recorded from southern Africa. Although the list of vagrants recorded on Tristan makes tantalising reading for twitchers working southern Africa's west coast, their inclusion would add too many marginal species to the book. For interest, the species confirmed to occur are listed here. Most come from South America on the prevailing westerlies. The following are vagrants to Tristan and Gough islands that have not yet been recorded in southern Africa:

Speckled Teal Anas flavirostris, Cocoi Heron Ardea cocoi, Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria, Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata, Upland Sandpiper Bartramia longcauda, Rufous-chested Dotterel Charadrius modestus, Red-gartered Coot Fulica armillata, Paint-billed Crake Neocrex erythrops, Common Nighthawk Chordeiles minor and Eastern Kingbird Tyrannus tyrannus. The list of putative vagrants is even longer, with 'a small blue bird' being, perhaps, the most intriguing record. The space allocated to each species, and the number of photographs of each, is not constant, but is determined by the range of variation within a species. Those with only a single plumage are afforded less space than those that vary with age, sex and/or season. To a lesser extent we have also been constrained by the paucity of certain types of image. This applies mainly to photographs of birds in flight, although juvenile plumages are also less well represented than we would like in many cases.

Content: Complete Photographic Field Guide. Birds of Southern Africa


Scope of the book
Southern Africa and its avifauna
The order of birds in the book
How to use the book
Photographing birds

Index to Scientific names
Index to Afrikaans common names
Index to English common names