Book title: Sasol Birds of Southern Africa
Authors: Ian Sinclair; Phil Hockey; Peter Ryan; Warwick Tarboton
Imprint: Travel and Heritage
Publisher: Randomhouse Struik
4th edition. Cape Town, South Africa 2011
ISBN 9781770079250 / ISBN 978-1-77007-925-0
Softcover, 15x21 cm, 464 pages, throughout colour illustrations
Sasol Birds of Southern Africa remains the region’s most comprehensively illustrated and trusted field guide. This fourth edition has been greatly improved by the addition of group introductions, calendar bars showing species’ occurrence and breeding periods, a section on ‘how to use this book’, as well as sonograms depicting the calls of tricky bird groups. The newly designed plates are meticulously illustrated, with labels pinpointing key differentiating features. Distribution maps show the relative abundance of a species in the region and also indicate resident or migrant status. Written by top birders, this authoritative and comprehensive identification guide is invaluable to all birders. The species accounts that follow are introduced by group headers that point out common features and other potentially confusing groups.
Species descriptions indicate each bird's size and mass, then briefly describe the main plumages, and highlight the most important characters for separating the species in question from similar species. Adult plumages are described first, followed by juvenile and immature plumages, if these are distinct. For species with seasonal plumage differences, breeding plumage is usually described first, except where breeding plumage is very short lived or where non-breeding plumage is the norm in southern Africa. Calls and songs are described under 'Voice', augmented in some cases by sonograms, either on the plates or on the text pages.
Each text ends with a section summarising the status, habitat preferences and other behavioural information that might prove useful in identifying a given bird.
Southern Africa's birds in perspective
Bird classification and nomenclature
Bird societies and clubs
Endemism among southern African birds
How to use this book
BirdLife South Africa clubs