Birds of Namibia (Pocket Guide), by Ian Sinclair and Joris Komen
Ian Sinclair, one of the authors of Birds of Namibia (Pocket Guide), is recognised as one of Africa's foremost field birders and has led many expeditions to find and research birds. His co-author Joris Komen was the curator of birds at the National Museum of Namibia from 1983 to 2001.
Namibia is a vast, mostly uninhabited country. The very name conjures up an image of wide, open deserts, endless sand dunes and a coastline edged with the skeletons of wrecked ships. This is true for only a part of the country, however; the remaining area is remarkably diverse, and as such a haven for a variety of birds. For example, there is the riverine forest of the Zambezi (Caprivi) Region, and west of this narrow strip, endless teak woodlands. The enormous river systems in the north, which drain the eastern Angolan highlands, meet to form the Okavango River, which flows into the permanent papyrus-choked wetlands of the Okavango panhandle, an enigmatic area renowned for its game and birdlife. Further west and south, seasonally flooded pans hold a myriad waterbirds. In particular, the pans of the Etosha National Park are known for the breeding flamingo population, as well as concentrations of Wattled and Blue cranes. Moist and arid tree-and-shrub savanna extend over northern and central Namibia, interrupted by impressive mountain ranges of the escarpment zone merging into Nama karoo dwarf shrub vegetation, until the desert edge reveals itself in its true starkness. Dry gravel plains give way to mountainous sand dunes and to a foggy coastline sparsely interrupted with bays and estuaries, oases for all kinds of birds. Offshore is the cold Benguela Current, an oceanic upwelling that provides a food source for huge populations of local seabirds and for visitors from both polar regions. Virtually wherever you are in Namibia you will see birds, and the challenge then arises to identify them correctly. Even the most remote and hostile areas of the Namib Desert contain birds, and an alert observer will soon find larks, coursers and korhaans beautifully camouflaged in the dunes and gravel fields. Learning to identify birds is a long and slow process and it takes years of experience to develop the skills needed to tell the obscure species from the Wattled Cranes often feed in swampy areas. This pocket-sized book has been designed primarily for use in the field, but if you peruse it at leisure you will reap further benefits. By studying the photographs frequently you will be able to remember many of the birds. For example, if you have looked at the photograph of the Lilac-breasted Roller many times you will instantly recognise the bird the very first time you encounter it in the field. This applies to many other birds depicted in this guide except for the unremarkable or nondescript species. The photographs have been chosen to show the birds' most obvious identifying features. Where there is a marked difference - between the sexes, between breeding (br.) and non-breeding (non-br.) plumage, or between adult (ad.), immature (imm.) and juvenile (juv.) - more than one photograph has been included. An up-to-date distribution map accompanies each species entry, giving a sense of where in the region the bird occurs. Each bird is ascribed its English, Afrikaans, German and scientific names. The length (L) of the bird (from bill tip to outstretched tail) is also given, except in the case of the Ostrich where the height (H) is given. The text is brief and to the point and the italicised phrases highlight the diagnostic features; knowing the most obvious field characters of a bird aids quick identification. [...]
This is an excerpt from Birds of Namibia (Pocket Guide), by Ian Sinclair and Joris Komen.
Title: Birds of Namibia (Pocket Guide)
Authors: Ian Sinclair; Joris Komen
Genre: Birding Guide
Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa (Pty) Ltd.
Imprint: Struik Nature
Cape Town, South Africa 2017
ISBN 978-1-77584-522-5 / ISBN 9781775845225
Softcover, 11 x 18 cm, 144 pages, numerous colour photos and maps
Sinclair, Ian und Komen, Joris im Namibiana-Buchangebot
Light and handy for use in the field, Birds of Namibia (Pocket Guide) will give birders an excellent introduction to Namibia's bird life.
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