by Miles McMullan, Thomas M. Donegan and Alonso Quevedo
Published by ProAves Colombia
250 pages, col plates, illus, maps.
Price: £21.99 from NHBS
Published in 2010 this field guide is a must for anyone planning a visit to Colombia. More species of birds have been identified in Colombia than any other country – to date 1,880 and the list continues to rise each year. All of Colombia’s bird species are beautifully illustrated, together with many distinctive subspecies, providing essential reference material to identify the host of birds to be encountered. The keys to identification are extremely clear and the maps very useful.
Miles McMullan’s plates are a wonderful achievement, celebrating the huge diversity of birds, many of which are endemic to Colombia, and many threatened by loss of habitat. 44 of Colombia’s 76 endemic bird species are considered to be threatened with extinction. However, there is hope for their survival. As Colombia’s infrastructure develops and the country is now better equipped for accepting visitors and new tourism lodges are opening up all the time. This gives local people a reason for protecting their forests and wildlife.
However, visitors to Colombia will see first hand the threats of deforestation, but ecotourism can particularly help to ensure long-term sustainability of protected areas, and birders are very often ecotourism pioneers.
The only definitive guide to the Birds of Colombia this book is a must for all who visit South America or simply to have on your bookshelf to feast on the wonderfully evocative images of toucans, cotingas, tanagers, puffbirds and trogans.
Examples of some of the beautiful drawings depicting Colombia's bird species: