Active Caribbean review of West Indies Birds Book
Caribbean book review of “Birds of the West Indies” – Helm Field Guides, written by Herbert Raffaele, James Wiley, Orlando Garrido, Allan Keith, Janis Raffaele
Published by Christopher Helm, an imprint of A&C Black Publishers Ltd
This book about West Indies birds is a beautifully illustrated book on birdwatching in the Caribbean. What we really LIKE is that it is a very easy-to-use field guide, and it’s light-weight too. If you are planning to go birding in the Caribbean, then this is one of those ‘must buy’ books to take with you… whether you are an experienced birder or just have an interest in avifauna.
Spectacular West Indies birds
Details on each bird include a good description plus details of status and range, voice and habitat. It covers 564 West Indies birds – which includes all breeding species as well as regular visitors and 181 detailed colour maps. There are 94 colour plates to allow identification – these plates are printed opposite very concise text to aid rapid reference. Drawings of birds are on ‘colour-coded’ pages for easy identification and there are small maps of the Caribbean showing exactly where the birds can be spotted.
The colour coded pages are attentively broken up into 10 categories: (1) seabirds, (2) herons and other long-legged waders, (3) marsh birds and waterfowl, (4) hawks, owls and nightjars, (5) gamebirds & pigeons, parrots & cuckoos, swifts, hummingbirds, trogons, toddies, kingfishers and woodpeckers, (6) flycatchers, (7) crows, swallows, gnatcatchers, thrushes, thrashers and mockingbirds, (8) vireos and warblers, (9) euphonias, honeycreepers, tanagers, orioles and blackbirds, (10) finch-like birds. All the English and scientific names are listed in an index.
Colour-coded West Indies birds
The West Indies birds’ geographic area covered in the book include all the Bahamas islands, Greater Antilles, the Virgin Islands, the Lesser Antilles, the Cayman Islands, San Adres and Providencia. However, West Indies birds in Trinidad and Tobago – as well as other islands off South America’s north coast – have not been covered in the book as the birdlife is entirely different.
In the Introduction pages is a big section on Conservation with paragraphs covering the problem, principal causes of endangerment and extinction and island conservation needs, together with a list of endangered species. This is a lovely book, full of colour. It’s going to be in our backpack when we go birdwatching, that’s for sure.
Update on this West Indies birds book review “Birds of the West Indies”
We reviewed an edition that has now been updated. Caribbean travel books are regularly updated, so if you are thinking of buying a copy of ‘Birds of the West Indies’ do make sure you purchase the latest version.
Click on the book image here to buy the latest edition of the ‘Birds of the West Indies’ book ⇒