Book Review # 41

Birds of Kruger National Park

Authors: Keith Barnes and Ken Behrens

Publisher: Princeton University Press


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This interesting book is entirely dedicated to depict birds that you most likely find when you visit the renown Kruger National Park in South Africa. With 224 pages of up to 259  species of birds, each described with the most noted characteristics and accompanied by over 500 color photographs, simply make the identifying of birds an easy game.

The book size is very convenient for putting inside your coat pocket or you backpack.

The authors of this book are both highly experienced professionals involved in Ornithology as well as Photography, Birdwatching studies and book writing.  The point is made through this book by simplifying the birder’s common question similar to: “Is that bird a Long-billed Crombec or a Willow Warbler?” Looking at the book you’d know the answer immediately!”

Reviewed by: H.J. Ruiz – – July 18th, 2017


Book Review # 40

Wildlife of Ecuador A Photographic Field Guide to Birds, Mammals, Reptiles, and Amphibians

Authors: Andres Vasquez Noboa, Photography by Pablo Cervantes Daza


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“I’ve just finished reading the field guide Wildlife of Ecuador by Andres Vasquez Noboa and photographer Pablo Cervantes Daza…I was deeply interested on seeing so many species photographed for this guide I have seen in person when visiting some of the locations in Ecuador and Peru. This guide has pertaining information and color photos of 350 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. In a total of over 400 photographs.

When I got to the pages showing Hummingbirds of Ecuador I was immediately elated by the beautiful birds, such beauty, they are amazingly stunning! Of course that’s me as a bird “maniac”. The other species described are also very interesting, most likely to be seen if visiting the Ecuador’s wildlife protected areas, wildlife refuges, wildlife reserves, etc. I believe this guide will help any visitor to the locales, whether they are tourists, amateur wildlife watchers or professional photographers.”

Reviewed by: H.J. Ruiz – – July 11th, 2017

Publisher: Princeton University Press 


Book Review # 39


Authors: Peter Menkhorst, Danny Rogers, Rohan Clarke, Jeff Davies, Peter Marsack and Kim Franklin


“This bird guide is a straight forward book carefully planned with one thing in mind: Help the enthusiast birder or professional ornithologist, photographer, identify the species  and obtain clear and precise information pertinent to 900 species.

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The  560 pages guide has been artist illustrated in high quality accuracy with detail and color for each of the species.

The authors have been smartly thorough to create a no nonsense guide to answer the problematic confusion that other guides incur when adding to much extra unnecessary information about the species. After all, guides are not text books to study, they are rather tools to help identify species in the most efficient way possible.”

Reviewed by:

H.J. Ruiz – – May 29th, 2017

Publisher: Princeton University Press on June 14th, 2017


Book Review # 38

A Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh

Authors:  Bikram Erewal, Sumit Sen, Sarwandeep Singh, Nikhil Devasar & Garima Bhatia


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“I can actually say, and very sure of myself, this Photographic Field Guide is simply terrific! It’s a “heavy weight” contender versus other guides which are heavy on the text and light on the photos. One thing about birds, you may describe them in many ways but still will not compare to a color photograph of great quality. It’s my opinion of course being a bird photographer myself. Now, imagine 1375 species and subspecies over 4000 beautiful photographs, 3000 maps…did I mention the Photographic Field Guide is 792 pages in all!

Don’t get me wrong, there are accurate descriptions as well as important information about their plumage, habitat, range, and maps indicating distribution and population density.

I’m very delighted with the photo work, sharpness, color and high quality presentation. It’s a well structured guide that should be in every birder’s library. I recommend it!”

Reviewed by:  H.J. Ruiz – – May 15th, 2017

Publisher:  Princeton University Press

Book Review # 37

Raptors of Mexico and Central America

Authors: William S. Clark and John Schmitt

Publisher: Princeton University Press


“I don’t know about you… but field guides with raptors as they main subject…are exciting and quite interesting!. This field guide is one that gives you all you need to know about raptors for those locations ~ plain and simple ~

The authors are experienced and well known experts on raptors. The guide in mention has 304 pages 32 color plates and 213 color photographs covering 69 species of raptors from Mexico and countries from Central America.

Each one of the species are described with concise information such as area where they live or occur, type of habitat, behavior, status and distribution. Description, Etymology, and references. Then the colorful photos make a complete reality for a successful identification. The birder or photographer will not have to wait until the trip is over to know about the raptor in question! It’s much more exciting to be on the field and encounter a raptor and to ‘know” which one it is with certainty right there!…just like a Pro!”


Reviewed by: H.J. Ruiz – April 24th, 2017


Book Review # 36

The New Neotropical Companion

Author:  John Richer

Publisher: Princeton University Press 


“I’ve been reading The New Neotropical Companion written by Professor John Kricher (Biology at Wheaton College. It’s a 432 pages rich in knowledge converted to words and photographs.

He has made a compilation of important information referent to Ecology and the natural Neotropical areas of the western hemisphere. The book covers the American Tropical areas, as well as the Neotropical areas starting with the Caribbean islands such as the Bahamas, Bermuda the Antilles, including West Indies and Abaco, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Martinique and Cuba.

Rain Forests, Jungles, Tropical Forests are explained in a comprehensive language. The book also continues to describe with great detail the richness of wildlife of the Tropic areas of the Amazonia in South America. The abundance of wildlife in the Amazonia  with so many species animals and plants are the subject of a great deal of information for any reader with interest in Nature, especially when it comes to species of the New World.”

Reviewed by HJ Ruiz – – April 17th, 2017