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

Book Review

Birds of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East

– A Photographic Guide

Authors: Frederic Jiguet & Aurelien Audevard

Translator: Tony Williams


“This fantastic photographic guide is going to make many of my birder friends  in Europe and Middle East happy plus some in North Africa…Why? Because this guide (448 pages) has 2200 stunning photographs displaying a total of 860 species! I wish I had this guide to help me during my past trips to those areas.

The authors have taken in consideration the importance of a photo guide as I believe, “A picture is worth a thousand words” hence the plethora of great photos. The descriptions and brief paragraphs with pertinent information about the specie is there written in simple and clear language. Going through the pages of this guide I found by mere curiosity that the entire 2200 pictures of the birds, the species are oriented facing the right except the one on the cover. It makes sense because most people are right handed a have the tendency to  feel more comfortable with seeing and reading oriented to the right.

The images displayed are all of great quality and in full color. I can comfortably say that this guide is an essential tool for reference when birding in any of the locations mentioned above. A must get guide!!”

Reviewed by:  H.J. Ruiz – March 21st 2017 –

Princeton University Press

Birds of the Horn of Africa – Book Review

Birds of the Horn of Africa – Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia and Socotra

Authors: Nigel Redman, Terry Stevenson and John Fanshawe

Publisher: Princeton University Press – October 12th, 2016

Book Review

“This revised and expanded Field Guide is an amazing amount of work related to pinpoint locations, descriptions of birds, status, tips for easy IDs and all pertaining informations that lead to a quick knowledge about the subject in reference. Besides a graphic map indicating locations where species are commonly found.

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The plethora of illustrations ( Over 2600) is quite impressive work, each bird illustration denotes the most identifiable characteristics making the ID a snap! The guide has 512 pages full of valuable information to birders pros, amateurs or any person with an interest for birds. I should mention that this guide covers the locations in this zone of Africa which are rich in avian species and somehow more incipient in the studies of the birds population. I believe this guide would definitely help any birder visiting the Horn of Africa!”


Review by: H.J. Ruiz – – October 3rd, 2016

Bird Brain – Book Review

BIRD BRAIN  An exploration of Avian Intelligence

Author: Nathan Emery

Publication Date: September 14th, 2016


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“I was very satisfied after reading the book entitled: Bird Brain, written by author Nathan Emery. It’s not every day you read about studies and exploratory experiments done by Scientists. The goal is to learn what’s going on in the bird’s brain. They tested different birds, their behavior and degree of intelligence, thus, they’ve been able to answer some of the questions pertaining to avian’s ability to figure out solutions for the problems in their daily life.
This book is brief but makes clear with certainty that a variety of avians show proof of intelligent. The studies  described on this book are written in clear language also accompanied by photos and illustrations of high quality. Complete clarity of the concepts covered in each case take the reader to a total comprehension of the findings explained there. It is really fascinating to read and learn more deeply how these birds have evolved and are not mere simple pretty birds we see flying around in our backyards. I’m convinced that reading this book will make you feel closer to your avian friends”

Book Review by H.J. Ruiz – Avian101.wordpress

© HJ Ruiz