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Books on African Birds

Including Madagascar & other Indian Ocean Islands

Books on African Mammals, Butterflies, Herps, Parks, Conservation & Travel
Phil Hockey, WJR Dean & PG Ryan. Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. 1296 pages. Russell Friedman Books. 7th edition, 2006? UK | DE | FR
Françoise Dowsett-Lemaire & Robert J. Dowsett. The Birds of Malawi: An Atlas and Handbook. 556 pages. 16 color photographic plates. Tauraco Press 2006. UK | DE | FR
Callan Cohen, Claire Spottiswoode & Jonathan Rossouw. Southern African Birdfinder. Where to find 1400 bird species in southern Africa and Madagascar. 448 pages. Struik 2006. UK | DE | FR | CA
Ian Sinclair & Pete Ryan. Assisted by Patrice Christy & Phil Hockey. Birds of Africa South of the Sahara: A complete illustrated field guide to the birds south of the Sahara. Illustrated by Norman Arlott, Peter Hayman & Alan Harris. Struik & Princeton University Press 2003. Details. 760 pages. Covers 2105 species with more than 2000 images on 359 plates. The illustrations of southern birds are borrowed from the latest SASOL guide. This essential book for any world birder definitely will win a WorldTwitch 2003 Book Award. For home study, it provides instant access to all African species, with acceptable to excellent color plates, range maps, and essential text. In the field, it fills in the many gaps between the regions with fine modern field guides. Thus, Jon Hornbuckle writes that he found it quite useful in Zambia. US | UK
Nigel Wheatley. Where to Watch Birds in Africa. US (Paperback) | UK (Hardcover)
Important Bird Areas in Africa and its Associated Islands: Priority sites for conservation. L.D.C. Fishpool & M.I. Evans (eds.) BirdLife Conservation Series No. 11. Information on birds at 1,228 sites in 58 countries. 1,160 pages. 16 pages of color habitat photos. NatureBureau and BirdLife International. 2001. US | UK
Field Guide to the Birds of East AfricaTerry Stevenson & John Fanshawe. Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda & Burundi. WorldTwitch 2001 Best Bird Book Award. 287 colour plates by Brian Small, John Gale & Norman Arlott. Poyser and Princeton University Press 2001. US | UK
Brian Finch, Terry Stevenson & John Fanshawe. East African Bird Sounds. CD-ROM. Poyser. Forthcoming 2006? US | UK
Guide to the Birds of Western AfricaNik Borrow & Ron Demey. A Guide to the Birds of Western Africa. The first comprehensive field guide to the birds of West Africa. 147 colour plates depicting over 1200 species. 816 pages. Helm & Princeton University Press 2002. US | UK - PUP | UK - Helm
Nik Borrow & Ron Demey. Birds of Western Africa. Reduced, paperback field version of the authors' West Africa guide. 512 pages. Helm & Princeton University Press 2004. US | UK | DE | FR | CA
Ber van Perlo. Collins Illustrated Checklist: Birds of Western & Central Africa. HarperCollins & Princeton University Press. 400 pages. 2003. US | UK
Zimmerman & Turner, Birds of Kenya & Northern Tanzania (unabridged)Dale A. Zimmerman, Donald A. Turner, David J. Pearson & Ian Willis. Birds of Kenya & Northern Tanzania. Unabridged edition: 752 pages. Christopher Helm & Princeton University Press, 1996. US | UK
Dale A. Zimmerman, Donald A. Turner, David J. Pearson & Ian Willis. Field Guide to the Birds of Kenya & Northern Tanzania. Compact version: 576 pages. Christopher Helm & Princeton University Press, 1999. US | UK
Iain Robertson. Field Guide to the Birds of North-East Africa. (Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia & Sudan.) A&C Black. Forthcoming. US | UK
Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey & Warwick Tarboton. Illustrated by Peter Hayman & Norman Arlott. SASOL Birds of Southern Africa. 464 pages. Struik & Princeton University Press. 3d Edition, 2002. Covers 31 species not in the second edition. US | UK
The Larger Illustrated Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa. (SASOL). Large paper version of the second edition of SASOL. (A large paper version of the new third edition presumably will be forthcoming.) The extra size and weight are quite a tolerable trade-off for the larger type and illustrations. Struik, 1996. 448 pages. US | UK
Dylan R. Aspinwall & Carl Beel. Field Guide to Zambian Birds not found in Southern Africa. Zambian Ornithological Society, 1998. 106 pages. Essential guide for use in Zambia. Available from WildSounds.
Kenneth Newman. Newman's Birds of Southern Africa. 512 pages. Struik. 9th (?) Edition, 2002. While overall I prefer the SASOL guide, particularly the large paper edition, Newman's text and plates are often better. Both books are field guides and lack the natural history detail of Roberts, now between editions and undergoing a major revision. US | UK
G. Stuart Keith, Emil Urban, Hilary Fry, et al. The Birds of Africa. A&C Black and Princeton University Press. Essential reference!
Vol 7 (2004): US | UK
Vol 6 (2000): US | UK
Vol 5 (1997): US | UK
Vol 4 (1992): US | UK
Vol 3 (1988): US | UK
Vol 2 (1986): US | UK
Vol 1 (1982): US | UK
Michel Thévenot, Rae Vernon & Patrick Bergier. The Birds of Morocco. BOU Checklist Series: 21. 600+ pages. 32 colour plates. 2002.
Peter Jones & Alan Tye. The Birds of Príncipe, São Tomé & Annobón. BOU Checklist Series: 23.
Clive Barlow, Tim Wacher and Tony Disley. A Field Guide to the Birds of the Gambia and Senegal. Pica Press & Yale University Press 1997. US | UK
Patrick & Fedora Bergier. A Birdwatcher's Guide to Morocco. 72 pages. Prion, 1990. US | UK
Ron Ward. Birdwatcher's Guide to the Gambia. 116 pages. 28 maps. 26 illustrations. Prion, 1994. US | UK
Jonathan Rossouw & Marco Sacchi. Where to Watch Birds in Uganda. 110 pages. Uganda Tourist Board, 1998. Available from African Bird Club Sales.
Leon Bennum & Peter Njoroge. Important Bird Areas in Kenya. Download a map of Kenya's IBAs (zip). RSPB 1999. US | UK
Wulf Gatter & Martin Woodcock. Birds of Liberia. Pica Press & Yale University Press 1998. 320 pages. US | UK
John Ash, John Miskell & Martin Woodcock (illustrator). Birds of Somalia. Pica Press & Yale University Press, 1998. 336 pages. US | UK
Ber van Perlo. Collins Illustrated Checklist: Birds of Eastern Africa. HarperCollins 1995 & Princeton University Press 2001. US | UK
Alan & Meg Kemp. Birds of Prey of Africa and its Islands. (SASOL). Illustrations by Peter Hayman plus additional color photos. Coverage of more than 100 species of diurnal raptors and 40 species of owls from Africa, Madagascar, the Comoros, Mascarenes, Seychelles and São Tomé/Príncipe, some of which are very poorly known. New Holland 1998. 347 pages. US | UK
Callan Cohen & Claire Spottiswoode. Essential Birding - Western South Africa. 136 pages. Struik, 2000. US | UK
Keith N. Barnes (ed.) Important Bird Areas of Southern Africa. 394 pages. BirdLife South Africa, 1998. US | UK
Hugh Chittenden. Top Birding Spots in Southern Africa. Describes 127 birding spots. Maps & checklists. 420 pages. Southern Book Publishers, 1992. US
William Clark & Robert Davies. Field Guide to the Raptors of Africa. Poyser 2008? US | UK | DE | FR | CA
Warwick Tarboton & Rudy Erasmus. Owls & Owling in Southern Africa. (SASOL). Struik 1998. 88 pages. Color photos. US | UK
Roberts' Multimedia Birds of Southern Africa. CD-ROM with downloadable updates. Available from
Kenneth Newman, Nigel Johnston-Stewart & Bob Medland. Birds of Malawi. 14 color plates with facing-plate text and range maps. Annotated checklist with page references to Newman's Birds of Southern Africa. Southern Book Publishers, 1992. US
Ian Sinclair & Ian Whyte. Field Guide to the Birds of the Kruger National Park. 251 pages. More than 570 color photos. Detailed status of each species in Kruger NP with range maps. Struik, 1991. US | UK
Kenneth Newman, Derek Solomon, David Johnson & Alex Masterson. LBJs: Little Brown Jobs Made Easier. 136 pages. 11 color plates. Drawings of weaver nests, cisticola flight patterns and habitat. A useful study guide limited to "nondescript" passerines. Southern Book Publishing 1998. US | UK
Kenneth Newman & Derek Solomon. Look-Alike Birds. Comparative large black-and-white drawings of confusing species in South Africa with Peterson arrows pointing to key field marks. Southern Book Publishers 1994. 97 pages. US
Kenneth Newman & Derek Solomon. Confusing Birds: 193 Look-alike Species. Essentially an updated edition of the above, but not necessarily better, as the drawings now are quite small. 16 color plates. 80 pages. Southern Book Publishers, 1998. US | UK
Peter Ginn, Peter le S. Milstein & Geoff McIlleron (Editors). The Complete Book of Southern African Birds. Large format, 760 pages. More than 1,000 color photographs. Struik, 1990. US | UK
Warwick Tarburton. Guide to the Nests & Eggs of Southern African Birds. 400 pages. Struik. April 2001. US | UK
Ber van Perlo. Collins Illustrated Checklist: Birds of Southern Africa. HarperCollins, 1999 & Princeton University Press 2001. US | UK
Ian Sinclair & Olivier Langrand. Illustrated by Peter Hayman, Norman Arlott, Ian Lewington & Hilary Burn. Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands: Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, Rodrigues, the Seychelles and the Comoros. The field guide to carry in Madagascar and the other Indian Ocean islands. 184 pages. Struik, 1998. US | UK
Peter Morris & Mark Andrews. Birds of Madagascar: A Photographic Guide. Pica Press & Yale University Press, 1998. 224 pages. US | UK
Olivier Langrand, Vincent Bretagnolle (illustrator). Guide to the Birds of Madagascar. Yale University Press, 1990. 456 pages. US | UK
Adrian Skerrett, Ian Bullock, Tony Disley (Illustrator). Field Guide to the Birds of the Seychelles. WorldTwitch 2001 Best Bird Book Award. Christopher Helm & Princeton University Press. 320 pages. 53 color plates. 2001. US | UK
Rob Little, Tim Crowe, Simon Barlow. Gamebirds of Southern Africa. 128 pages. Struik 2000. US | UK
Terry Oatley. Robins of Africa. 36 color plates by Graeme Arnott. 288 pages. Acorn Books 1998. US | Russel Friedman, South Africa

Copyright © 2000-2006 John Wall

Copyright © 1992-2012 John Wall