Once you book a birding trip the most obvious question to ask next is which field guide do I buy? Ornithology is hardly a static field, so publishing houses are chugging out new ones all the time. What was ‘the’ field guide three years ago could very well be out of print or prove inadequate in the field.
The guides at Birding Ecotours have put together a list of top field guides for countries on every continent. This list is a great place to start your bird research in advance of your next trip.
Their shortlist, which is anything but short, discards all but the top field guide for each country. Occasionally, a second guide is equally recommended as the first.
Field guide connoisseurs will note that not every recommended guide on this list is a top-class, glossy, modern tome…some of the very best come in modest packages but get the job done. For countries that don’t yet have their own guide, recommendations for the best available guide are given.
In Zambia, for example, the best option is to use the sub-Saharan Africa guide, which covers a vast tract of the world’s second largest continent. It makes birding in Zambia slightly trickier because one has to sift through a myriad of irrelevant paintings of species not occurring in that country, but you can be rest assured that each and every Zambian bird species will be included in the suggested book for that country.
“The blog is a work in progress, so we invite comments and additions,” says Chris Lotz, owner of Birding Ecotours, “but we are excited to publish this today.”
Start surfing their recommendations (ordered by continent) here: