- Kung-fu Hillbilly
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October 24, 2019
A holiday in Cambodia? With 600+ bird species and a two-week trip with possibly a 250 species-list (the best sites are in the northwest and west of the country), my answer is a definitive “yes”.
In 1400 illustrations and c. 600 distribution maps, the “Birds of Cambodia” covers 629 species recorded in the country to date. Among them are 2 endemics (Cambodian Laughingthrush and Cambodian Tailorbird) and a further 15 near-endemics, as well as the 52 vagrants. With some updates based on subsequent research, the “Birds of Cambodia” taxonomically follows the “HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World”.
There were 28 artists, but they all successfully blend in a similar style (only the raptors somewhat stylishly stand out). As in previous Lynx field guides, quite a few larger non-passerines are shown only as adults, e.g. the newcomer to the region will have problems with IDing immature Spot-billed from the Great White Pelican. Apart from swallows and martins, no passerines are shown in flight, despite many of them showing striking wing patterns that immediately distinguish the species.
In summary, this is yet another high quality field guide coming from Lynx.
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Not a field guide (Fred Goes)
One of the most useful conservation tools ever produced in Cambodia. Plus a hobbyist dream, and an academic masterpiece.
Great to have a copy for anyone who sees a bird and wants to know about its status, habitats, distribution, historical records, etc. Much more info than in a field guide.
You can also find out the significance of your sighting.
Common - or maybe it is significant enough to end up in the next edition of the book. As "first in province", for example.
or "first sighting since Francois Garnier 1859".
Fred Goes also devised a new conservation status system which is specific to Cambodia. Widely adopted.
If a bird is nearly extinct in Cambodia, or even all SEA, it may not even be classified as "threatened" under the old system - if, for example, there are healthy populations in India. Fred's system is much more relevant.
No pics - you need a field guide to get the initial ID.
About $30 bucks at Monument. Get one if you have even a passing interest in the local birds.
Russian market copy, maybe, - but please remember that Fred is humble and poor. All money goes to a birding fund for research and conservation. (I have benefited myself, the few hundred bucks was crucial in making an important find.)
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