Bird Book Gift Ideas for the Holidays!

Drew WeberBooks, Field Guide, ReviewsLeave a Comment

So maybe you are still looking for something to get that birder on your Christmas list. Well, lucky for you we have a couple suggestions because we care.

Birds of Borneo: Brunei, Sabah, Sarawak, and Kalimantan by Susan Myers.

This is a great looking field guide that was published in 2009 by Princeton University Press. According to the back cover, this is the first field guide to comprehensively cover the varied bird species of Borneo. This is a beautiful field guide with close to 1,600 illustrations of more than 630 species. The introduction gives a nice overview of the bird life of the region, pointing out similarities with the Thai-Malay Peninsula and Sumatra. There are some very interesting habitats to bird in Borneo, particularly the lowland dipterocarp where bird diversity reaches its peak on the island. With 50 endemic species including an endemic family and 4 endemic genera, this is a must get book for any world birders out there. There are some pretty exotic birds to look at; from frogmouths to bee-eaters, hornbills to cuckooshrikes, and leafbirds to canary-flycatchers there is something in this guide for everyone. The layout took a little getting used to for me; each species takes up about a half page with both its description and illustrations together which made it slightly more difficult to compare similar species. This field guide is a nice size for taking out into the field while you are birding and gives enough information regarding identification, abundance and ranges that it should prove valuable if you are planning on birding in Borneo and the plates should make it interesting enough for any birder to enjoy.


Birds of Peru: Revised and Updated Edition by Thomas S. Schulenberg, Douglas F. Stotz, Daniel F. Lane, John P. O’Neill and Theodore A. Parker III.

Here is another excellent looking field guide that covers an insane number of birds. If there is one country you should visit to see birds it is probably Peru. Almost one-fifth of the world’s birds are found in Peru and they are all illustrated in this not-so-field-friendly guide that weighs in at 664 pages. Using the classic description on the left, plates on the right layout, this field guide has 307 beautifully illustrated plates. With 99 endemics, the diversity of bird species is simply amazing to page through; as an example, hummingbirds take up 21 of the plates in the book. One of the things that make Peru such a diverse country in regards to its birdlife is the topography and varied habitats that make up the landscape. The Andes Mountains split the country in half; the eastern half is very moist and drains into the Amazon while the Pacific Coast is much drier and supports a different set of bird species. This is definitely a book I want to put to good use someday when I hopefully get to travel to Peru to see some of these birds. This guide is also highly recommended by us here at The Nemesis Bird for its great illustrations, range maps and easy to use layout.

Nightjars of the World by Nigel Ceere.

Every birder has a special place in their heart for nightjars, yet I bet this group of birds is the one group lacking on most people’s life lists due to nightjar’s secretive nature and because most species live in tropical regions of the world. This new book by Nigel Ceere is a must-own reference guide for anyone interested in knowing more about the identification and natural history of the 135 species of nightjars, potoos, frogmouts, oilbird, and owlet-nightjars of the world. This book has hundreds of color photographs (580 photos to be exact) of each species as well as a photo for male, female, and juvenile when necessary. Even just a quick look through the book opens your eyes to how strange, yet beautiful this groups of birds really is.

Disclosure- We received complimentary copies of these guides from Princeton University Press but were not obligated to write reviews.