Review of Birds of Borneo

Birds of Borneo: Brunei, Sabah, Sarawak, and Kalimantan by Susan Myers is the first full field guide to cover the astonishing, ecologically important island of Borneo. With nearly 1,600 color illustrations covering over 630 species, this is the perfect all-inclusive field guide for birders wishing to visit this birding paradise.

The introduction to Birds of Borneo covers a lot of the standard information of field guides. Climate and habitat types are explained in great detail as well as basic geographic information. Also included (something often left out of guides) is a listing of the endemic birds (those found only in this region) and a list of useful addresses for nature societies.

The layout is clean and pleasant with all the species info including range map side-by-side with the drawings of the bird. Most of the drawings follow the same basic pattern/positioning amongst family groups. This helps with the learning experience and also makes for a much better flow and design. However, some similar birds are shown in opposing directions which disrupts this otherwise solid flow.

This is a minor complaint but the style mastered by the Sibley guides seems to improve learning birds from a field guide. Of course, when producing a field guide there are often reasons to display certain birds differently, often to enhance the identification process.

While Birds of Borneo is a bit “fancier” than our North American field guides, it is still sized right and completely useful as a “true” field guide.

Birds of Borneo: Brunei, Sabah, Sarawak, and Kalimantan (Princeton Field Guides)
Susan Myers
Princeton University Press

Disclosure: we were given a copy of this wonderful book by the publisher to review. However, we were not persuaded to say or do anything other than give an honest review, which we have.

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