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Birds of Vietnam (cover)

Publisher: Lynx Edicions

Publication Year: 2018

Binding: Softback

Page Count: 400

ISBN Number: 9788416728107

Price: £ 55.00

Birds of Vietnam

For me, a good foreign bird guide is one that doesn’t just inform you of the many species you might see on your travels, but also takes the time to introduce you to the area and habitats you will be visiting when in a new country. The Birds of Vietnam by Craik and Minh is one of these, with clear and distinguishable illustrations prefaced by a good introduction to the country and help on how to plan your trip. Following the Handbook of Birds of the World’s taxonomy and Birdlife International’s Illustrated Checklist they also describe subspecies fully in the text with associated maps that I hadn’t seen before in other guides.

Each species is nicely detailed, mapped and illustrated across well-spaced pages with neatly highlighted sections. I enjoyed the high-quality artwork and thought that the identifying features were clear but not over-emphasised with easy comparisons between ages, morphs and related species. An additional feature of the species accounts were specific QR codes that take you through to the Internet Bird Collection webpage with photographs and some sound recordings for each bird. I really found this useful to bring to life the variation in plumage under different light levels and though I’m not sure how useful this will be in the field (given roaming charges and signal strength), I can see this as a useful feature when both planning and re-visiting trips.

As someone who’s keen on making a trip out to that region of the world, I feel that this is a book I would choose to take with me and make space for in my bag. On the outside the plasticised cover is sturdy and, being a little wider than the pages, gives me confidence that I can take this outside without feeling it’s going to end up to crumpled or water damaged. I’d be happy to take it round with me and their suggestions of places and tours to take I have found very useful when considering which areas to prioritise visits to. In all I’d recommend getting this book to help both your identification and planning of a birding trip to Vietnam.

Book reviewed by Katharine Bowgen

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