Posted by: atowhee | February 7, 2012


The birds in this book are mostly tropical, typical of the forests and brushland of Latin America, and are a topic of interest any to any North American heading south to bird. There are several families of birds covered in this group.  Included are some of the prize target birds for visiting birders.  These birds eat fruit and insects so they cannot go into habitat where is real winter, or even cold seasons that halt the production of fruit.  Some of my favorite bird sightings in Ecuador include the Club-winged Manakin and the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock.  Those birds are among the thousand species included in this book.

This book has colored plates of each species in the front.  Within the species accounts are color photographs.  And the ever-enjoyable range map. Looking at those maps you see how narrow and constricted is the range of so many of these birds.

The authors of this book have been birding tropical America for many years and this book is a labor of love for some of their favorite species.

COTINGAS AND MANAKINS.  By Guy Kirwan and Graeme Green.  Princeton University Press.  624 pages.  $55.  

Some of the species in this book most of us will never see.  Some may disappear in the near future.  One, Araripe Manakin, is found only in a small area of eastern Brazil, less than 15 square miles. Another scarce, very local bird is the Chestnut-capped Piha, found only in a tiny part of norhwestern Columbia.

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