[Tweeters] More on Costa Rica bird guides

Bruce Moorhead bruceb at olypen.com
Sun Sep 14 21:05:34 PDT 2008

I agree with Jesse Ellis' assessment of both bird books currently available for Costa Rica. But it also depends a lot on what your goals and portability amount to. If you're on a hardcore birding-only trip and really nothing much else while there, it might be wise to still carry the older, out of date Stiles & Skutch book, which I used in 1990 all over the country and suspect is still highly useful, except for some maps. A friend of mine going there earlier this year, however, borrowed my Stiles-Skutch, but ended up taking the newer and more compact Garrigues & Dean CR bird guide, because he wanted to bird, hike, photograph and study volcanoes, and the latter was good enough and far more portable for these purposes. I checked out his Garrigues & Dean guide after he returned and found the illustrations quite good really and quickly accessible in the field. Moreover, going light now in our more expensive times has become a far more important consideration than it was when I went to CR...with a considerable weight of reference books. Next month I'm going to bird in Panama, and am already wondering, beyond taking Ridgely's Birds of Panama guide (which is the standard), whether or not I might also squirrel in the new birdfinding guide to Panama just out 2008...and with the new Lonely Planet guide to Panama (which is compact and excellent), as well as Kricher's Neotropical Companion, almost a classic to read enroute, etc. So, it just depends....

Bruce Moorhead
Port Angeles, WA
bruceb at olypen.com

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