For years, birders who wanted help identifying Costa Rica’s dizzying array of trogons, toucans, hummingbirds, and other birds had to make room in their luggage for at least one big book: either F. Gary Stiles and Alexander Skutch’s A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica, published by Cornell in 1989, or Robert Ridgely’s A Guide to the Birds of Panama with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras (Princeton), which has been available in paperback since 1992. Both are classics, but heavy.
Then, in 2007, came Richard Garrigues and Robert Dean’s The Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide (Cornell). Compact enough to carry in the field while still depicting and describing more than 820 species, the book was a cause for celebration.
This fully revised second edition is just as compact, just as portable, and it features even more birds — all 903 of the species known from Costa Rica as of October 2013. New to the volume are 30 species added to the country list since publication of the first edition, pelagic birds, accidental species, and species likely to be found on tiny Cocos Island, the national park and World Heritage Site located about 300 miles off the Pacific shore. Three — Cocos Cuckoo, Cocos Flycatcher, and Cocos Finch — are endemic to the island.
Other changes worth celebrating: Artist Robert Dean has added more than 360 sparkling new illustrations, colors have been given to range maps to indicate birds’ migratory status, and the nomenclature and systematics have been revised to follow the eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, version 6.8, thus making the new edition eBird-friendly.
The Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide, Second Edition, by Richard Garrigues and Robert Dean, Cornell University Press, 448 pages, paperback, $29.95.
Unknown Costa Rica: Birding the Osa Peninsula.
Read more reviews from our June 2015 issue
Author Deborah Cramer dives deep into the Red Knot’s complex story in ‘The Narrow Edge.’
New reference guide makes identifying birds as simple as recognizing family members.
New Kaufman guide essential for nature lovers.
A touching memoir from a hummingbird rehabber in Hollywood.
‘Project Puffin’ tells how a kid from Ohio brought puffins back to the coast of central Maine.
Picture book shows what we most want to know about nesting birds.
In new book, Tony Angell presents personal stories and stunning drawings of owls.
‘Feral Cities’ takes account of the wildlife right on our doorstep.
A field guide to five boroughs of feathered New Yorkers.
Book tells fascinating history of the feeders, seeds, and suet in our backyards.
A guide to Minnesota’s bird-rich state parks.
Publishers and authors:
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