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A photographic guide to the Birds of India

Though many books have been published on the birds of India, this one is remarkable for its splendid photographs in various moods and actions.
The cover page is illustrated with a beautiful photograph of a trumpeting Sarus couple, while the back cover is adorned with the picture of a peacock.

The author writes about the difficulties of choosing from the wide variety of birds he has photographed in the country to describe and illustrate in this book and feels that the ability to identify birds is an art in itself. Amano’s humorous descriptions of some of his close encounters with House Sparrows and Reed Warblers in Delhi in the preface and the concluding chapter titled The Eggylogue, lends a personal touch to this manual. The last chapter caries the photo of a male Red Junglefowl and an interesting and snippet on a question that has baffled many – “Which came first? The chicken or the egg?”

A photographic guide to the Birds of India starts of bird topography, making it simple to use. Throughtout the pocket-sized, easy-to-refer-to guide, labelled photographs have been provided to supplement the text, a brief description on bird characteristics, habits, plumage,what the bird is typically seen doing in the field, what it eats and the vocalisations it produces. A photographer’s delight, each species account has one or more photographs depicting the bird and its size. Both scientific and Hindi names have been provided for each of the about 150 species that have been dealt with.

The distributional information provided falls short of being sufficient and the birding areas indicated on the one, sketchy map is not comprehensive enough. However, all this is compensated by the rich images the book portrays. The book also provides a bibliography and a list of Internet resources that will be useful to birdwatchers. A photographic guide to the Birds of India book reflects the author’s (and photographer’s) love for avian photography. and is a good introduction to novice birdwatchers and newcomers to India.
Reviewed by Arundhuti Mitra
Amano Samarpan, Published by: Wisdom Tree, Softcover; Pages: 160; Price: Rs. 395

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