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Birds Of Thailand & Isaan


zzaa09

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I'm seeking a decent field guide or directory regarding birds in Thailand - colour plates and detailed descriptions included.

Years ago, I had a thick copy of a Thai/English reference guide {published in Thailand} and today I can't seem to locate it again....I would like to retrieve the same book if it is still in circulation. Yes, I know there are a few references guides on the subject, but I'm attempting to secure this one particular scholarly-type book that was published some time back in Thailand.

IsaanBirder! I know you are out there......help and advice would be appreciated. Thanks again!:)

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if you're talking about the books by Boonsong Lekagul, these are they...

515tbONVeIL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

this is the first edition published 1968. Very Rare, i have 2 copies, one signed by Lekagul himself. Thai & english text.

51dhV4vOqQL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

this is the second edition published 1974. Odd copies show up on eBay, i have 1 copy. Thai & english text

51v9VjbqMGL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

this is the third edition published 1991. Still see it for sale occasionally in Thailand, its still one of the best guides even though it ommits a few species

the first two are collectable & not really of use to a 'starting out' birdwatcher, but they are beautifully illustrated with Lekaguls' own colour paintings. The 1st edition in particular becoming really sought after now..

The third is still useful & when used alongside Craig Robsons modern bible, Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand you should leave no species un-identified. (that is, of course, after lots & lots of practice in the field.. ;) )

Edited by Goshawk
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Pity that that question is asked. We now, have so few bird species in Southern Buriram, as the others have already been eaten to extinction.Sadly the Thais have no understanding of the importance of birds in the Eco-system.

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Pity that that question is asked. We now, have so few bird species in Southern Buriram, as the others have already been eaten to extinction.Sadly the Thais have no understanding of the importance of birds in the Eco-system.

People keep saying there are 'so few birds" in whatever part of Isan they come from, but it is simply not true. I have seen over 150 species within walking distance of my home (near Krasang)... and there is no special habitat to attract them.

On the subject of books, Goshawk has said it all... or most of it! The easiest book to use in the field is still the 1991 one by Lekagul and Round. If you look in a new (as opposed to secondhand) bookshop, you will most likely find Craig Robson's 2008 book , Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South-East Asia. This contains a massive amount of information, and excellent illustrations, and is more up to date than Lekagul and Round as far as nomenclature and specification are concerned. But it covers the whole of South-east Asia, and can therefore be difficult to use in the field.

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The number of bird species increases dramatically ,when you go north of Plackonchai. Why? I don't know.Maybe they are not so good at killing birds ,as they are down here. We are near the border with Cambodia. The motto ? If it moves , kill it and eat it!!! Maybe it also has to do with this area more recently being jungle, than other more Northern places. I really don't know. fairly recent change of habitat. As recently as 30 years ago , there were Pythons for example, near the village. Not now >All gone. Isarnbirder ,like to do a field trip ?

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Like Isanbirder and Goshawk, I rely on two books. The 1991 "A Guide to the Birds of Thailand" by Lekagul/Round I was able to pick up in Bangkok at Emporium (Kinokuniya book store) about seven months ago and they had a few copies on the shelf. Kinokuniya also has a branch at Siam Paragon and you can order from them online. I've also seen it at Asia Books in Bangkok. The Craig Robson I have is "The Birds of Thailand and SE Asia" and is more easily found and would also be available at the bigger branches of Kinokuniya and Asia Books in Bangkok.

I do not yet have the Robson that Goshawk links to, which only covers Thailand, but look forward to getting that.

I began with the Robson SE Asia (first edition) as that was all I had, but now usually go first to the Lekagul / Round. I'm a novice, and because the Robson I have(now called "The Birds of Thailand and Southeast Asia") covers all of SE Asia the number of species on each plate can sometimes be a little overwhelming for my still developing eye.

Even though I live in Isaan, a third book that has also been useful to me is "The Birds of the Bangkok Area" by Philip Round. This is not a field guide. It's too big! But is has very in depth descriptions of a number of species that often go even well beyond the lengthy descriptions in Robson. In addition, it gives very good info on times you might expect to see winter visitors/passage migrants coming through Thailand. This info may be in Robson's Thailand only guide, but on that I am uncertain. Goshawk?

I live in Surin on a reservoir/wetlands and have thus far IDd 167 species in my area. I expect that number to go higher with more time and more experience.

Edited by AjarnNorth
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Just wondered if anyone could give general advice or had any experience of looking after hawks or birds of prey ? Here's the story, yes i know it goes on a bit ! :-

Every day when driving to my g/f's farm via a narrow tree lined track we pass the house of a very elderly lady. Outside her house was a large enclosure about 3m cubed made from bamboo and metal mesh. Inside she kept two baby "eagles" !! She had been given them about 8 months ago, when they were chicks, after their mother had been killed, and had looked after them since. Being from UK and not having had much opportunity to see birds like this close up i had often stopped to have a look. In the daytime she would open the door for the smaller one who would go out, fly around for a while and then return in the evening or whenever hungry. The larger one never wanted to leave the cage.

The problem was her elderly husband had recently fallen sick and she no longer had time to devote to them. So she asked if we could look after them for her. Over the next few days i built an enclosure in our garden and until last week they had been here for a few months without incident.

The problem is these birds are VERY tame and have no fear of man whatsoever and are used to being hand fed. Last week after having missed the small bird for a few days we found out it had been killed by a local farmer. Probably it had been attempting to eat fish or chicks from his farm.

So it's only the larger one left and it seems perfectly happy in the cage, never appears distressed and lives on a nice diet of fish, shredded chicken and pork.

I still cant help thinking however it really belongs in the wild but I would be wary of just releasing it somewhere as i am sure it would be killed very quickly .

Btw the locals call them "eagles" but from a bit of research on internet i thing they're Black Kites. Maybe someone can confirm - I'll put a few photos in my gallery later.

Anyone any comments ?

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This info may be in Robson's Thailand only guide, but on that I am uncertain. Goshawk?

No, not really. Robson's 'Birds of Thailand' book is really just a watered down version of of his complete '..South East Asia' work - a book that can be difficult for a beginner to use in Thailand alone.

the plates are the same, there are small distribution maps (of which some are wrong), but the descriptions are also watered down & a bit basic, its still a good (and the latest for the region) field guide though when used in conjunction with others..

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So it's only the larger one left and it seems perfectly happy in the cage, never appears distressed and lives on a nice diet of fish, shredded chicken and pork.

I still cant help thinking however it really belongs in the wild but I would be wary of just releasing it somewhere as i am sure it would be killed very quickly .

keep on feeding & taking care of it, but take note - if it is a kite, they can live in captivity for up to 20yrs !

absolutely forget about releasing it yourself. The bird has been imprinted on humans, & it would not survive.

But, this is what i would do.. seeing as though the bird is still quite young, why not contact the Kasetsart University Raptor Rehabilitation Center in Bangkok & see if they would be prepared to take it in ? They have an excellent record for raptor rehab. Contact details for KURRC are at the bottom of the link..

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This info may be in Robson's Thailand only guide, but on that I am uncertain. Goshawk?

No, not really. Robson's 'Birds of Thailand' book is really just a watered down version of of his complete '..South East Asia' work - a book that can be difficult for a beginner to use in Thailand alone.

the plates are the same, there are small distribution maps (of which some are wrong), but the descriptions are also watered down & a bit basic, its still a good (and the latest for the region) field guide though when used in conjunction with others..

"Birds of Thailand and South East Asia" is a later development of Robson's "Birds of Thailand".

It has two main weaknesses:- the plates do not give an indication of size, and the distribution details are not very useful where we live. It just says NE Thailand, which could be anywhere from Loei to the Cambodian border, and might refer to just a single record.

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if you're talking about the books by Boonsong Lekagul, these are they...

515tbONVeIL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

this is the first edition published 1968. Very Rare, i have 2 copies, one signed by Lekagul himself. Thai & english text.

51dhV4vOqQL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

this is the second edition published 1974. Odd copies show up on eBay, i have 1 copy. Thai & english text

51v9VjbqMGL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

this is the third edition published 1991. Still see it for sale occasionally in Thailand, its still one of the best guides even though it ommits a few species

the first two are collectable & not really of use to a 'starting out' birdwatcher, but they are beautifully illustrated with Lekaguls' own colour paintings. The 1st edition in particular becoming really sought after now..

The third is still useful & when used alongside Craig Robsons modern bible, Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand you should leave no species un-identified. (that is, of course, after lots & lots of practice in the field.. ;) )

Thanks, Goshawk! I believe that's the one - the third edition. Cheers!:)

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"Birds of Thailand and South East Asia" is a later development of Robson's "Birds of Thailand".

its actually the other way around.. His Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia came first & was published in 2000, his Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand (like i said, basically an obvious thinned down version of the first with a few changes) came later being first published in 2002.. They're both good. I like the first for the more in-depth text, and the second for the convenience of just having (nearly) all the Thai species only.

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I think the above confusion is a result of my post.

As far as I can tell, the 2000 was published under two names. The 2000 version that I have is called "A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia" (bought in the US) but it seems it was also released here in Thailand under "A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South-East Asia." Same book and same info, difference in title I presume depending on where it was marketed.

I now have the updated 2008 version, bought in Thailand, titled, "A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South-East Asia" which I assume might be available elsewhere in the world without Thailand mentioned in the title.

Neither to be confused with the 2002 "A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand" by Robson, which I do not have but have perused and Goshawk has already commented on.

Either way, I think the OP has IDd the book he originally had and now wants to replace and all seem to agree that for a Field Guide may be the best choice.

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"Birds of Thailand and South East Asia" is a later development of Robson's "Birds of Thailand".

its actually the other way around.. His Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia came first & was published in 2000, his Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand (like i said, basically an obvious thinned down version of the first with a few changes) came later being first published in 2002.. They're both good. I like the first for the more in-depth text, and the second for the convenience of just having (nearly) all the Thai species only.

I think we're all talking a bit round the bush about this.

In 2000 came the first "Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia"

In 2002 the thinned-down version "Birds of Thailand"

In 2008 the latest version, "Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South-East Asia." This is much more than an updated version of the 2000 book. Many of the plates have been redone, there are numerous additional species, and changes in nomenclature (which you may not like, but are likely to supersede the old names).

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Last time I was upcountry I saw what looked to be some sort of a woodpecker with a very prominant, stick like crown. I think it was brown or maybe gray without any red. Beautiful bird, but I can't seem to find it online. It flew away before I could get my camera out.

Anyone have an idea what it might be?

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Last time I was upcountry I saw what looked to be some sort of a woodpecker with a very prominant, stick like crown. I think it was brown or maybe gray without any red. Beautiful bird, but I can't seem to find it online. It flew away before I could get my camera out.

Anyone have an idea what it might be?

Was it pecking up in a tree or was it on the ground?

My first guess is that it was not a woodpecker, but a Common Hoopoe, which are often mistaken for woodpeckers because of their crown.

The only woodpeckers I have in my area (thus far) are Spot-breasted Woodpeckers, and I wouldn't say their crown is prominent.

Google images for "common hoopoe" and that might be your bird.

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Nonetheless, I believe I know what to be looking for again. Looks as if I will be checking out inventories of bookshops in BKK online beforehand.....or amazon, alibris, etc. Thanks for the help and discussion folks!!:jap:

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"Birds of Thailand and South East Asia" is a later development of Robson's "Birds of Thailand".

its actually the other way around.. His Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia came first & was published in 2000, his Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand (like i said, basically an obvious thinned down version of the first with a few changes) came later being first published in 2002.. They're both good. I like the first for the more in-depth text, and the second for the convenience of just having (nearly) all the Thai species only.

I think we're all talking a bit round the bush about this.

In 2000 came the first "Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia"

In 2002 the thinned-down version "Birds of Thailand"

In 2008 the latest version, "Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South-East Asia." This is much more than an updated version of the 2000 book. Many of the plates have been redone, there are numerous additional species, and changes in nomenclature (which you may not like, but are likely to supersede the old names).

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I'm a retired photographer who also likes to photograph birds. One of my favorite lens for birds is a 150-500mm beast that looks a little like a shoulder mounted weapon, black and all. I'm not in Thailand yet, will be later this fall, but just how safe is it to walk around in public with a camera/lens combination that locals will perceive as being worth more money than they make in a year?? (Yes, I know not to take it down town at night in the red light district -- I'm talking about in the field, zoos, bird sanctuaries, etc.)

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(Yes, I know not to take it down town at night in the red light district -- I'm talking about in the field, zoos, bird sanctuaries, etc.)

absolutely no bother at all there..

In all of Thailand, i would only advise relative caution to anyone birding/photographing with expensive gear to be careful if you go 'well off the beaten track' in some of the the mountainous northern Thai/Burma border region national parks & surrounding areas. Many non-Thai illegals reside among these Doi.. :ph34r:

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So it's only the larger one left and it seems perfectly happy in the cage, never appears distressed and lives on a nice diet of fish, shredded chicken and pork.

I still cant help thinking however it really belongs in the wild but I would be wary of just releasing it somewhere as i am sure it would be killed very quickly .

keep on feeding & taking care of it, but take note - if it is a kite, they can live in captivity for up to 20yrs !

absolutely forget about releasing it yourself. The bird has been imprinted on humans, & it would not survive.

But, this is what i would do.. seeing as though the bird is still quite young, why not contact the Kasetsart University Raptor Rehabilitation Center in Bangkok & see if they would be prepared to take it in ? They have an excellent record for raptor rehab. Contact details for KURRC are at the bottom of the link..

Thanks for the advice Goshawk, i'll do that.

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if you're talking about the books by Boonsong Lekagul, these are they...

515tbONVeIL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

this is the first edition published 1968. Very Rare, i have 2 copies, one signed by Lekagul himself. Thai & english text.

51dhV4vOqQL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

this is the second edition published 1974. Odd copies show up on eBay, i have 1 copy. Thai & english text

51v9VjbqMGL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

this is the third edition published 1991. Still see it for sale occasionally in Thailand, its still one of the best guides even though it ommits a few species

the first two are collectable & not really of use to a 'starting out' birdwatcher, but they are beautifully illustrated with Lekaguls' own colour paintings. The 1st edition in particular becoming really sought after now..

The third is still useful & when used alongside Craig Robsons modern bible, Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand you should leave no species un-identified. (that is, of course, after lots & lots of practice in the field.. ;) )

For the interested: used examples of the first edition are for sale at/through Amazon!

Joe

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I think the above confusion is a result of my post.

As far as I can tell, the 2000 was published under two names. The 2000 version that I have is called "A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia" (bought in the US) but it seems it was also released here in Thailand under "A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South-East Asia." Same book and same info, difference in title I presume depending on where it was marketed.

I now have the updated 2008 version, bought in Thailand, titled, "A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South-East Asia" which I assume might be available elsewhere in the world without Thailand mentioned in the title.

Neither to be confused with the 2002 "A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand" by Robson, which I do not have but have perused and Goshawk has already commented on.

Either way, I think the OP has IDd the book he originally had and now wants to replace and all seem to agree that for a Field Guide may be the best choice.

Hi AjarnNorth, it's actually the 2005 edition, can be specially ordered at Asia books. I wil send you details per PM. Best price, no delivery costs.

Joe

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Question:

Would any of the birding specialists be willing to help me out with determination of the few birds I have photos of?

It's just a handful, not a lot of work, and it would give me a start into birding in Isan. I did some birding already but these talking gold diggers (kidding) seem to be a different class than the magnificent birds around me at my farm. It is the latter class of birds that I want to give more attention.

I ordered both the Robson guides: Birds of Thailand and Birds of Thailand and SE Asia, so that will help me a lot as soon as they arrive.

Just for now I would be more than pleased if someone will take the time and effort to put me on the right track.

Thanks

Joe

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