Working for birds in Africa

Ny Vorona Malagasy (A Field Guide to the Birds of Madagascar)

Fri, 12/28/2012 - 14:15 -- abc_admin
Satoshi Yamagishi, Tomohisa Masuda and Hajanirina Rakotomanana. 1997. 160 pp, colour photos, 3 maps. Pbk. Kaiyusha Publishers Co., Ltd., 1-23-6-110, Hatsudai, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 151 Japan. ISBN 4 905930 81 2.
page 69

This small book (measuring 13 x 19 cm) is entirely in Malagasy and Japanese and covers some 100 species, which are arranged by habitat and illustrated with colour photographs. All species are also indicated by their scientific and English names. The introduction contains 20 habitat photos. Because I'm not exactly fluent in Malagasy or Japanese, I cannot judge the quality of the short species accounts so have to limit myself to the photographs. These are of variable quality, but are generally inferior to those in the Morris & Hawkins guide reviewed above. Several are seriously out of focus. The alleged Madagascar Sparrowhawk Accipiter madagascariensis shows a mesial throat stripe and some narrow barring on the undertail-coverts and is thus in fact a Frances's Sparrowhawk A. francesiae. The photograph of a Short-legged Ground-Roller Brachypteracias leptosomus is accompanied by one of the entrance of a tunnel excavated in an embankment which is apparently claimed to be its nest, although the species is now known to nest in tree holes (F. Hawkins pers. comm.). The title page mentions that this booklet, which was sponsored by two Japanese conservation organisations, is"donated to the nature-loving children of Madagascar" - a sympathetic initiative.

Ron Demey
Morris, P. and Hawkins, F. 1998. Some comments on the identification of six Madagascar raptors. Bull. ABC 5: 114-119.

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