Monday, September 28, 2009

My Books on Birds in Mumbai

Got me self four books on birds. Here you see three simply because I forgot to photograph it. It is a coffee table book so it would not have fitted into this any which way. The funny thing is that I have owned these books for ages. The latest acquisition was the one, "Birds of Mumbai" by Sanjay Monga. The others are a couple of years old.
I got the "Birds of Sanjay Gandhi National Park" booklet from a BNHS (Bombay Natural History Society) stall at a Kala Ghoda festival. The "Birds from my Window" is something I picked up years ago from Crosswords. Recently I pulled this book out and started reading it. I realised that all the books I have on birds are on the same topic but still so very different.

Birds from my Window: It is a first person account of all the birds the author has spotted from his window. Even the dull, monotone sketches are a bit of a dampner, the stories are very descriptive on avian behaviour.

Birds of Sanjay Gandhi National Park: This is something every bird enthusiast must have in his or her possession. It is fairly technical and has a detailed listing of all the birds and their characteristics, along with a list of common species that are to be found in that area. Even though it is detailed, this is probably good for those who have some birding experience and tramp about the park with a guide or group.

Birds of Mumbai: I hit upon this jackpot when I was at the Strand Bookstall. I could not decide between another bird book and one on butterflies. But eventually, this book by Sanjay Monga won me over. It has segregated areas of Mumbai into habitats like urban, forest, grassland, etc. Each area has a list of birds that one may come across, with a brief description — and an illustration!

This is what I love. Sanjay Monga teamed up with a J.J. School of Arts student, who has a great job of painting each and every bird that has been listed in the book. The rarer birds are not accompanied with an illustrations but that's ok. This book has helped me identify quite a few birds from the 'Urban Areas' section. If you are new to bird watching, pick 'Birds of Mumbai' by Sanjay Monga.

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