Reviews

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa (5th Edition)

My dad is what I would call a jack of many trades, but one of his passions is and always has been birds. I grew up with him pointing out the different birds to me and learning to identify their calls, his knowledge to this day still astounds me. The circle has continued, and so I’ve also taught my own two children about the birds we see daily in our garden, while we’re out and about, and also when we’re away on holiday. The variety and beauty of birds that inhabit our country still amaze me, and I have so much to learn about them all.

So we were very excited to receive the new Sasol Birds of Southern Africa (5th Edition). My children are at the stage when they want to know more about the birds we see, and so it’s a wonderful resource to use to learn more about the birds we already know and widen our knowledge of the birds we are still discovering. My advice is to keep the guide easily accessible, so when you spot a bird soaring overhead or drinking water at your bird bath you can quickly look it up.

The book has comprehensive coverage of Southern Africa’s birds, it has been brought up to date by its expert author panel and features additional contributions from two new birding experts. The plates have been enhanced with over 800 new illustrations, including all new illustrated plates for raptors and seabirds, as well as fully revised text (with latest species records), maps and plate annotations.

A new exciting feature is the ability to scan and play over 1000 bird calls using the free downloadable Struik Nature Call App. This bird-call feature means you can scan barcodes in the book using your smart phone and play bird calls making it the perfect companion app.

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa (5th Edition) is updated and revised with extensive new artwork as well as access to bird calls, making it an excellent choice to add to your bookshelf whether you’re an avid birder or just want to learn more about the birds in your own garden. I can’t wait to tuck this into our bag when we travel to the Drakensberg or venture off the beaten track at a game reserve. There are so many incredible birds still awaiting to be discovered by us.

We also received the new Sasol Checklist of Birds in Southern Africa. This handy pocket sized book lists all the birds to be seen in the region and allows you to keep track of where and when you spotted them. It includes up to date names for all Southern African birds as well as endemic and threat status for all birds. It’s perfect to cross reference to the new Sasol Birds of Southern Africa (5th Edition) and a fantastic way to track your sightings with six columns for multiple recordings at six different localities.

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa (5th Edition) is available in bookstores and online retailers for a recommended retail price of R370. It’s also available in Afrikaans. The Sasol Checklist of Birds in Southern Africa is available for R50 and it’s also available in English and Afrikaans.

Thanks to Penguin Random House for adding this incredible field guide to our bookshelf.

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