Birding Field Guides
It can be hard to know which birding field guides to buy when preparing for overseas birding tours. On this page we list the field guides that we ourselves will be using and highly recommend that those joining us do so too so that we are all on the “same page” so to speak. We hope that following book reviews help you to select the field guide that best fits you and the tour you choose.
Central Asia Field Guides
Birds of Central Asia
An essential field guide for any birder travelling to this intriguing region that covers six “-stans”. This is an excellent publication in the Helm series and we recommend using this field guide on our Kazakhstan birding tour. This is one of the best field guides on the market that deals with a whole region rather than a specific country.
Read our review here – Birds of Central Asia
East Asia Field Guides
Birds of East Asia
A comprehensive and user-friendly guide to this exciting region, this packs a lot of birds into a fairly compact (if a little heavy) book. We recommend using this field guide on our South Korea birding tours as well as our trips to China. In the absence of a specific book for several countries in the area this is the best of the regional guides.
Read our review here – Birds of East Asia
Birds of Mongolia
This was a long-awaited addition to the series of field guides published by Helm/Princeton and, in our opinion, it is the best field guide specifically compiled for this amazing country. We recommend using this publication on our Mongolia birding tours; it is a high-quality guide which is light weight and user-friendly.
Read our review here – Birds of Mongolia
South Asia Field Guides
Birds of Sri Lanka
A light weight field guide that specifically deals with the birds of Sri Lanka and is easy to carry in the field due to its slim size. This is the publication we recommend to use on our Sri Lank endemics birding tour. This is a good quality book with very good illustrations and high level of user-friendliness.
Read our review here – Birds of Sri Lanka
South East Asia Field Guides
Birds of Borneo
Dedicated to the birds of the island of Borneo this is a massive improvement on older field guides to this bird-rich area. It is great to have a book to recommend for birding in Borneo after struggling with the older, sub-standard guide on past visits. This is a compact and well-ordered book which is easy to use in the field.
Read our review here – Birds of Borneo Field Guide
Birds of Cambodia
This excellent and lightweight field guide, available with a soft cover, is the one we recommend for use on our Cambodia birding tours. Written to be relevant to all taxonomic lists this is an excellent addition to reference material for birders visiting this bird-rich country. This is the first field guide specifically dealing with Cambodian birds.
Read our review here – Birds of Cambodia Field Guide
Birds of Malaysia
This is an up to date field guide that unusually covers both Peninsula Malaysia but also the states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo. Recommended for all the tours we run in Peninsula Malaysia and Borneo this well-organized field guide is relevant to all birders regardless of which taxonomic list they follow.
Read our review here – Birds of Malaysia Field Guide
Birds of Southeast Asia
This is the most up-to-date field guide that covers the birds of the whole region. Although we recommend field guides that cover specific countries, this guide can be used when traveling to more than one country. The version with this cover is the one we recommend as other versions are less up to date.
Read our review here – Birds of Southeast Asia
Birds of Thailand
This field guide for Thailand was an overdue addition to the birding literature which superceded several very out-of-date older publications. We recommend using this field guide on all of our Thailand birding tours. Now available in a hard or soft cover version the information contained within is invaluable, user-friendly and up-to-date.
Read our review here –Birds of Thailand
Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago
One of the most ambitious birding field guides that combines an increased coverage of Indonesia from any book that preceded it along with a taxonomic review. This is the field guide we recommend to use on all of our Indonesia birding tours. Although this book takes a little getting used to, it is far superior to anything else on the market for this huge country.
Read our review here – Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago
Birds of Vietnam
The first ever field guide specifically published for this country filled with endemic species. It is incredible that it took so long for Vietnam to get its own birding field guide. This is the publication we recommend for our tours to Vietnam. Available in a soft cover this is a light, easy-to-use and comprehensive guide that is essential for birders visiting this great location.
Read our review here – Birds of Vietnam