Get 30% off John MacKinnon’s New Guide to the Birds of China

MacKinnon flyer

by Craig Brelsford


The successor to John MacKinnon’s landmark Field Guide to the Birds of China is on its way. Publication of the new Guide to the Birds of China will occur in the United Kingdom in November and in the United States in February 2022. Oxford University Press, publisher of the Guide, is offering a 30 percent discount to readers who order now. Use the promo code ASPROMP8 and click this link.

Your price of £26.59 or $34.97 for your paperback copy is highly reasonable, considering what you will be getting. (Disclosure: I served as a consultant and proofreader on the project.) The Guide preserves all the goodness and usefulness of its predecessor, which is the most influential book about China’s birds ever published in any language. The new Guide has up-to-date taxonomy, improved maps, and QR codes linking to sound-recordings on Like the original work, the Guide covers every species of bird in China.


John MacKinnon has played a major role in the development of MacKinnon has authored posts for the site, he has visited Shanghai and birded with the team, and he has served as a consultant and inspiration from the very beginning.

Read the posts MacKinnon has authored for

Great Grey Owl

Daxing’anling: Kingdom of the Great Owls: MacKinnon describes his experiences with the owls of the Greater Khingan Range in northern Inner Mongolia. “I meet her two boyfriends,” writes MacKinnon. “One has got wet in the night rain and looks rather miserable with straggly wet feathers.”

Grey Wolf

MacKinnon in the Altai Mountains of Xinjiang: The visit of the pioneering naturalist included an encounter with wolves and records of Willow Ptarmigan and Rock Ptarmigan. “We emerged on top of the world,” MacKinnon writes, “with views way into the distance across the Mongolian border.”

Spotted Laughingthrush

Well-spotted in the Bamboo: MacKinnon introduces the bird community of Jinfoshan, the highest peak in the Dalou Mountains in the city-province of Chongqing. “Whilst colleagues … swarmed the site with an array of expensive cameras and optics,” MacKinnon writes, “I stayed deep in the forests, looking for laughingthrushes.”


The Artistry of Karen Phillipps: In this post, written exclusively for, MacKinnon describes the qualities that made the late Karen Phillipps a great wildlife artist. “She had a unique, inimitable style,” MacKinnon writes. “Her pictures are clean, vibrant, and beautiful.”

See also


Exclusive Interview with John MacKinnon: On the occasion of the publication of his Guide to the Birds of China, the pioneering naturalist talks with about his new book, his long career in Asia, and the many attractions that mega-diverse China offers to birders.

John MacKinnon

John MacKinnon in Shanghai: We gave the great naturalist the Cape Nanhui Grand Tour, noting 84 species, among them Oriental Plover. A fine storyteller and keen wit, MacKinnon had us roaring with tales drawn from his six decades as a researcher in Asia.

field guide

MacKinnon’s new Guide and classic Field Guide: The Guide to the Birds of China, published in 2022, and its predecessor, the Field Guide to the Birds of China, published in 2000, are the most influential books ever written about the birds of China. Birders from Xinjiang to Hainan have come to depend on MacKinnon’s monumental works.

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Published by

Craig Brelsford

Craig Brelsford is the founder of Brelsford lived in Shanghai from 2007 to 2018. Now back home in Florida, Brelsford maintains close ties to the Shanghai birding community and continues his enthusiastic development of this website. When Brelsford departed China, he was the top-ranked eBirder in that country, having noted more than 930 species. Brelsford was also the top-ranked eBirder in Shanghai, with more than 320 species. Brelsford’s photos of birds have won various awards and been published in books and periodicals and on websites all over the world. Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, published in its entirety on this website, is the most Shanghai-centric field guide ever written. Brelsford is a graduate of the University of Florida and earned a master's in business administration at the University of Liege, Belgium.

3 thoughts on “Get 30% off John MacKinnon’s New Guide to the Birds of China

  1. People in PRC China, Taiwan and Hong Kong should be able to pre-order through the OUP site—you can change the country of origin in the top right. Here is the link, with country set to China:

    Shipping outside of Europe and the US is £11. It may take up to 21 days for books to arrive outside Europe.

    PS: UK publication will almost certainly be in December 2021, not November, as originally planned.

    Charles Bath
    Project Editor, Academic Science (Biology)
    Oxford University Press

    1. Pre-ordered!

      Are we able to take a quick peak of what’s inside? Very happy that plates and descriptions are now put together.

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