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 xeno-canto.org. Like the original work, the Guide covers every species of bird in China.
MORE ON JOHN MACKINNON
John MacKinnon has played a major role in the development of shanghaibirding.com. MacKinnon has authored posts for the site, he has visited Shanghai and birded with the shanghaibirding.com team, and he has served as a consultant and inspiration from the very beginning.
Read the posts MacKinnon has authored for shanghaibirding.com:
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.”
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.”
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 shanghaibirding.com, 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.”
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.
MacKinnon’s classic Field Guide: Published in 2000, MacKinnon’s Field Guide to the Birds of China is the most influential book ever written about the birds of China. Birders from Xinjiang to Hainan have come to depend on MacKinnon’s monumental work.