Mike Nelson has kindly sent us his review.
The Birds of Borneo - BOU Checklist series: 23
Clive F. Mann
I took this to Borneo with me in August of 2009 when I visited Sabah. This hard bound book was light enough to take into the field, but it remained in my room to look over at night.
After the first couple of pages there are pages of lists for tables, figures, plates and illustrations. Then follows an introduction with the history of Borneo with following paragraphs on Geography, Geology, Topography and Climate, which were helpful in the planning stages of my visit. Vegetation is next with all the different styles of habitat one might encounter. A history of Ornithology in Borneo comes after that with some information about some of the major players in Bornean Ornithology like Diard, Everett, Whitehead and Hose to name a few that also have birds named after them. The Bornean Avifauna is covered with Taxonomy and nomenclature with a list of the Endemics.
The main body of the book starts here with a glossary of abbreviations and status codes as well as local terms, abbreviations for museums and the initials of the observers listed in the text.
Each family is listed, with the species occurring in that family following. Each species is given its status in the form of a code plus distribution for each of the states of Borneo in which it occurs, info about the habitat in which it occurs and breeding status. Some include some taxonomic notes if necessary.
The middle of the book has some nice photos of habitat followed by some nice photos of some of the birds one is likely to encounter. A gazetteer in the back is very handy especially if you have a GPS for all the of the main sites in Sarawak, Brunei, Sabah, Kalimantan Timur, Kalimantan Tengah, Kalimantan Selatan, Kalimantan Barat and offshore islands are all listed with coordinates.
Finally, a good 30 pages of references is followed by an index of Scientific names then English names.
Overall this is great checklist to have if you want to do research before you go and while visiting. It also came in handy afterwards to check similar species that might occur in the same regions but different habitat. It was quite good at naming the sites within the states where the species had been recorded along with the altitude where they were seen. I would recommend this for anyone visiting Borneo.
Mike Nelson 2011