Basics: softcover; illustrates nearly all 740+ species found in the Pantanal and Cerrado habitat zones of south-central Brazil; majority of species shown with only 1 illustration unless differences exist between the genders; artwork by several artists is of very good quality; paragraph of text focuses mostly on description, identification, and similar species; short notes given on voice, habitat, and distinctive behaviors; range map shows separate color for resident, austral vagrants, and boreal vagrants along with state borders and major rivers
Nearly all 740+ species are illustrated by very good color plates. Despite being done by several different artists, the artistry blends well together. The proportions, colors, and field marks are to be commended. The only two features that stand out for minor criticism is the somewhat diffused or muted colors on many plates. I can't tell if this is due to the printing or to the artistic style. Second, many of the birds are shown by only a single illustration. However, the distinct male/female plumages are shown when any differences exist. And, some birds such as parrots, hawks, swallows, nightjars, and shorebirds are shown in flight.
In the format of a typical field guide, a paragraph of text is found directly across from the illustrated bird. This material focuses mostly on describing the bird, pointing out key identification features, and comparing similar species. I find this text to be very good as well as complete. It easily exceeds the amount of identification material found in any other Brazilian field guide to date (e.g. books by Honkala, van Perlo, Sigrist, Souza, Develey). Additional, brief notes are provided to outline the bird's habitat, describe its vocalizations, and to give useful tips on distinctive behaviors.
A nice touch with this book is putting in an indication of the bird being endemic. Next to each Brazilian endemic, you will see a small Brazilian flag. And, if the bird is a near-endemic, meaning it's found primarily in Brazil, only half of the flag is shown by the bird's name. This tiny touch can be very useful for anyone who may be unfamiliar with the region's birds.
If you go birding in the Pantanal or the Cerrado, it would be a mistake to not use this book. No other book would really be needed unless you simply like to have additional illustrations on hand. – (written by Jack at Avian Review with sample pages, February 2011)