Note: this is about the first ancestor of Birds of Tropical Asia 3.
Reviews of "Birds of Tropical Asia 1"
"Birds of Tropical Asia is a very cleverly put together CD-ROM which gives a great
insight into the audio and visual treasures of the region. (..) enhanced by the inclusion of
some truly stunning photographs. (..) I found the set-up and running of the CD extremely
straightforward (even without reading the instructions!) and the screen layout was very
user-friendly. Overall, the quality of the images (many of which are in the hand) on my
monitor was superb. Highlights for me included the tiny Rufous Piculet, barely bigger than the
thumb next to it, the vividly coloured Rail babbler, and the Giant Pitta which seemed to be
about to leap out of the monitor at me! There are some interesting recordings too. Listen to
the Taiwan Shortwing to see why this one is a potential split, or the Bar-bellied Pitta to
whet your appetite for a trip to Indochina! Equally pleasing was the inclusion of a few
seldom-heard species such as Cinnamon-rumped Trogon and Short-toed Coucal. I was also most
impressed by the additional information which gives geographical locations, maps, and even
other species in the background of the recordings. There is even a facility where you can sit
back and watch as a random series of images or sounds (or both) are flashed up in front of
you. This can be used to test yourself, as there is an option not to display the species names
and then review what was presented afterwards. (..) a fascinating, innovative and very well
put together CD-ROM which sets high standards for anyone thinking of putting together a
similar package. (..)" -- Pete Morris in the Oriental Bird Club (OBC)
Bulletin number 30, 1999.
"This fabulous resource is a very exciting addition to the ever-burgeoning catalogue
of resources available for lovers of Asian birds. .. The layout is simple and easy to use, the
species list is extensive and exciting - 21 cuckoos, 15 pheasants and partridges, 20 owls,17
barbets, 80 babblers (!), 55 warblers and so on. As far as I know it's the most extensive
collection of sound recording available for the area and the first available on CD-ROM. Birds
of Tropical Asia covers the avifauna of an extensive area from Southern China to the
Philippines, Indonesia to the Indian subcontinent. Not included are the Moluccas and southern
Japan. One of my favourite features of the CD-ROM is the "Slides and Sounds Show"
function, which allows the user to play a random selection of photos and sounds - this a fine
.. A search option does allow the user to find the English or scientific family or species
name or part of a name very quickly .. The location where each recording was made is given and
clicking on these brings up a map with the location marked ... The photos are generally of a
very high standard - I have heard at least one criticism that there are too many birds
pictured in the hand, personally I think this is not justified and enjoyed the close up
studies of some pretty cryptic species. ..
.. I have no hesitation in recommending the product..." -- Susan Myers in Australian
Birding, Summer 1999.
".. The images are just about all large and clear, although nearly all of the
passerines are trapped birds in the hand. The superb collection of sound recordings will be
even more valuable for the active birder. The CD-ROM format can hold an incredible amount,
with each recording and/or photograph just a click or two away ..." -- Steve Gantlett
in Birding World Vol. 13, nr. 2.
.... For each recording (typically one to three per species and occasionally up to
six), there is a sliding bar (clicking the arrow at the left starts the recording) surrounded
by additional information: length of the recording, when and where the recording was made
(including elevation, latitude, longitude, and a map); a letter (A to E) indicating the
quality of the recording; a notation of the vocalization type (song, call, alarm note, etc.);
and, if there are pictures of the selected species, a small photo which can be enlarged by
clicking it. Background species are noted, and identification certainties for various species
are given. Some may find that this is more information than they need, but I feel differently.
Many species and subspecies, tropical and otherwise, have different vocalizations in different
areas, so location information can be very important. (I wish that ABA-Area CDs and CD-ROMs
did this!) As to the need for identification certainty ratings, I can only point out that
inaccurate recordings of rails and marsh sparrows on well-known recordings of ABA birds have
confused birders for decades. And, while some of our marsh birds are notorious for hiding,
most could take secrecy lessons from rain-forest denizens. In other words, I view the
certainty rating as overdue honesty in recognizing the difficulties of recording in the rain
forest and in identifying areas in need of more work.
... the treatment and documentation of their data (especially the vocalizations) are
among the best commercially available to date. As such, they are well worth their list price
(...), and I only hope that Bird Songs International continues to update them and produce
similar products for other regions."--Michael R. Hannisian in Birding
33(1): 86-88, February 2001. This is a review of all our three CD-ROMs (also Birds of Venezuela and Birds of
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