If you are a birder visiting the island of Montserrat, this small book will be a necessary purchase. It has a full checklist of birds found on the island as well as photos and descriptions of all the most important and most commonly seen species. Unlike many books, the birds are grouped by habitat—wetlands, forest, open-country—which is practical in many ways and allows the authors to describe the birds and their place within an ecological community at the same time.
The title of this book is a bit misleading…in a good way. It contains a great deal of useful information above and beyond birds and birding. This volume gives a short history of the island, an overview of its geology, maps, directions and images of trails and points of interest and an overview of the non-bird vertebrates of the island. It even has notes on traditional uses of plants and highlights a few of the island’s insects and other invertebrates. It closes with a section of “Practical Information” covering transportation, shopping, dining and more.
Whether you think of it as a travel guide with a bird section or a bird guide with a travel guide added on, definitely get this book before your next trip to Montserrat. It is available as a PDF download for $8 or a print edition shipped internationally for 15 British Pounds, and you can purchase either both online. The book was written by Dr. Mike Pienkowski, Ann Pienkowski, Catherine Wensink, Sarita Francis and James “Scriber” Daley and published by the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum and Montserrat National Trust.