Field Guides to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean: what to take into the field

Go to All Blogs | Recommended Bird Field Guides Blogs | Antarctica Birding Tours | All our birding tours


antarctic wildlife

A Complete Guide to Antarctic Wildlife (Shirihai). This is the second edition, and, as the name implies, it is very complete. All the bird species from 30 degrees latitude south are covered in this guide. Many of the smaller islands are also covered, and if you are anywhere else on the Southern Ocean this will also help. The information is very detailed and complete, with excellent range maps.

seabirds guide

Seabirds: An Identification Guide (Harrison). Although quite dated now, this is still the standard guide for pelagic birds. Good plates and information, with separate maps at the back of the book.


Albatrosses, Petrels and Shearwaters of the World (Onley and Scofield). This might arguably be the best pelagic guide – comments welcome.

Birds of Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego & Antarctic Peninsula (Couve and Vidal). A useful photographic guide to take with you on an Antarctic trip. The photographs are good with many used for each species, although some of the pelagic species’ photographs could be improved! The species accounts are detailed, and the maps are well done. In our opinion the best field guide to take along when visiting the Falklands and South Georgia, as very few guides actually cover the terrestrial species of the area.

Field Guide to the Animals and Plants of Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island (Ryan). This neat little guide is the only bird guide to the South Atlantic islands of Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island. It covers all the wildlife and plants of the archipelago and has detailed information on all the bird species here, including vagrants.

Birding Ecotours

Join our newsletter for exclusive discounts and great birding information!

Thank you!