The field guide which includes all the species found in Malaŵi is Birds of Africa south of the Sahara by Sinclair and Ryan.
The excellent SASOL Birds of Southern Africa and Birds of East Africa contain many, but not all of the species found in Malaŵi.
The Southern African Birdfinder: Where to find 1,400 bird species in southern Africa must rank as one of the best 'Where to' guides for a region. It contains detailed information on sites, clear maps and directions and great photos.
Second edition, including 500 new images and 400 updated distribution maps. Unrivalled coverage of African birds in a single volume. 2129+ species covered with an additional 101 vagrants briefly described. Revised to reflect the latest changes in taxonomy. Species descriptions give precise identification features highlighting differences between similar species as well as briefly reporting habitat, status and call. Annotated illustrations portray distinctive plumages as well as diagnostic flight patterns and major geographic variants where applicable.
4th edition. The best field guide to the region with over 200 colour plates and numerous distribution maps. The Southern African region is Botwana, Lesotho, southern Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
This fourth edition has been greatly improved by the addition of group introductions, calendar bars showing species' occurrence and breeding periods, a section on 'how to use this book', as well as sonograms depicting the calls of tricky bird groups. The newly designed plates are meticulously illustrated, with labels pinpointing key differentiating features. Distribution maps show the relative abundance of a species in the region and also indicate resident or migrant status.
Written by top birders, this authoritative and comprehensive identification guide is invaluable to all birders. 464 pages.
Helm Field Guide covering Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. The first complete guide to this region. 3400 images of 1388 species illustrated on 287 superb new colour plates by Brian Small, John Gale and Norman Arlott. The text plus distribution map and the illustrations for each species are on facing pages. 632 pages.
2006. The ideal companion to all the local bird field guides. After an introduction to birding in the southern African region, the authors identify and describe more than 330 birding sites and associated birds across South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and, the little-documented but increasingly popular, areas of Angola, Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi. All sites are ranked into one of three categories of priority: essential (the regions best); excellent (top sites but expendable to a time-limited visitor) and local interest (ideal for those looking for new areas to explore). All sites include practical details of access, best times to visit, habitat diversity and general natural history.
Includes a fold-out map of the entire region that features all routes. A quick guide to finding the region's top 100 birds and an annotated checklist conclude the book.
"Written by three of the most experienced birders in the region, they have poured their experience into its production and this really shows in the level of detail and coverage." - Martin Fowlie, BTO.
The rich bird life of Malaŵi has long been one of the better-documented avifaunas of Africa, since Belcher (1930) and then Benson and Benson (1977). This book brings the picture up-to-date, with detailed accounts of the 650 species known (including nearly 100 migrants from Eurasia). For each there are sections on distribution, ecology, status and movements, conservation, breeding seasons (where applicable) and taxonomy, the whole based on extensive fieldwork supported by some 700 published references. There are clear atlas maps for all but vagrants, as well as details of ringing recoveries and a gazetteer of 400 localities. In 80 pages, the introductory chapters review such topics as vegetation and major bird habitats, biogeography, conservation and a history of ornithological exploration in Malaŵi. 16 pages of colour photos illustrate the habitats of Malawi as well as a dozen of the more interesting bird species.
Françoise Dowsett-Lemaire and Robert Dowsett have an unequalled knowledge of the birds of Malaŵi. They have travelled and camped throughout the country, especially during 5 years' residence, and Robert had previously studied the wildlife of neighbouring Zambia over 17 years. They are also co-authors of the standard works on the mammals of Malaŵi (Ansell & Dowsett 1988) and the forest flora (White, Dowsett-Lemaire & Chapman 2001). 16 colour plates, 625 species distribution maps. 556 pages.