Birds in Colour. By Walter Higham. (Collins, 1945). Price 25s. T H I S book comes as something of a shock to those who are acquainted with the excellence of the colour rendering in Mr. Higham's cinematograph films. The gap between colour transparencies and reproductions on paper is still great in spite of the extravagant claims made by publishers. One can state a t once t h a t if any ornithologist entertains the idea of using colour photograph reproductions for illustrating precisely colour values in such biological problems as are concerned with them, he will a t t h e moment be doomed to disappointment. As an example, the reviewer turned to the photograph of a Tawny Owl to discover whether it depicted a bird in the brown or in the rufous phase. It is quite impossible to tell. However, on more general grounds t h a n this t h e colour plates still fail t o achieve a standard t h a t one might reasonably require. Blues usually appear far too %'ivid (the Kingfisher pictures are quite painful to regard) and greens are exceptionally tricky, often erring on the yellow side and turning browni sh very abruptly as they pale. I t is also noticeable how t h e intensity of t h e light affects the colours: this is seen in the two photographs of the Robin on the same plate and in the four pictures of Merlins. In the latter case the difference in
Volume: 
Issue 11

Stay at the forefront of British birding by taking out a subscription to British Birds.

Subscribe Now