By MICHAEL LISTER. (Phoenix House, London, 1956). 256 pages. 45s. IT IS curious that The Bird Watcher's Reference Book should have appeared at about the same time as The Ornithologists' Guide (see antea, vol. xlix, p p . 504-505). Both have developed independently from the same unusual idea of providing a background of information of value to the practical bird watcher who wishes to make some contribution to his subject, and it is remarkable that the approach of each book is so different. The first part of this reference book is ecological in outlook- The author deals with habitats, and factors which affect the growth and distribution of the main types of British vegetation; there is guidance on identification (a number of trees and grasses are sketched), methods of keeping records of vegetation are given, and a list of ornithological habitat-types is included. The importance of the weather is becoming more widely recognised; directions are given on the interpretation of a weather map, and a number of meteorological principles are explained. A feature which cannot fail to receive favourable mention here is a chapter giving advice on points to be watched in writing a paper. A large part of the book is devoted to a glossary, giving general information on a great number of ornithological terms together with their equivalents in German, Dutch and French. There is also a directory which covers some 650 bird-periodicals published all over the world, and information on about 70 birdobservatories and ringing schemes.
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