The Migrations of Birds. By Jean Dorst. Translated from the French by Constance D . Sherman. Heinemann, London, 1962. x i v + 4 7 6 pages; 131 figures in the text. 50s. The amateur migration enthusiast often longs for a comprehensive, readable book in English, which will make sense of the bewildering mass of migration literature, list all the important books and papers which he needs to read, and present a unified picture of the established facts and accepted theories about migration. This book, newly translated from the French, is comprehensive and readable, and it reviews the entire field of migration studies, but it makes little attempt at unification. Indeed, as its title implies, it places special emphasis on the variability of migratory behaviour. By quoting a large number of examples, the author gives an impressive documentation of the astonishing diversity in the migrations of birds, and demonstrates the dangers of hasty generalisations based on studies of individual species or of limited geographical areas. Almost half the book, in fact, is devoted to a survey, region by region, of the migrations of birds throughout the world. The chapters on Europe and North America are the most thorough, covering many of the best-studied species, but there are also chapters on migrations in the southern hemisphere and the tropics, and a long chapter on the migrations of sea-birds. This part of the book is packed with interesting (and largely unfamiliar) information, and it provides an unrivalled introduction to the migrations of
Issue 5

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