Bird Migration in Africa: movements between six continents. By Kai Curry-Lindahl. Academic Press, 1981. 2 vols, lxxxix + 695 pages; many text maps; 32 monochrome plates. Vol. 1, £41.40; vol. 2, £20.60. A price which is unusually high, coupled with the reputation of the publishing house, suggests that here is something rather special. Indeed, with a distinguished author, and a statement in the preface that the draft outline was prepared as long ago as 1961,I expected a major work. In the event, I found it grandiose rather than grand, seriously out of date (the manuscript was apparently completed in 1977) and very uneven in its treatment. In his preface, the author writes 'It was indeed pretentious to attempt writing another book on bird migration in Africa so soon after Moreau's last book was published. That I humbly tried to do so was not only motivated by my contractual commitment, but also by the fact that there are subject areas which were either not touched upon by Moreau or were left incomplete.' Later he comments 'Particularly important in this respect are the two masterly major works by R. E. Moreau: "Bird Faunas of Africa and its Islands" (1966) and "PalearcticAfrican Bird Migration Systems" (1972) which stand out as two synthesising pillars of knowledge.' How true an assessment, and how sad that his own work offers so little that is new, whether of fact or of synthesis. 

Issue 2
Start Page: 
Spencer, R
Sharrock, D. J. T. R
Display Image: 

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

Subscribe Now