Book reviews

If you’re planning a trip to North America and you’re into gulls, you’ll find this a really accessible book that will help you to make the most of your experience out there. If you have a passion for gulls in Britain, then I also thoroughly recommend this book. The combination of simple approach, brilliant photos and the readable style encourages all birders to dip their toes into the wonderful world of gulls!

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Birders often choose where to live based, in part, on the opportunities for watching wildlife. The proximity of high-quality wildlife sites might be your greatest priority. Or perhaps the potential of a wildlife garden would be the most important factor. Simon Barnes manages to have it both ways…

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This is the latest offering in the Lynx and BirdLife International Field Guides Collection and covers all of the West Indies except Trinidad & Tobago and the Netherlands Antilles…

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This new photographic identification guide to the world’s pelagic birds is a comprehensive, authoritative and impressive volume…

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The subject of rewilding has received wide publicity recently, yet not too long ago this concept was familiar to just a handful of enthusiasts. It is the notion of taking large parts of the countryside and letting much of it revert back to what it looked like before either the agricultural or the industrial revolution. To many people this is just a fanciful idea that simply will not happen, because too few people really care about wildlife and because governments will always seek to please the majority and take decisions that reduce our national debt. However, within the rewilding model is an overall message that if we think only on a small scale, we will never manage to maintain habitats that support many of our currently declining bird species…

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Ospreys are, by and large, a good news story. They are recovering rapidly from past declines caused by persecution and the harmful effects of pesticides. Humans now help, rather than hinder, by putting up platforms to increase nesting opportunities and, increasingly, by translocating young birds to speed up their return to areas from which they have been lost…

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The Eagle Owl

Book reviews // 09.12.2019

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Given that the Eagle Owl is one of the world’s largest owls and occurs in most Western Palearctic countries, it comes as something of a surprise that this is the first book dedicated to it. These authors have brought together everything that is currently known about the species from studies across its range, not least from their own research, spanning 30 years in Spain, Italy, France and Finland…

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Garden Birds

Book reviews // 12.11.2019

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A lot of books, articles and leaflets have been written on and around the subject of garden birds and bird gardening, by numerous authors (me included). The appearance of one in the prestigious New Naturalist series (No. 140) might raise eyebrows, but this is something rather different. This is not a ‘popular’ or purely advisory book, but a work of ornithology in the true meaning of the word…

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Landfill

Book reviews // 12.11.2019

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This small, compact book of 23 mainly rather short chapters is, for the most part, an engaging and interesting read. There are parts of it, though, which I find a little difficult to follow: this may be just some intellectual failing on my part, of course, but I’m afraid I found them a trifle bewildering…

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When you include the early Croom Helm and Pica Press editions, the Helm Identification Series now extends to over 50 titles, but this is the first to focus on Africa. It covers all 107 raptor species that occur in Africa either as breeding species or as migrants…

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