Book reviews

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

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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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This book is highly recommended for all aficionados of this charismatic raptor, which is now well established in many areas of the UK and hopefully will soon become a regular sight throughout these islands…

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This is the first field guide to the birds of Mongolia, a country now firmly on the map for world birders thanks to a suite of very special birds, including the elegant Oriental Plover, the enormous Black-billed Capercaillie and the enigmatic Relict Gull…

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As with all repeat regional atlases on such a fine scale, this is an important and extremely valuable tool for conservationists. It is an absorbing read and a must for local birders and collectors of atlases…

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With its slate-blue cover and bright orange endpapers, as well as numerous full-page photographs, this book is every bit as striking and colourful as the Red-footed Falcon itself…

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