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Advanced Bird ID Guide [Paperback]

Nils Van Duivendijk
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
RRP: £14.99
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Book Description

25 July 2010
This innovative guide will be an essential addition to the library of any serious birder. It accurately describes every key detail of every plumage of all 1,000 species that have ever occurred in Britain, Europe, North Africa and the Middle East the region known to all keen birdwatchers as the Western Palearctic. Its level of detail is unprecedented for a book of this size, and it will be sought after by all bird enthusiasts. A large number of existing bird field guides cover Europe and the Western Palearctic. This, however, is a guide with a difference. It has no colour plates or illustrations, but instead its unique selling point is that for every species the detailed text lists the key characters of each recognizable plumage, including male, female, immature, juvenile, all subspecies and all other variations. This level of detail includes, for example, all eleven forms of Canada goose and all nine forms of yellow wagtail known in the region. In the past such in-depth detail has only been available in huge multi-volume tomes such as Birds of the Western Palearctic. The Advanced Bird ID Guide enables birders to take this information into the field for the first time. The detailed yet concise nature of the guide means that the original Dutch edition of this title became an instant classic when it was published in 2002. UK birders who know of the Dutch edition have been eagerly awaiting an English-language version for many years, so this is an exciting opportunity for New Holland in terms of publishing a cutting-edge bird book. The book will be endorsed by the renowned journal British Birds, which has been running for more than 100 years and which has a dedicated and enthusiastic readership.

Frequently Bought Together

Advanced Bird ID Guide + Advanced Bird ID Handbook + Collins Bird Guide
Price For All Three: £46.35

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Product details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: New Holland (25 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847736076
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847736079
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 212,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nils van Duivendijk lives in the Netherlands. He is the author of the award-winning The Advanced Bird ID Guide and Advanced Bird ID Handbook.
Nils took his first steps into the world of birding at the age of 9 when on holiday on one of the Dutch Wadden Islands, and from this moment he already had a great interest in bird ID. From his mid-twenties he started to study bird ID in a more systematic way, became a member of, and then chairman of, the Dutch Rarities Committee and published the precursor to the 'Advanced bird ID books' in Dutch in 2002: the Dutch Birding Kenmerkengids.
For getting field experience and studying certain species he has travel through most European countries, Israel, India, Kazakhstan, China en North-America; his passion for discovering more and new ID features will be never-ending. The Dutch Wadden Islands Texel and Vlieland are still one of his favourite birding destinations.

Product Description


"A mind-blowingly vast array of field characteristics" --, July 6, 2010

"This book is great. In many ways it's better than expected." --, July 6, 2010

If you're serious about your birding, and especially if you travel widely in the Western Palearctic, then this is going to be pretty essential -- Bird Watching magazine, August 2010

It is so groundbreaking in both content and ease of use that it is bound to become one of the classic works in birdwatching literature -- Sunday Express, August 2010

"A mind-boggling repository of information in a simple and readily accessible format, the like of which cannot be found anywhere else in a single pocket-sized volume.... This is a book to be taken seriously"
-- Birdwatch magazine, October 2010

"It's like no other field guide, indeed bird book of any kind, that you will have seen before... it's a must-have"
--British Birds magazine, November 2010

"ground-breaking research" --Sunday Express

"Advanced birders in the Western Palearctic will want this book!"
--Birdbooker Report

'Bird Book of the Year'
--Birdwatch magazine, February 2011

About the Author

Nils van Duivendijk is an ornithologist and author based in the Netherlands. He is a regular contributor to Dutch Birding and other esteemed ornithological journals.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential kit for Birders 9 Oct 2010
By Birdnut
This amazing book (in association with top birders journal British Birds) describes all the field marks of all the birds (1,300 forms/races) of the Western Palearctic. With this book you have all the pointers to be able to age, sex and race any bird you are likely to see in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The only illustrations are the bird topography drawings near the front of the book, and there are no distribution maps. Certainly do not let this put you off - this book is absolutely crammed with cutting edge identification criteria.
Design is modern, crisp and looks very 'workmanlike' and thorough. Size wise it's about the same as an average paperback. The design is very pleasing on the eye. All the relevant ID pointers are presented in 'bullet form' underneath the species heading, with the most key at the top, and then listing others in order of relevance. Starting with field marks to identify the species in 'All plumages', all the pointers to ID the bird in adult and juvenile/immature plumages (at different times of the year) are included. Where relevant you also get key pointers to identify the birds in flight, key behaviour, any key calls or songs, notes on key moult patterns, and other interesting notes that help ID certain species.
It is extremely thorough when dealing with races. For instance, in the superb Collins Bird Guide (2nd edition), one race of Eider is described (mollissima). The Advanced Bird ID Guide describes a further 4 races - Northern Eider (borealis), Dressers Eider (dresseri) a race from North America recently confirmed in Europe, Pacific Eider (v-nigra) a possible vagrant, and a race from Shetland and the Faroes (faroeensis).
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! 18 Aug 2010
A field guide with no pictures sounds bizarre, but this is an amazing book for getting to grips with trickier IDs. It's not for absolute beginners - you'll have to have narrowed you bird ID down to a few similar species first - but all the plumage details in one place, displayed in simple bullet-point form, is an act of simple genius. You can only imagine the tireless hours that went in to compiling it.

I'd recommend every birder grabs a copy of this, it's a superb piece of work.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different kind of bird guide 27 Sep 2010
By D34H
I found it hard to believe that a bird guide could be so different. I was wrong because here it is!

This book, unlike others, does not contain pictures to aid identification. At this point, you might start to panick but there is no need. The layout is simple - concise detailed checklists of the finer points of identification for the range of species found in the area covered. As has been mentioned by other people, this may not be suitable for some beginners but I would certainly consider this a worthwhile point of reference for the majority of birdwatchers who want a quick reminder of various aspects of bird identification.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars European Bird ID - Degree Level 7 Jan 2011
By Bill
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This guy deserves every tribute for an amazing work.

The idea, the layout, the meticulous factual information, the coverage.
The whole package.
First class.

It summarises the sort of information sometimes only available from in-depth identification papers yet in a concise, succinct format.
No wonder it is endorsed by British Birds magazine.

Treat it as your first year degree text in European Bird Identification.

Thus don't venture into it unless you have passed GCSE and AS grade with Svensson, Mullarney & Zetterstroem from Collins,
preferably together with the A2-level classics from the Macmillan stable in the 90s:
Harris, Tucker & Vinicombe for Britain;
Harris, Shirihai & Christie for rest of Europe.

My birding 11-plus was in the days of the good old Observer books followed up by Peterson's vintage field guide.
How bird books and the level of detail have come on since then.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 26 Dec 2010
By JimmyG
I think every birder should have a copy of this book. It's perfect for identifying rarer species or separating subspecies. If you're not familiar with the rarer species it can be very handy for telling you just what to look for in order to clinch the ID - something I could have done with on several painful occasions in the past! Even if you are familiar with them the book contains features that you won't have noticed before. There is always more to learn!

However, I wouldn't recommend this book for somebody just starting out or who is relatively inexperienced.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bird Giude without illustrations? 15 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Advanced Bird guide is unusual as it has no illustrations but it works very well. It does mean that you need a knowledge of bird anatomy and plumage but this is worth learning anyway and there is a very good illustrated guide in the book which tells you all you need to know. Most people will use the book to compliment a conventional field guide. It is most uesful when trying to separate similar species it has helped me already. Ti is also very good value for money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can never have too much information 5 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What an awesome guide! It is packed with all the information that will give you the confidence that you've made the correct bird ID. It is probably aimed at the more experienced birder, and doesn't have any illustrations. If you're new to birding, don't let that put you off. I've been seriously birding for only a couple of years now and use the Advanced Guide in conjunction with my Collins Bird Guide (another must have). I've had to buy some cargo trousers so that I can carry both guides comfortably.
It's great for distinguishing between the confusion species. It allowed me to identify a Willow Tit and not a Marsh Tit even though I hadn't heard it calling. You won't regret buying the Advanced Bird ID Guide, I haven't!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Experts only
This is a very, very comprehensive guide so not for the novice, but with accurate observations, there should be nothing you cannot identify with this book.
Published 2 months ago by DeiryMe
5.0 out of 5 stars My opinion on Nils Van Duivendijk's "Advanced Bird Guide..."
The Advanced Bird Guide: ID of Every Plumage of Every Western Paleartic is an afordable companion to accurate identification birds in the countryside, with inteligent clues to... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Juan Rafael Suárez
5.0 out of 5 stars A very different bird guide!
If you rely on your bird guides to all be full of beautiful illustrations then this isn't the book for you - it doesn't have a single picture!!! Read more
Published 8 months ago by FWBirder
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good handbook
Contains useful info for species identification in field or by picture. Note that there are no pictures inside but detailed descriptions for the whole lot of Western Palearctic... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Elena
2.0 out of 5 stars Early edition
Superseded by the second edition (Advanced Bird ID Handbook) so of less worth. The concept is to identify birds in the field by a series of statements describing their... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Martin Johnson
3.0 out of 5 stars with paintings it would be better
A lot of information also about identification of subspecies . The taxonomy used splits too much, with, for example, Yellow Wagtails divided into 9 species
Published 17 months ago by Boscain Pier Giorgio
1.0 out of 5 stars Money wasted
Fabulous amount of detail if you dont die of boredom while reading the first paragraph. Idea of words and nothing else in a field guide is a bit (a huge bit) lame, wish I didn't... Read more
Published on 14 Jun 2012 by G. S. Palmer
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
I wanted something more definitive than the usual field guides but I found this book very difficult to use in the field. Read more
Published on 4 May 2011 by Mik
4.0 out of 5 stars Advanced Bird Guide
Packed with very detailed information and a very useful adjunct to the Collins Guide. Probably too detailed for the less experienced birder. Read more
Published on 1 April 2011 by Peter, Telford
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