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Birds Britannica Hardcover – 1 Sep 2005

29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus; 1st Edition edition (1 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701169079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701169077
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 4.3 x 28.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 165,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

As readable as it is magnificent, this cultural study of Britain's birds examines 350 species in detail and features 500 color photographs and illustrations.

Book Description

Another magnificent achievement and a unique work of huge importance - a handsome, easy-to-read, comprehensive cultural and social study, species by species, of all the birds in Britain. Companion volume to Flora Britannica.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. Oxby on 18 Jun. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not a book to be read from beginning to end, but one to be dipped into for information. You will consult it for the answer to your specific query, then you'll be drawn in further and further; until, suddenly, you'll realise an hour has gone by and you're still reading, but you're reading about a completely different bird and you're making exclamations to yourself such as "Good grief, I never knew that!", "How did they find that out?!" and "Absolutely amazing!", etc, etc. A gripping read without you realising you've been gripped. A tour de force. Worth every penny.
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64 of 67 people found the following review helpful By W. Thurgood on 9 Dec. 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book deserves all its accolades and more.A rich plum pudding of a book, full of fruitful vignettes.Like all great works,we can only wonder why it has taken so long for British publishing to get around to filling such an obvious gap in our bird literature.Any one with even just the slightest interest in the birds on their garden bird table would savour this book.All of us birdwatchers and birders will have to own this book and enjoy reading every syllable of it.A supreme masterpiece on a par with the best bird books ever written.Indeed,who's to say this is not the best bird book ever written?
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. J. Atkinson on 29 Dec. 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is the warm, authorative but friendly book of British birds that every bird lover needs. It covers each distinct type of bird and has plenty of interesting facts and anecdotal stories to lift it above being a stuffy encyclopaedia of birds. The pictures and illustrations are perfect for the book. Highly recommended.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER on 31 Oct. 2007
Format: Hardcover
There are literally hundreds of Bird Books on the shelves of Bookshops these days. Why do we need so many? Well we don't really, apart, that is, for the fact that printing techniques, particularly colour ones, have changed so dramatically that photographs virtually leap off the page at you. For example, a Robin looks the same now as it did a hundred years ago, so the bird book I had thirty, or even twenty years ago should depict the Robin in exactly the same way. Well hardly, as I said above printing has changed and the advance of the camera is phenomenal.

What used to be `stock or library photographs,' appearing in the same format in book after book have now been superseded by new and vibrant photographs of close-ups of birds, both nesting on the wing and in places that were inaccessible to any kind of successful camera work, just a few years ago.

This book is both comprehensive and easy to read and of course the text is backed up by wonderful photographs of British birds in all kinds of situations. Although it is a reference book, it is also a book that you can actually read and enjoy. It covers the birds species by species, in such detail that it practically tells you what they have for breakfast. Joking apart it virtually does just that.

Much more than a species identification and certainly not one to take out in the field with you. There are lots of other books that serve that purpose very well. This book is a book to savour (no pun intended). A book for the fireside, when the wind is whistling around the chimney pots.
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86 of 92 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Sept. 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is excellent, both text and photography, I began by dipping into it, but soon had to start at the beginning, not to miss anything. Full of fascinating facts, anecdotes, beautifully written and produced.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By strawdog on 3 May 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This superb, lavishly illustrated book deserves pride of place on the bookshelf of anyone interested in birds, British natural history or the relations between humans and other animals.

The text draws as much from literature, anecdote and social/cultural history as it does from ornithology but that only widens and deepens its impact. At times the book is quite numbingly sad (without being mawkish or sentimental), leaving the reader with a sense of outrage at our historical, and to some extent ongoing, treatment of wild birds. Although, it has to be said, the story isn't all one of cruelty and exploitation. In short this book perfectly captures our species' contradictory attitudes to wild animals very accurately indeed.

Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on 4 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Birds Britanica is a sumptious feast of a book, that is aimed, not at ardent 'twitcher' types, but at those of us who just enjoy the nature that is there to be enjoyed, whether it be outside, or in the comfort of an armchair. Truly amazing photographs are complimented by entertainingly accessable information. Never ever technical or 'specialised', this is what a coffee table ( I challenge you to slip it into your pocket) , what a coffee table book should be. This is a book that is worth every penny, and surely the only bird book that you will ever need.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Vine on 23 May 2013
Format: Hardcover
Enjoyable, informative text and some great pictures. I did actually read it from cover to cover, I got rather caught up in the fascinating detail. This book makes an excellent companion for Fauna Britannica. My enjoyment of this book was enhanced by Mr Cook's splendid parody of a review by that famous species, the "swivel-eyed loon".
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