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Birds of Britain and Europe with North Africa and the Middle East (Collins Pocket Guide) Paperback – Dec 1979


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; 4th Revised edition edition (Dec 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002192101
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002192101
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 11.4 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 462,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The Birds of Britain And Europe with North Africa And the Middle East (Collins Pocket Guide)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By bobz on 23 Mar 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Use it loads,best bird book for fast recognition in the field.I'm no twitcher just an enthusiast.Book may be old but how quickly do birds evolve??
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peasant TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback
If you're looking for an inexpensive ID guide you may think "well, birds haven't changed much, I'll save a bob or two". I had this guide for years and my summing up would be 'very frustrating to use'. The illustrations may have been state of the art at the time, but matching those little paintings to the thing that's just flown past you is strictly for the expert. There are dozens upon dozens of obscure birds you'll never see cluttering up the pages with the ones you'll actually encounter, and the keys and text are pretty hard to follow unless you're highly motivated. This book was produced for the serious birdwatcher and birdwatchers will, of course, be happy to pay our for a newer, better-illustrated but equally technical book. If you want something inexpensive for the family or as an easily used, informative layman's guide, go for the Book of British Birds (AA RSPB) which is larger format, giving a better range of larger illustrations, and has a lot more interesting background information, and is usually available second-hand for about the same budget price.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ashtar Command on 2 Dec 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is apparently the original edition of "Birds of Britain and Europe with North Africa and the Middle East", written by Hermann Heinzel, Richard Fitter and John Parslow. In 1995, the book was substantially re-written, and essentially morphed into another book. I happen to have a copy of the Swedish translation of the 1972 edition, and yes, it sure could need a rebind!

As a kid, I considered Heinzel-Fitter-Parslow to be the coolest birdbook around, much cooler than Bruuns and Singers book "Birds of Britain and Europe". For starters, it contained more species, since it also included North Africa, Turkey and parts of the Middle East. I particularly enjoyed the Hypocolius and the Ring-Necked Parakeet, LOL. The book also included more subspecies, with a penchant for those living on the Canary Island, the Azores, and Madeira. Did I mention the Parakeet? Thus, it was a perfect book to show your kiddie friends. Or showing off.

Later, I realized that "real" bird-watchers actually preferred Bruun and Singer, while poor Heinzel et.al. were hardly ever mentioned in any context, at least not here in Sweden. I also noticed that the Swedish translation contained some curious misprints. Some birds on the plates are never mentioned in the actual text (a humorous error - usually the opposite is the case in bird books), some maps are missing, etc. If the book is good or bad as a field guide to birds, I honestly don't know. I told my parents to buy it, only to have the flashiest birdbook in the neighborhood. :-D

BTW, I noticed that the new 1995 edition looks more like Bruun's and Singer's book, which is almost tantamount to HIGH TREASON. LOL! However, it contains more parakeets, so perhaps I should let it pass...

OK, sorry for this nostalgia trip, but I just couldn't help myself.

;-)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Europe Birding/ English 19 Nov 2009
By mmshoppe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent for European birding w/ English text. Text & maps opposite drawings for easy identification & use.
Birds of Britain and Europe with North Africa and the Middle East 4 Feb 2013
By Steve Murray - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was an invaluable aid for my trip to Kazakhstan last summer. IT contained al the relevant birds I saw!
A very good field guide 5 July 2012
By Marina - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a very interesting field guide. I own the third edition of this book, which was published in 1974.

This book contains birds that are found in all of Europe, West Russia, the Caucasus, some of Iran, the Atlantic islands (Madeira, Canaries etc.) and North Africa (i.e. Morocco). It understandably does not include the entire Arabian peninsula (only the very beginning of it). Distribution maps are present for most birds, except for vagrants and birds that have only very small distributions in the area (where their distribution will be stated in the text). Images of birds will usually be on the page alongside the page with distribution maps and information, but sometimes a bird's image will be on the same section as the information.

Images of birds are generally very good, and if necessary pictures of colour morphs or distinct subspecies will be included. A comment on the maps; because this book was published in 1974, some maps may show that birds have larger ranges than in present day. A list of accidental birds is at the end of the book before the index, though just one of these many birds is illustrated. This book is very suitable for use in the field due to its small size, but purchasing a copy of this book in very good condition will probably be difficult, and some information may be outdated.
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