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Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe [Hardcover]

Lars Svensson , Peter J. Grant , Killian Mullarney , Dan Zetterström , David Christie
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (295 customer reviews)

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Hardcover £16.75  
Hardcover, 6 Dec 2004 --  
Paperback £13.39  
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Book Description

6 Dec 2004

Following on from its hugely successful launch in 1999, Collins Bird Guide – the ultimate reference book for bird enthusiasts – is available in a lavish large format edition.

With expanded text and even larger colour illustrations, this guide covers every species and every plumage you will see, with detailed information on identification, habitat and voice. A must for every birdwatcher.

The book provides all the information needed to identify any species at any time of the year, covering size, habitat, range, identification and voice. Accompanying every species entry is a distribution map and illustrations showing the species in all the major plumages (male, female, immature, in flight, at rest, feeding: whatever is important).

In addition, each group of birds includes an introduction which covers the major problems involved in identifying or observing them: how to organise a sea watching trip, how to separate birds of prey in flight, which duck hybrids can be confused with which main species. These and many other common birdwatching questions are answered.
The combination of definitive text, up-to-date distribution maps and superb illustrations, all in a single volume, makes this book the ultimate field guide. It will become essential on every bookshelf and birdwatching trip.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; Large format edition edition (6 Dec 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007192991
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007192991
  • Product Dimensions: 31.2 x 21.2 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (295 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,250,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

• The richest, most comprehensive of the current guides. ‘The Times’

• This book will surely become our standard guide for many years to come. ‘BBC Wildlife’

• …buy this book, read it in the bath, keep it in the car boot and use it. ‘Bird Watching’

• One of the most talked about and fervently anticipated bird books of the past decade has finally arrived … The wait has been worth it. ‘Birding World’

From the Publisher

Reviews of the prize winning field guide
Winner of the British Birds/British Trust for Ornithology Bird Book of the Year and Birdwatch Book of the Year

our standard guide for many years to come - BBC Wildlife

As essential as binoculars - New Scientist

it really is a very good book - RSPB Birds

The richest and most comprehensive of the current guides - The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best guide I've seen 3 Oct 2006
Format:Paperback
Since being a child I've been borrowing my dad's weatherbeaten copy of Bertel Bruun's masterpiece, without ever finding an adequate replacement.

This one's finally taken over, crammed with beautiful photos, informative text, and great little touches that make identification easier. There's plenty of extra drawings of species' behaviour to get rid of the unavoidable "stuffed animal" nature of bird plates, and each species has a description of song. There's even an easy to read guide to help you ascertain how common British species are. Yes it's pretty crammed, but all with relevant information, in a book that's deserved to be the new standard for birdwatchers everywhere.

Dad, you can have your book back now.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proabably the best bird guide in the world 9 July 2007
Format:Paperback
If you looking for a guide to help identify the birds you will see in Britain or Western Europe this is it.
***Buy this book before you consider buying any other bird guide***
Why?
Firstly you should never buy a bird guide that uses just photographs to show the birds. Take my word for it they will never in one photograph be able to show perfectly every feature required for correct id or capture colour variations accurately. The illustrations in this book show every detail perfectly, highlighting the relevant features, showing similar species together, covering male/female/juvenile plumages where necessary and importantly in accurate colour.
2, The descriptions are superb, every distinguishing plumage or vocal detail covered, telling you exactly what you need to know.
3, Useful detail is given about the status of the species, whether it is resident, a migratory visitor or a rare vagrant.
4, Maps showing likely range of each bird are shown, including colour detail that shows whether it is likely to be present all-year, winter or summer.
In summary this is a monumental effort by the authors to create the perfect bird guide in book form. As the owner of dozens of bird guides, I can say this is as close as I have seen.
I repeat, you should buy this before buying any other Bird Guide.
A copy of this book and a good audio guide to songs and calls is all you should need to identify the vast majority of birds you will see in the area covered by it.
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74 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best bird guide......... 27 July 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I bought this book on recommendation from this website.
It is an excellent guide, the drawings are first class.
I am only a part time bird watcher mainly from my kitchen window and the occasional walk in the local wood.
But this book has been invaluable to me.
Buy it you won't be disappointed.
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118 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best field guide to any avifauna 8 Nov 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book emerged onto a highly competitive market already burgeoning with numerous field guides, most by renowned authors and many having benefitted from improvement over several editions. Quite simply though, this book won instant recognition as the best field guide available for Europe - and perhaps a model for field guides everywhere. Its authors are well known experts in their field having spent many years studying and publishing on the birds of the region. However, the key to the guide's success is the fact that so much more useful information has been condensed into a guide which is much the same size as existing books. The book boasts excellent illustrations, succinct text and handy maps, all presented on a the same page. Small enough to fit into a pocket and cheap, it is a must for anyone even remotely interested in British or European birds. Don't hesitate!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By ME
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In short - if you want an identification guide to European birds this is easily the best available to date.

On the cover it says 'The most complete field guide to the birds of Britain and Europe' and (at least at the present time) this is certainly true. The book is a little large to fit in most pockets - but all birdwatchers should be encouraged to carry a field notebook anyway (leave this book in the car, or at home or your hotel!) - if you do want to carry a guide with you it will fit in some large coat pockets, or easily into a backpack.

The illustrations, which are on the page facing the text and maps for each species, are excellent and show the birds in a variety of different positions (often including in flight), and illustrate all of the different plumages that are likely to be encountered. Important features are highlighted on the ilustrations by means of text captions and pointers.

The text is concise and contains all the most important information on identification and size, including verbal descriptions of songs and calls (often calls confirm an otherwise uncertain bird identification). Anyone who is not used to bird guides, and the birds themselves, will probably find that the phonetics mean very little - however if you have already heard the species being described they form an accurate reminder.

Anyone who uses a PDA may wish to consider the e-guide version, which has all the ilustrations and information from the book + recordings of the birds songs and calls - personally I find a book and CD (or MP3 files) easier!!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a book 8 Oct 2006
Format:Hardcover
To me this is the BOOK. Unlike a few I've seen this book is ideal for beginners like myself who although has been interested in bird watching and wild life for years, I decided that this year as I was on Holiday in Norfolk it was perhaps an ideal time to get started. This book I have found is one of the best I have found so far. Now all I need is a good scope to enjoy whats in the book even more.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The most complete guide, no doubt.
Before this guide I have owned two others that I thought they were good enough until I bought this one. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Francisco Pou Bolibar
4.0 out of 5 stars Bit too professional
I just want to be able to identify birds I see around and this book is fine but it requires a certain amount of previous knowledge, for example whether the bird you want to... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Sandyydnas
5.0 out of 5 stars Very comprehensive yet reasonably compact.
Inclusion of plumage variations with season, gender, age and hybrids greatly aids identification. Useful distribution maps. Helpful text. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Ian Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars birds
This is THE authority on british and european birds. Amazing detail and pics, andget this...all my birding mates have one and that speaks for itself
Published 16 days ago by denis
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book
I have always wanted a book that would give me lots of information on all Irish and British birds. This is THE book! Read more
Published 20 days ago by Virginia Plain
5.0 out of 5 stars Collins Bird Guides 2ns Edition
Birders must have. Clear, concise explanations, very good illiustrations. Contains all information you need to identify birds of Britain and Europe
Published 1 month ago by atob
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete
I have used a couple of other bird books both of which missed much of the detail I had hoped for. This Collins Bird Guide is very thorough with excellent illustrations and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by D. N. Starkey
5.0 out of 5 stars THE bird guide.
This bird guide is the reference for BBC wildlife. I've had
A few guides over the years and I have to say
This one is a clear leader by miles....... Outstanding.
Published 1 month ago by Graham Lamming
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent gift for keen birders
This book has amazing paintings of all European birds plus vagrants and variations. It was bought for a keen birder who loves it as much as I do my own copy. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mary S
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Excellent book, as a newcomer to bird watching, it has more than ticked all the boxes for a beginner and no doubt more experienced twitchers
Published 2 months ago by Paul Wright
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