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Collins Birds of Prey Hardcover – 7 Apr 2008


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; New edition edition (7 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007248148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007248148
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 3.3 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 711,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

‘One book I have not been able to put down … a masterwork on arguably the most charismatic of all bird groups … Benny Gensbol is to be congratulated.’
Sunday Express

‘… a useful identification guide as well as a good read. Admire these majestic hunters while you can. By the next edition some may be extinct!’
Kentish Times

About the Author

Benny Gensbol and Walther Thiede are two of Europe’s leading raptor experts.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Keith Betton on 6 Aug 2009
Format: Hardcover
When, in 1984, Benny Génsbol first published the Collins Guide to the Birds of Prey of Britain and Europe, North Africa and the Middle East it received a warm welcome. This chunky, field-guide-sized book was reissued several times but then in 2004 it was completely revised and issued in Danish - and now we have an English version.

An introduction of 35 pages explains the characteristics of birds of prey, their breeding biology and migration, and summarises the challenges they face from habitat change and pollution. One change since 1984 is the fact that in many areas most birds of prey are currently increasing - although a few are more threatened than they were 24 years ago.

Each species is given its own account, including a decent-sized distribution map and summary population trends across its range. The maps have been updated and although the book has been revised on a regular basis it is interesting to compare the changes since 1984. Goshawk was restricted to just a few tiny areas around the Peak District and southern Scotland, and now it covers the whole of Great Britain and has a tiny population in Northern Ireland. However the maps are not perfect. Hobby has greatly increased in Great Britain in recent years but the map shows it as being absent. Montagu's Harrier and Honey Buzzard are also not shown as breeding here yet the text refers to 9-16 pairs and 70 pairs of each nesting. Similarly Egyptian Vulture and Black Vulture are incorrectly shown as breeding in Cyprus. The distribution maps include North Africa although the text ignores population data for these areas. Breeding distribution is indicated by four shades of green (a test for your eyesight!) and non-breeding winter ranges are indicated by blue.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By SK birder on 12 Aug 2010
Format: Hardcover
After having spent several years with the excellent guide by Dick Forsman, I still found myself stuck with some "easy" species such as Buteo's. After a search for update, I ended up with the book by Benny Gensbol. Though the book lacks dozens of informative photographs for each species, I find descriptions and excellent illustrations in Benny's book even more useful. The variation in plumage is to my opinion much better covered here. Also, the possibility to compare all plumages across different age classes and color morphs is splendid and perhaps impossible to achieve by any collection of photographs. Apart from information on species identification, valuable accounts on distribution, breeding biology, population changes, or hunting techniques add to the quality of the book. Even if the structure of the book can be found a little messy, overall, I highly recommend this book to any raptor enthusiast.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. Kunstler on 20 July 2009
Format: Hardcover
My first impression was, a very handy format, plenty to read also a great reference guide. The picture quality is perfect, some of the information is very detailed but some facts are a bit out of date as some birds have recovered better over the last two years, specificly in Britain.
Very interesting to read was the way of migration of the birds of prey and lack of understanding from some southern european countries and the needless killing.
Full marks from anyway, I should have bought it a long time ago.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Young on 7 Aug 2010
Format: Hardcover
A comprehensive, well-structured and illustrated review of BoP, although a little out of date and some areas of weakness re: British BoP. Speaking as a wildlife photographer I was a little disappointed with the quality of some of the photographs - the majority are well up to the standard I expected but a few are quite poor and I'm puzzled by their inclusion. Overall a worthy purchase for anyone interested in BoP.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ivan Ellison on 28 Dec 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Quality book, excellent information, great photos and id plates. A must for anyone with the slightest interest in raptors around UK and Europe. Buy it whenever you can get hold of a copy.(if you can find one!!)
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