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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Birds ...But Were Afraid to Ask (Rspb) Paperback – 31 Jul 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Christopher Helm Publishers Ltd (31 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713668156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713668155
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 912,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Concise and informative, in a chatty everyday style. It is a great book for dipping into and could even be used as a quiz book if you are stuck for entertainment." Birds (Feb 2006) "Packed with hundreds of questions that anyone broadly interested in birds might ask, each one answered in an easy-to-understand manner. Excellent for anyone, new to birdwatching or not." BTO News (Jan/Feb 2006) "Covers not only "Everything" you might be afraid, for whatever murky psychological reasons, to ask about birds, but plenty that you probably wouldn't even think of asking." Birdwatch (Feb 2006) "Crams thousands of little factoids that you never knew you never knew about our feathered friends." The Sunday Express (11 Dec 2005) "There is something here for everyone, no matter what your level of bird knowledge. Pick up a copy, flick through it and dip into a question and you will be instantly educated and amused." Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust

About the Author

Stephen Moss is a BBC television producer and journalist, who works mainly on Bill Oddie's wildlife programmes. He has written several books including Understanding Bird Behaviour - a Birdwatchers' Guide (New Holland) and Attracting Birds to Your Garden (New Holland).

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Wildlife Bookworm on 22 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
As an ornithological advisor, assistant author, and programme producer to Bill Oddie, there is no doubting Stephen Moss's literary or avian credentials. So not surprisingly this book is well written, presented and researched. Moss has extensive knowledge British and international bird world, and is able to keep the reader entertained through what could be a rather dry subject matter.

There are about 500 questions each with a short paragraph in answer, split into ten chapters. The questions are interspersed with small grey boxes containing 'record-holders' such as longest migration and largest egg, as well as genuinely funny captioned sketch-drawings to go with some questions dotted here and there. As it is designed as a 'dip-in' book rather than a cover to cover read there are many parts which are repeated in different questions which can become irritating.

Be prepared for the fact that although you get occasional statistics and anecdotes there are no questions aimed at particular species. Instead questions relate to birds as a whole with individual species referred to within answers. So if you are looking for info on a certain species you may be disappointed unless you stumble across it in an answer to a more general question.

Although the book claims to be aimed at anyone with an interest in birds, it is most suitable for young or beginning bird enthusiasts who want to learn the basics. For this group the book is superb but for anyone with a few years experience of birding there's not much that will be new to them except perhaps for the more obscure facts and figures.

Ultimately the value of this book will depend on the reader. For beginners its great, for the more experienced and knowledgeable it is a little basic and repetitive, albeit still entertaining.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By IOWBOY TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have always been fascinated by birds, as a young boy I did a school project on the Peregrine Falcon and we were taken to some cliffs on the southern part of the Isle of Wight to see a nesting site, my Mum tells me that I often drew pictures of these beautiful little creatures when little.

Despite having a love for these fascinating animals I know very little about them and so decided to buy a book to correct this oversight.

I purchased this book because alot of the other books I had seen assumed a good grounding in the subject, this book can provide information to those with this but it is also accessible to those, like me, who wanted to be guided from the very basics.

The book is paperback with dimensions of 210mm by 145mm and it is 192 pages long; there are no photos, but there are quite a few line drawings used to illustrate some of the points.

The thing that sets this book apart from other publications I have seen is that it consists of answers to various questions, over 500 infact, these questions have been provided by birdwatchers of all levels and have been split into ten chapters, they are:

1. What is a bird?
2. Where do birds come from?
3. How many birds are there?
4. Where do birds live?
5. How do birds move?
6. What do birds eat?
7. Why do birds sing?
8. How do birds reproduce?
9. Where do birds go?
10. How do we relate to birds?

There answers to the questions are detailed yet easy to understand; there are also several highlighted information boxes in each chapter, these provide interesting facts and antedotes.
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Format: Paperback
One reviewer says that this is aimed at less experienced birders, who want to learn the basics. I totally disagree with this. I've been birding for well over 30 years, and frequently consult this excellent book. It's well indexed, making it easy to find answers on many aspects of birds' lives.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book answered many burning questions, and even answered the questions I hadn't even of thought to ask! I like how the layout of the Q&A is set out and the many examples of various birds used to explain the answer more thoroughly. Overall it is easy and enjoyable to read.
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