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Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America (Helm Identification Guides)

Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America (Helm Identification Guides) [Kindle Edition]

Klaus Malling Olsen , Hans Larsson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"A monumental effort by the authors and takes a worthy 'podium finish' in this year's award (the BB/BTO Best Bird Book of the Year 2005)." British Birds (Feb 2006) "(This book) has taken gull identification to a very advanced level and argues for some controversial species splits." Wildlife and Countryside (Dec 2005)

Product Description

The standard text on the identification of the northern hemisphere's gulls, this book covers the plumage variation through age and subspecies of all 80 species in the region. With exhaustive coverage, detailed maps, and superb plates and photos, this book remains the definitive work on these birds, which represent the trickiest of all ID challenges.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 15218 KB
  • Print Length: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Christopher Helm; 1 edition (30 Jun 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0052C5GC8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #384,328 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning! 16 Jan 2007
By Simon
This book won the "Birdwatch" book of the year award in 2004, and it certainly deserved it. Gulls can - if you get into them - pose a fascinating identification challenge, because of the wide range of plumages exhibited by each individual species. This book covers in detail - and I do mean detail - the identification of all 43 "Holarctic" gulls. The species accounts are presented as a series of monographs, and while this means that to compare different species you have to flick between pages I can't think of a better was of presenting this depth of information. For each species there is an excellent text, a distribution map and numerous high quality colour illustrations and photographs covering all they key plumages, including hybrids. There are over 800 photographs in all (an incredible 46 of the humble Herring Gull alone), all with individual notes highlighting the specific features they show. Illustrations and photographs both have their pros and cons as identification aids - with this book you get the best of both worlds.

The standard of presentation is excellent, as usual with a Helm guide, and for the keen birder this book is a joy. A word of caution though - it's really not for beginners, who will be overwhelmed by the amount of detail and will miss the "side by side" comparisons of similar species that are a feature of good general field guides.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great - but tough 4 Jan 2009
This book is not for the faint-hearted. It goes into the different Holarctic species (and subspecies) of gulls in great depth.
I live in an inland county and don't often see gulls (apart from black-headed and common) on the ground. So in some ways it is way beyond what I need. But it is a superb reference book. And I'm glad to own it.
The sheer amount of detail and no. of drawings and photographs is breath-taking.
As with all bird identification the secret is to get to know the common species intimately first. So getting to grips with the argentatus and argenteus races of Herring gull is probably my next step. Then, who knows, I may get to the point of being able to pick out a Caspian, yellow-legged or even American herring gull from a mixed flock. If I don't, it won't be the fault of Olsen and Larsson!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally some details about seagulls! 17 Mar 2010
This book covers all the species of seagulls that you're likely to meet in the northern hemisphere. It is very detailed, so if you for instance check "Herring Gull", you will find much more information about it than your regular birding book. Information about habitat, moulting, feeding behavior and even history is excellent. The different appearances of different age groups of seagulls are illustrated, not only in summmer plumage, but also winter, and what goes in between is described in the text. I don't find the drawn and painted illustrations particularly beautiful, but they serve their purpose. The photos on the other hand are really, really nice, and work well as illustrations as well, as there are so many of them. I see that many of them are by the author himself, and that makes the book a stunning feat by Klaus Malling Olsen.

I see that some reviewers describe the book as a "tough" read, but even though it contains some specialized ornitology terminology, I find it really easy to read. It contains information about birds that you are likely to encounter every day, and as such should be considered by anyone who enjoys birdwatching. Being able to tell the age of the big seagull scavengeing for chips that you pass on your way to work is oddly satisfying.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gulls of Europe 15 Jun 2010
This is the latest of the Helm Identification Guides and has been on the production line for some time. However after a false-start and a reprint the final product is excellent, weighing in at a somewhat hefty 1.5 kg!

Basically the book describes the 43 species found in the northern hemisphere however some of these species split into several racial forms so about 60 taxa are treated. Of these there are just 8 that breed in Britain although a further 12-16 (depending on your taxonomic thinking) are either non-breeding visitors or vagrants. In this book Yellow-legged Gull and Caspian Gull as separate species, as are Common, Vega, Heuglin's and American Herring Gull.

The accounts vary from 7 to 36 pages depending on the complexity of plumages and forms. The texts follow a regular pattern, with basic descriptions of identification, calls and moult being followed by very detailed plumage descriptions, geographical variation and distribution and migration. A colour map is given for each species. But for me the real selling point is the colour plates. The subtleties of gull identification are hard to describe with words but a good set of illustrations can speak volumes and here Hans Larsson has done a great job. These are the clearest gull illustrations I have ever seen. Photographs are also a vital aid when identifying different races and again this book has an outstanding range of images
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Edition 16 Jan 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Please note that this review refers to the Kindle edition not the excellent original format.
Like most birdwatching guides, this book is not suitable for Kindle, how this type of book can be sold on Kindle without stating the difficiencies of the format is appalling behaviour.
The most obvious fact to bear in mind is that this book relies on it's excellent COLOUR plates. I would imagine most people considering it for kindle will only be able to view it in Black and White. Secondly the Book refers to identification illustrations which require the text to be on the same page as the plate; kindle is unable to show the plate and relevant text on the same page. Thirdly the illustrations of gull structure and feather nomenclature cannot be increased to a size which is possible to read.
Try the free sample to see what I mean but please don't buy this if you want a useable guide to gull identification.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I was told by many people that this is a great book, and they were right. It is one I would advice anyone to read.
Published 3 months ago by jeffery neale
5.0 out of 5 stars coastal birding
highly recommended in the birding press, I live on an island (Walney) Gulls are either pests or of interest, this book explains the interest!
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. M. S. Scattergood
5.0 out of 5 stars Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America
This is an excellent book which helps me confidently identify the rarities amongst thousands of gulls which visit our local refuse tip, daily, each winter. Read more
Published 6 months ago by trevor douglas
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!
If you want the best book on gull identification and distribution buy this book. The difference between this and Grant's Gulls is like the difference between an iPhone and a... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Brian Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Gulls of Europe Asia and North America
This guide is better than I thought . The detail is fabulous and I would recommend this guide to anyone interested in gulls
Published 16 months ago by Anne Macintosh
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good book.
Although highly coincidental, it is worth noting that 3 weeks after I bought this book I found a Ring-billed Gull on local patch South Wales! Read more
Published 18 months ago by Hippo
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent comprehensive guide
ThIs book has met my expectations and surprised me too on its content and level of detail. It exceeds the previous hand books on this topic by a fair margin and is quite up to... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Robert Wheeldon
3.0 out of 5 stars ID books short fall.
I have just got the Kindle Fire and intended to use it as my library for ID books so reducing the weight of books I need to carry on foreign birding trips (hand luggage limits! Read more
Published 19 months ago by Roger T Parrish
5.0 out of 5 stars Gulls of Europe... - it was a good purchase
I decided to buy this book when I was at the lake. I saw a lot of different species of gulls. After returning home, I wanted to identify them. Read more
Published on 31 Mar 2012 by Marcin
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb species account - gorgeous artwork and photography
This guide is taxonomically conservative - it lumps rather than splits. Recent genetic studies suggest the following revision, which it can be hoped the authors will include in... Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2012 by H. A. Van Berg
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