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Gulls: A Guide to Identification (Poyser Monographs) [Hardcover]

P.J. Grant
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

30 Oct 2010 Poyser Monographs
This second edition of Peter Grant's guide has been extensively revised and has been reset throughout. Importantly, a further eight species of gulls occurring on the west coasts of Canada and the USA have been added. The book now covers 31 species and has been increased in length from 280 to 352 pages. More than 280 new photographs have been added or substituted, bringing the total to 544, including 79 photographs for the eight North American additional species. The great increase in interest in gull identification since the publication of the first edition (and the author's series on that topic in British Birds) has helped bring much new information to light. As a result some revision was made to almost every text page and most of the identification drawings were improved in some way; in addition, changes were made to many of the distribution maps. These revisions and improvements were often quite minor, but others were substantial and important (see the author's Introduction). Until recently gulls were widely regarded as a difficult group and identification and ageing was often inaccurate or uncertain. This was largely due to the complexities of immature plumages, which of necessity were generally unrepresented in standard field guides. Birdwatchers need no longer be deterred or confounded by that deficiency. The book offers them the opportunity to advance their skill in field identification by accepting the challenge rather than shrinking from the difficulties.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Poyser; 2nd Revised edition edition (30 Oct 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 140813831X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408138311
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 15.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 778,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good book. 17 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The photos are all in b&w which can in many cases actually aid identification,the book was way ahead of its time as far as gull identification goes,and though not perhaps reaching quite the level of the Helm guide to Gulls of Europe Asia and North America,it goes as a great companion to it.(opon which I believe the Helm book was inspired and is often quoted)
It does lack English names for a few birds ie; the Yellow legged gull is known by its latin name as a sub species of the Herring gull.This has now been reclassified as a seperate species. (personally I prefer Latin to English names anyhow,Latin being far more descriptive) but if you are trying to tell the difference between a 1st winter Yellow Legged and a 1st winter LBB Gull you probably already know the Latin names.
Every gull in the book also has some superb ink illustrations of different age types,which I find simplify the the identification process.The text is superlative,in fact! half the time it is the text that gives me a positive id.
A genuinely great book that still can hold its own even against the helm,that said I would keep the helm over the P.J.Grant simply for the fact that many previous sub species are now through dna analyis classified as seperate species.
All in all if you can pick the book up for a decent price,grab it! you will not regret it.
Hope this helps all the best D Mays.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great descriptions and photos leave you wishing for more. 25 Feb 1999
By - Published on
This is it: this book will enable you to master the gulls. This book, and hundreds or thousands of hours studying the birds, that is. Gulls are a pain, and no book can change that. But Grant does a good job spelling out everything you're going to need to figure out. The hundreds of photographs (inappropriate for a field guide, but perfect for a supplemental guide) are themselves a reason to buy this book: they're not art, but they will show you how much you can and sometimes cannot tell the various species apart.
It's actually a shame this is the best gull book there is, because the focus is very British. Species that do not occur in Europe or Asia get reduced treatment (those from western North America) or none at all (those that are normally confined to the Southern Hemisphere). So the description of, say, the Yellow-footed Gull is adequate, Thayer's Gull inadequate, and some Latin American species that stray occasionally to the U.S., nonexistent. But with the exception of the Thayer's Gull the book deals very well with the more difficult problems a North American gull watcher is likely to encounter.
If you think gulls are no fun, Grant isn't going to change your mind. But if you want to tell them apart, get this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No longer the best gull ID book but still indispensable 21 Sep 2007
By Brian Allen - Published on
I think Olsen and Larsson's Gulls of North America, Europe and Asia has just eclipsed Grant's book as the premier Gull guide but Grant is still excellent and in some ways better. Grant has excellent writren descriptions for identification purposes but the individual species accounts are far more detailed in Olsen and Larsson. That might not be of importance to all that just want a gull guide, the critical difference is in the illustrations. Grant has fewer illustrations, all in black and white, Oleson and Larsson have colored illustrations and show more plummages.

I do like this book better for comparisons with the black and white illustrations. For example it is much easier to compare juvenile Little Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, Ross's Gull, and Sabine's Gull in Grant than in the larger Oleson and Larsson as this book groups them together in one section.

Both of these books are better classified as reference books rather than field guides but this book is slighter and easier to carry around to the lake or seashore than Oleson and Larsson.

This is an excellent book and very worthwhile to have if you are willing to work on gull identification.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Gull Book 10 Mar 2013
By Stephen Spitzer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I ordered this after reading a recommendation in my Kaufman bird book. It is a very detailed book and has much useful information. The pictures are black and white, which does not work as well as color for me, but it is still a good book.
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