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Tracks and Signs of the Animals and Birds of Britain and Europe [Paperback]

Lars-Henrik Olsen
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 17.95
Price: 12.21 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

25 Aug 2013

This beautifully illustrated field guide enables you to easily identify the tracks and signs left by a wide variety of mammal and bird species found in Britain and Europe, covering behaviors ranging from hunting, foraging, and feeding to courtship, breeding, and nesting. Introductory chapters offer detailed drawings of footprints and tracks of large and small mammals, which are followed by sections on mammal scat, bird droppings, and the feeding signs of animals on food sources such as nuts, cones, and rose hips. The book then describes specific mammal species, providing information on size, distribution, behavior, habitat, and similar species, as well as more specific detail on tracks and scat. Distribution maps are also included.


This indispensable field guide covers 175 species of mammals and birds, and features a wealth of stunning color photos and artwork throughout.



  • Helps you easily identify the tracks and signs of a variety of mammals and birds

  • Covers 175 species

  • Illustrated throughout with photos, drawings, and artwork

  • ncludes informative descriptions of mammal species along with distribution maps



Frequently Bought Together

Tracks and Signs of the Animals and Birds of Britain and Europe + RSPB Nature Tracker's Handbook
Price For Both: 27.20

One of these items is dispatched sooner than the other.

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  • RSPB Nature Tracker's Handbook 14.99


Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (25 Aug 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691157537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691157535
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 261,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

"If anyone has a particular interest in learning how to track animals they should buy this book. If on the other hand they are someone who likes to understand the countryside and delve below the surface more than a little, this book will help them to do just that in a handy-sized, nonscientific, and highly readable guide."--Phil Slade, Another Bird Blog



"[B]y far the best book on the subject I've ever seen . . . beautifully illustrated."--Dick Warner, Irish Examiner



"[Focuses] on helping you identify the signs species leave behind, and these are especially useful for tough-to-tell-apart, cryptic, or nocturnal species."--Kate Jones, New Scientist



"[C]oncise and punchy . . . [Olsen] manages to pack an awful lot into these pages, and the result is as thorough a survey of European tracks and signs as you could wish for in a book that's still small and light enough for you to consider taking out into the field. . . . [The book makes] lavish use of colour photos, and there's a pleasingly equal weight given to different species, and to the different aspects of the subject being dealt with."--Matt Merritt, Birdwatching Magazine



"I cannot praise Tracks and Signs highly enough. It is not only the finest guide to tracking I've ever held in my hands, it is one of the most attractive and informative books on natural history I've ever seen. This guide will prove invaluable to those who already take an interest in tracking and wish to gain more experience. It is also an important tool to promote the field art of tracking in Europe, a region where tracking as a zoological method can use all the support it can get. I also wish to emphasize that this is not only a book for European (and British) naturalists. I definitely recommend it to naturalists in North America and East Asia as well. Yes, it is that good."--Jochen Roeder, 10,000 Birds



"[T]his is a lovely book to dip into and learn something new each time. It may not work as a conventional 'in the field guide' but will be invaluable to identify tracks and signs from photographs at home. The drawings and photographs are excellent throughout and the text is clear and concise. I would recommend this book to anyone with an active interest in nature."--Mike King, Gloster Birder



"[A] great field guide to take out with you on country walks, as well as to use for study at home. . . . [A] very attractive book with detailed information and wonderful photography. The layout is clear and easy to follow and there's a wealth of information in there."--Kate Bradbury, English Garden



"A lavishly illustrated book, packed with colour photographs. . . . [T]his book is the start of many possible wildlife adventures and really gets the adrenalin flowing!"--
Biggest Twitch



"[A]n excellent book which has rekindled my interest in tracking down more mammals and looking more carefully for the signs of birds. This book is certainly highly recommended. . . . [T]his book will be on the packing list for all our tours in future."--
Biggest Twitch



"[I]t's a fascinating, high-quality, good value and very informative book that I'd happily recommend to anyone with an interest in the subject, and I'm looking forward to test-driving it in the North Yorkshire forests this winter."--Mark James Pearson, Birding Frontiers



"Brown et al. will doubtless already be known to many as a reliable guide to the tracks and signs of birds. Those wishing to extend their knowledge of the subject to include mammals should certainly examine a copy of Olsen."--M.G.W., IBIS

From the Back Cover


"This is an excellent, engaging field guide to the tracks and spoor of the mammals and birds of Northern Europe. The photos and species accounts are outstanding, and I quite like the style of artwork, which is realistic enough to highlight the important characteristics, but stylistic enough to convey the general look of what can be a variable subject."--Roland W. Kays, coauthor of Mammals of North America



Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There are signs this book is a bit off-track 29 Sep 2013
By mia
Format:Paperback
This book covers animals and birds (birds are animals!) of Britain and Europe (Britain is part of Europe!). It's quite a good book.

Because it covers the whole of Europe you will learn how to spot signs of Musk Ox or White Stork in your locality.

I don't know much about identifying species from their scats, tracks in snow or mud, burrow entrances or discarded articles of food and so this is a book for people like me.

I've seen Otters a couple of times near my home. I've seen things that might be otter spraints but I've never been quite sure whether they were or weren't. Does this book help me? It does, but not as much as I would expect. There are two photographs of otters and one photograph and one drawing of otter droppings in this book. I know what an otter looks like - and particularly if I saw one as well as in these two photographs then I can identify an otter for myself without this book. The text on otter scats is quite helpful but I would have thought, in a book on tracks and signs, that I might get a few more photographs of otter droppings to help me out. Yes, I know many would think it a strange thing to want, but that's what I'd expect in a book of this title.

I turn to the hedgehog and get three photographs of hedgehogs (not the most difficult species to identify), one of a pile of brushwood, one (an excellent one) of footprints and another (quite useful) of scats.

I expected a section on how to tell which species had eaten an egg but I wasn't given one. How do I tell the difference between Magpie and Carrion Crow predation (if, indeed I can)? or between mustelid and Red Fox activity?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really a tracking book 23 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Despite providing a lovely array of pictures and drawings, there isn't really a lot of information on tracking.

The layout of the drawings of tracks and scat etc. are fairly clumsy with the scales of the drawings varying heavily,

Despite the title the book is very mammal biased, with over half the book being a dedicated a-z of descriptions of many different mammal species, which is not really what this book should be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must for the nature enthusiast 22 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the book to fill the gap in any country-walker's or bird-watcher's library. Most of us are more or less unaware of the tracks and signs of the wildlife we go in search of. We have our field-guides and may even refer to You tube for bird-calls, but we hardly notice the footprints, the chewed branch or the animal droppings. This book adds a completely new dimension to our nature watching; it is indeed surprising that no one thought of this approach sooner. Now we can see what birds or animals were there even if we didn't actually see them. And that is a great motivator for looking harder.

The book takes a very wide approach by concentrating on what we are most likely to see, or see evidence of, anywhere in Europe or Western Russia, both birds and animals, and even some insects. The bird information is very limited (this is not a complete field guide), but nevertheless extremely useful in that the bird guides do not usually include illustrations of footprints, droppings or identification through kill. The animal list may not be complete (I failed to find an East European Stone Marten) but it's not far off being complete and because of its real relevance to the places many of us visit, and the complete absence of other guides on the subject, it is a wonderful addition to the library.
Not only is this a book of great practical use, it also contains masses of extremely good photos which will surely educate and inspire people who have yet to discover the joys of nature. A friend who is Hungarian and who doesn't understand Estonian found an Estonian copy of this book and immediately bought it. I was set to follow until I realized I could get it in English - now we both have it in English and an Estonian friend has the original one!
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3.0 out of 5 stars good book but not ideal 5 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
book is nice but could have more good large sized quality photos of the tracks and should have no drawings whatsoever.
For instance there are at least 4 pictures of wild boar in one section and not enough prints. the track shown in the snow at that distance it could any other animal track. I think it should have more detail but it's ok as introduction to tracks and signs.
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