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41
4.5 out of 5 stars
The Secret Lives of Garden Birds
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138 of 138 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2004
This is a PROPER coffee-table book- because it's always on the table. No use putting it away, I only dig it out again a few days later!
I bought this as a present for my partner. He used to bird-watch in his youth :^) and when we got our first place together we installed a bird table and bird bath in the garden, then sat back to watch and enjoy. I thought this book would be a way back into knowing what bird is what, and what they're all up to.

We've both enjoyed this book. The text is informative and often witty, the photo's are numerous and very clear (also, as an A4 size book, the pictures in this book will be bigger than in many guidebooks), and the illustrations give a great 'ahhhh' factor.
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91 of 92 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2005
This is the best bird book I have ever come across. I read it cover to cover and it held me enchanted until the last page. Field guides are good in that they give you instant information but this book immerses you right into the nitty gritty of the daily lives of birds. I gained a real understanding and sympathy of how they live and their struggles to survive. The text reads like a novel and the birds become the characters. I found myself following the characters as their stories unfolded. I felt joy at their successes, grieved at their losses, laughed at their attempts at romance and felt sad when they failed. I felt cross with the bullies and cheered on the underdogs. I willed them to survive and understood more fully their difficulties. They became my friends and now when I watch them I watch and listen with more insight and knowledge.
The book takes you through the months of the year. Not only is the text utterly readable and absorbing but the pages are beautifully presented with photographs and wonderful paintings of the birds going about their activities.
Buy this book, keep it out at all times and treasure it.
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86 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2005
I get a lot of various species of bird in my garden and after spending years watching them, and their mannerisms, I treated myself to this book.
I have read it a few times, and now read each months section as we go into a new month. It has helped me understand the mannerisms of the birds and their reasoning for doing what they do. It's certainly given me a better understanding of the birds and what to look for, and has helped me to attract more birds into the garden.
A pleasure to read and extremely informative. If you enjoy our feathered friends in your garden, then this is a must for you. I'm now ordering more for christmas gifts.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2007
I am thoroughly enjoying the information provided by this book, which is very well-written and clearly based on a great deal of personal bird-watching experiences. The illustrations are also of a very high quality, the drawings are superb! While I consider myself as quite knowledgeable with regard to birds, I have already learnt some new facts which I have not found in other books, and am now getting to know birds intimately! Great book!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2007
This book is a great read; the text is easy to read and is written in an engrossing style by the author. The illustrations really capture what the page is talking about. I can't see how anyone would not learn something about garden birds after reading this. It has made me watch my garden birds more closely. A highly recommended read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I'm not quite as stunned as the other reviewers of this book. It's in A4 format and contains a series of short articles (one to two pages long) about individual bird's behaviours divided into the months of the year. Photographs and paintings by Peter Partington are liberally scattered throughout.

Couzens has a very unsentimental, striking approach. He compares the strife at the bird table in winter, as different individuals establish a pecking order, to desperate refugees fighting over humanitarian food drops. That Robin perching on your spade couldn't care less about you as a gardener- to the bird you're a substitute for a wild boar, disturbing the ground and bringing to light food.

Ultimately though it's a book to dip into as a pleasant read. It lacks real factual depth. whereas I agree with the other reviewers that it is a very pleasant book, it's not one that I wished to keep to read again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2009
This is a great book although there are bits I wish I'd never read! I now worry that the birds are going to die over night if they don't eat enough so they are on double rations in this cold, cold weather. Great read if you, like me, enjoy watching the feathered friends out of your kitchen window!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2009
This book wasn't what I expected having only drawings/illustrations rather than photographs, however the written content is a breath of fresh air and very easy to read and understand. Not being a proper "twitcher" myself, it certainly filled my need to understand about the birds that visit our garden without overwhelming me with all the unnecessary (in my opinion) blah blah that sometimes is found in enthusiasts' bird books. I bought this for my husband for his birthday and it has been read, leafed through and kept on the ocffee table in front of the patio doors ever since and I even had to buy his brother a copy as he was enchanted by it and wanted one of his own.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2009
What a lovely book. The sort you can re-read several times. Perfect for 'dipping into' whilst sitting in the garden on a summers day listening to birdsong. If you're looking for a reference book - then maybe something else would be more appropriate though. The illustrations are delightful - but I, personally, would like to see more photographs (just so I can be sure I know which birds are which in the garden). All in all a good read, I enjoyed it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2009
Very interesting insight into the calendar of garden birds, their needs for food and nesting materials, their dangers of predators etc.

I feel this would be a very educational book for any new birdwatcher.
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