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Birds of Europe Paperback – 31 Aug 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Paperback, 31 Aug 2005
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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Christopher Helm Publishers Ltd; Re-issue edition (31 Aug. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713676000
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713676006
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,242,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Lars Jonsson is a globally renowned and respected ornithologist, with numerous identification papers and several books to his credit. He is best known as the leading bird illustrator of our time.


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Excellent book. Handy size and drawings are excellent. Bought it as a Christmas present for my husband who is a keen bird watcher and who already has a few books on birds of Britain and Europe. He was thrilled with it and said it contains many references to species not found in his other books. Book arrived very promplty, in plenty of time for Christmas.
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Very good book excellent price if anyone has an interest in birding, a must for your collection
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This book has a rather complicated pre-history. From 1976 to 1980, the Swedish writer, painter and bird-watcher Lars Jonsson wrote and illustrated a five-volume work on European birds. The reactions were mixed. On the one hand, Jonsson's paintings of birds were rightly admired, and the entire five-book series was translated into English. On the other hand, many Swedish bird-watchers considered the books difficult to use in the field, and expensive to boot. In 1992, Jonsson tried to remedy the problem by publishing a one-volume work based on the previous five volumes. It was called "Birds of Europe". For some reason, it was first published in English. Several editions of it exists. My review is of the 2006 edition, the one with the owl on the cover. (Amazon may have placed this review at some other product pages as well.)

First, the positives. Lars Jonsson is an excellent artist, working in what I suppose could be called the Classical Realist tradition. His illustrations are quite simply great, and almost make the birds come to life. Often, he places the birds in their natural environment, and paints them as they really look like in the field, pre-occupied with wading, perching, eating, or whatever it is birds do. I'm particularly impressed by his ducks, shorebirds, owls, nightjars, thrushes and finches! This makes the book worth the money, for both bird-lovers and art-lovers, and indeed book-lovers.

But is "Birds of Europe" really a good field guide? Several other reviewers have expressed a large amount of scepticism on this point. I'm not a bird-watcher myself (my idea of bird-watching is strolling down to some local duck pond to watch the Canadian geese LOL), but I tend to agree.
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