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The Birds of Israel (Birdwatch's 1996 Bird Book of the Year) Hardcover – 20 Apr 1996

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 876 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; First Edition edition (20 April 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0126402558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0126402551
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 6.4 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,254,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Winner of the 1996 Bird Book of the Year, Birdwatch

Winner of the 1996 Best Book of the Year, British Birds

"This sumptuous book causes a gush of enthusiasm. Hadoram Shirihai has created a mature classic of regional ornithology. The illustrations and color photographs are among the book's most useful and attractive features. No serious ornithological library should be without it."--Birding

"The Birds of Israel is a landmark publication that carries the banner of all that is best in modern ornithology."--Birdwatchers Library

"To write a comprehensive book on so diverse and complex an avifauna requires a special kind of ornithologist. Just such a person is Hadoram Shirihai, who put the last seven years of his life on hold to write this monumental work. I strongly recommend this book to everyone interested in any aspect of the bird life of the Middle East."--Reuven Yosef, Auk

"The Birds of Israel is a remarkable achievement by any standards--at almost 700 pages long, its comprehensive coverage of a national avifauna must be second to none."--Birdwatch

"The Birds of Israel, a sumptuous . . . blockbuster, is the clear winner in our annual search for the best book for twitchers."--Stuart Winter, Daily Star

"Cancel the trip to Scillies, stay in for a month, starve the children--anything to save up the [money] needed to buy this extraordinary book. . . . It's the kind of book you pick up and only put down again when the weight becomes too much for you to continue. . . . What is most striking is the sheer weight of the information: not just the status and distribution of Israel's birdlife, but also the portrait of bird movements across space and time. . . . A bird book can be useful, a work of reference, attractive to look at, or simply a good read. Very few manage to be all of these. The Birds of Israel is just such a work and gives new meaning to that famous phrase, 'the Hadoram experience'."--Birdwatch

"This is quite an astonishing book. . . . Even if you have no intention of visiting Israel, this book is an essential reference for students of Middle Eastern ornithology and those interested in subspecific variations of West Palearctic birds."--Simon Harrap, Birding World

"MAGNIFICENT. This single word sums up The Birds of Israel."--New Scientist

"This sumptuous book could almost have been produced by the Israeli Tourist Board. Everyone I have shown it to so far either wants to return to, or visit Israel as soon as possible. What is more, it is a book to be read, not to gather dust and be referred to only when required. If you have visited or intend to visit the region, are interested in migration studies or birds of the Western Palearctic in general, then I urge you to save up and buy a copy. This is a stunning achievement."--Gordon Hamlett, Bird Watching


These are just some of the accolades that Hadoram Shirihai's monumental new work, The Birds of Israel, has received on its long-awaited launch. "An all-embracing avifauna guide to one of the most ornithologically exciting countries in the world", writes David Tomlinson in New Scientist. "It is not simply the comprehensive text that makes this an outstanding work, but also the lavish quality of the whole 876-page production." Gordon Hamlett in Birdwatching is equally unrestrained with his praise. "This is a stunning achievement", he exclaims. Describing the book as a "mighty volume from the pen of one of Israel's best-known birdwatchers", he goes on to say: "If you have visited or intend to visit the region, are interested in migration studies or birds of the Western Palearctic in general, then I urge you to save up and buy a copy. Some ten years in the making, Birds of Israel is well deserving of the plaudits. Packed with more information than any previous country avifauna, this major, comprehensive volume is illustrated with over 200 line drawings by Alan Harris and and extraordinary collection of over 500 colour photographs.

It is one of the most ambitious scientific projects Hadoram Shirihai has set himself to date. Describing in full the country--its habitats and birdlife--the book also provides detailed texts on individual species, together with maps and bar-charts showing regional and seasonal patterns of occurrence. For studious ornithologists and visiting birdwatchers alike this is an essential and definitive guide. Hadoram Shirihai's reputation as a leading ornithologist is well established, and his enthusiasm for the subject is evident on every page. But just don't take our word for it. Listen to what the critics have to say. As Birdwatch points out: "A bird book can be useful, a work of reference, attractive to look at, or simply a good read. Very few manage to be all of these. The Birds of Israel is just such a work and gives new meaning to that famous phrase, 'the Hadoram experience'." Situated in one of the major Palearctic-African migration routes, Israel is an area of tremendous interest to ornithologists. Israel in general and Eilat in particular hosts the mixing of European and African Avifaunas and is an important place for concentrations of migrating birds.

This book is the most complete, up-to-date reference on bird distribution in, and migration through, Israel complied by a foremost authority. The book especially distinguishes those subspecies found in Israel and includes numerous maps and diagrams detailing seasonal occurrence. The inclusion of over 200 photographs ensures that this book will become the most significant work on the birds of this fascinating region. Features: * The most detailed, up-to-date account of the distribution and migration of birds in Israel ever published * More than 500 species described * Written by the foremost authority on the subject * Maps for all the major species * More than 400 colour photographs

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