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Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe Paperback – 2 Apr 2001

4.8 out of 5 stars 583 customer reviews

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Paperback, 2 Apr 2001
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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; New edition edition (2 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007113323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007113323
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 13.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (583 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"This book will become the standard guide for many years to come."
-BBC Wildlife

"As essential as binoculars for those who take birdwatching seriously."
-New Scientist

"…go on, buy it and enjoy it – it really is a very good book!"
-RSPB Birds Magazine

"The richest and the most comprehensive of the current guides"
-The Times

From the Publisher

Reviews of the prize winning field guide
Winner of the British Birds/British Trust for Ornithology Bird Book of the Year and Birdwatch Book of the Year

our standard guide for many years to come - BBC Wildlife

As essential as binoculars - New Scientist

it really is a very good book - RSPB Birds

The richest and most comprehensive of the current guides - The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

See all Product description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While the illustrations and descriptions in this book are of undoubtably high quality, there are just too many of them to fit into such a compact book.

Pictures and text are both rather small and cramped as a consequence of the unduly large number of species covered; not just actual British and European birds, but also species from North Africa, the Middle East, Siberia, and North America, many occurring only at the region's periphery or as vagrants with only a handful of records. If this level of completeness is desired, then a considerably larger volume is needed to contain it.

Alternatively, if a guide to common species is wanted, then larger illustrations and distribution maps, and text that goes beyond a mere terse listing of features for identification purposes, would be preferable. Additionally, illustrations that allowed better direct comparison of multiple similar species would be welcomed, rather than the book's format of 3-4 species together; descriptions on one page and illustrations on the facing one.

Finally, the author is not British (and so we must make allowances), but annoyingly, a number of (common) species in the book are called by American names rather than their proper English ones.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is essentially the 3rd edition and contains recent splits such as Moltoni's Warbler and Balearic Warbler amongst others. The extremely high quality of the content contained in this guide is indisputable but I have only given it four stars for the following reason: Some of the plates looked a bit dark and having compared it to my "first" 2nd edition they most definitely are, in particular the warblers. It almost looks like someone has over-processed them in photoshop and this is especially true of the phylloscopus warblers. Hopefully it was just a bad print run and it really shouldn't stop you buying what is without doubt the best field guide for Britain and Europe.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In short - if you want an identification guide to European birds this is easily the best available to date.

On the cover it says 'The most complete field guide to the birds of Britain and Europe' and (at least at the present time) this is certainly true. The book is a little large to fit in most pockets - but all birdwatchers should be encouraged to carry a field notebook anyway (leave this book in the car, or at home or your hotel!) - if you do want to carry a guide with you it will fit in some large coat pockets, or easily into a backpack.

The illustrations, which are on the page facing the text and maps for each species, are excellent and show the birds in a variety of different positions (often including in flight), and illustrate all of the different plumages that are likely to be encountered. Important features are highlighted on the ilustrations by means of text captions and pointers.

The text is concise and contains all the most important information on identification and size, including verbal descriptions of songs and calls (often calls confirm an otherwise uncertain bird identification). Anyone who is not used to bird guides, and the birds themselves, will probably find that the phonetics mean very little - however if you have already heard the species being described they form an accurate reminder.

Anyone who uses a PDA may wish to consider the e-guide version, which has all the ilustrations and information from the book + recordings of the birds songs and calls - personally I find a book and CD (or MP3 files) easier!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If anyone is thinking of writing a field guide for any area in the world then the Collins Bird Guide should be used as your template. Highest quality artwork showing the range of plumages, succinct text and clear maps. Quite brilliant. And as important, this book has had a couple of revisions to keep up to date with the current taxonomic position. THE essential field guide to European birds.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The County Recorder told me of this book, now released in paperback; and what a perfect guide to some of our rarer feathered visitors and information of our own indigenous specie. This Book goes the extra mile in graphic detail. Buy it - it will not disapoint.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
as described many thanks
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fantastic
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Have had this book for years and bought this edition for my daughter.
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