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Collins Bird Guide Paperback – 4 Mar 2010
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• ‘The best just got better’
• ‘The richest, most comprehensive of the current guides.’
• ‘This book will surely become our standard guide for many years to come.’
• ‘…buy this book, read it in the bath, keep it in the car boot and use it.’
Following on from its hugely successful launch in 1999, Collins Bird Guide -- the ultimate reference book for bird enthusiasts -- now enters its second edition. With expanded text and additional colour illustrations, the second edition of the hugely successful Collins Bird Guide is a must for every birdwatcher. The book provides all the information needed to identify any species at any time of the year, covering size, habitat, range, identification and voice. Accompanying every species entry is a distribution map and illustrations showing the species in all the major plumages (male, female, immature, in flight, at rest, feeding: whatever is important). In addition, each group of birds includes an introduction which covers the major problems involved in identifying or observing them: how to organise a sea watching trip, how to separate birds of prey in flight, which duck hybrids can be confused with which main species. These and many other common birdwatching questions are answered.The combination of definitive text, up-to-date distribution maps and superb illustrations, all in a single volume, makes this book the ultimate field guide, essential on every bookshelf and birdwatching trip.See all Product description
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So for those reasons i think this guide book is very good, the illustraions are excellent and very true to life. It is readable even when you are not in a hide or at your local reserve.
If you want a brilliant field guide that covers 713 species in the main section that covers all birds which breed or occur in Europe & North Africa north of 30 degrees North and Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, this is for you. Also included are the Canary Islands, Madeira and the Sinai Peninsula.
A chunky but can fit in your bag paperback guide, that is a must for travelling, even more so now so many sub-species have been identified. The text is easy to decipher and you will just treasure this book if your a decent birder or a seasoned pro. Maybe not the best for beginners, so be warned.
The English edition by Harper Collins is a good translation of the original Swedish work. The usefulness of this book relies heavily on the clarity of the superbly detailed illustrations. There are multiple pictures of species which seasonally change plumage and/or as they mature from juvenile to adult. In the case of gulls, which mature over 4 years, the coverage of 1st, 2nd & 3rd year plumage is particularly helpful. Birds like eagles, hawks and falcons are shown in flight from above and below. Subtle wing pattern distinctions are clearly pointed out. In other species, beak and leg differences are indicated, where they are important for identification. There are useful hints for birders, like "Watching sea birds". The Introduction is essential reading as a primer for the beginner. It contains many common sense tips that experienced birders would do well to read as a refresher. The Mandarin Duck, now resident and breeding in large numbers in the UK, is included only in the section "Introduced breeding species, etc. ...". This deprives the reader of some distinguishing illustrations, like the non-breeding phase. It would have been more helpful to include it in the main body, as are the Canada Goose and the Pheasant family.
However, this is a minor criticism of a fine publication that justifies fully what might appear to be a high cover price. It deserves to exceed the massive 700,000 copies of the first edition.