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Grouse: The Natural History of British and Irish Species Hardcover – 1 Sep 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 529 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; 1st edition (1 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007150970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007150977
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 4.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 880,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for the New Naturalist series:

A History of Ornithology by Peter Bircham:

‘Bircham has found for himself a distinctive ecological niche by dwelling on the evolving science, rather than ornithology as social process or field activity … he has produced a thorough and valuable contribution to the field’
Mark Cocker, The Guardian

'This book has set a benchmark for future histories on this subject, though I'm guessing that there won't be many books that come along in the near future that offer a serious alternative to this extremely well-balanced and studious work.'
Birdwatch

The Isles of Scilly by Rosemary Parslow:

'This is a fully rounded and wonderfully detailed natural history of England's only ocean archipelago. It works on several levels, as a guide, as a wildlife encyclopaedia and as a lyrical celebration of a special place. Rosemary Parslow has written a classic book to add to the remarkable swell of New Naturalist masterpieces in recent years.'
British Wildlife

About the Author

Aged 13, Adam Watson saw his first ptarmigan on a lone climb to Derry Cairngorm in 1943 and began to record numbers, and in the winter of 1951/2 studied them there for an honours degree at Aberdeen University. He has studied black grouse, capercaillie and Irish red grouse, and accompanied ecologists on their fieldwork in Iceland, Norway and Alaska.
Robert Moss graduated in honours biochemistry at University College London. He showed a keen interest in chemical aspects of the work on red grouse and has worked on red grouse, and also on ptarmigan, black grouse and capercaillie in Scotland. Abroad, he has studied Icelandic ptarmigan, and rock, willow and white-tailed ptarmigan, during a year based at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This has to be the best bird book I've ever read. Really expert birdwatchers have spent centuries astonishing and boring the rest of us by identifying tiny differences between the corpses of birds from different parts of the world. Watson and Moss combine geography and field observation with laboratory physiology, biochemistry and genetics in a way that suddenly start to make sense of these bizarre observations. Their appendices, detailing vigorous disagreement with other workers in the field, add flavour to the book.

Brilliant!
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Format: Hardcover
It was an interesting choice that the founders of British Birds made in 1907 when they had to decide which bird should decorate the emblem of this august journal. They chose the Red Grouse because it was considered to be the only British bird to be endemic to our islands. That was a century ago and now we treat this bird as the British race of the Willow Ptarmigan. But let's not forget that grouse are important. They have had a significant influence on land use in our uplands and they play an important role in the economies of many people in the countryside. They also stimulate passionate debates between conservationists and landowners - in fact it is hard to think of another bird family of this small size that could warrant a book of this nature. Both authors are renowned experts in their field and have written important contributions on grouse ecology for this journal over the years, including in 1980, the unforgettable paper "Why are Capercaillie cocks so big?".

This is the 107th New Naturalist title to have appeared since the series started in 1945 and it is also one of the largest volumes. It deals exclusively with the four grouse species to be found in the British Isles: Red Grouse Lagopus lagopus (although referred to in the book as Willow Ptarmigan when non-UK populations are discussed), Ptarmigan Lagopus mutus, Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix and Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus.

An introductory chapter introduces the family and another discusses the nomenclature used. It also reveals some of the more bizarre names that have been awarded to these species over the years.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A comprehensive guide to this facinating group of birds. This book has been well researched by two of the most respected men in their field - everything you want to know and presented in a very easy to understand style/format.
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By Luke on 30 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unfortunatly, I did not learn anything new. It focus mostly on UK grouse populations. But it might be useful for certain people who are interested to know more general information about each species..
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