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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
13
4.8 out of 5 stars


on 29 October 2017
Love it <3
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on 11 April 2006
This is a perfectly viable field guide to the birds of Europe and, if it weren't for the existence of the Collins Guide, it could easily be a top recommendation. One thing marks this book apart from other field guides though: the illustrations are so beautiful that they might have been painted for art's sake alone. I have been fascinated by Jonsson's gulls and shorebirds from an earlier series published by habitat and now to have all the birds together is just wonderful. His paintings capture the "jizz" of the bird better than those of any other artist I know. This book will give great aesthetic pleasure long before (and after) one gets it into the field.
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on 6 September 2011
I got this book in 2010 because I've heard it was a great guide for Western Palearctic. It kinda was, with some positive an negative ways. This review is about the 2006 edition of this book, with the owl.

POSITIVE:
1-Illustrations are awesome! They look so realistic, I loved them!

NEGATIVE:
1-Though illustrations are good, some of them are misplaced, such as Caucasian and Hazel Grouses having very little illustrations, and they are above text, not front page of text!
2-Another negative thing of illustrations are that, for example, there's a page that includes plates of two species: Dunnock and Alpine Accentor. Lars has illustrated the Dunnock in a bush, but when it comes to Alpine, he has to illustrate it on a mountain, so he cuts two illustrations of certain species with a line, so upper part will be a bush, and other one will be a mountanious area. I guess you don't get what I mean but once you see it, it looks ugly.
3-Some of texts are wrong and misplaced. Some texts are at another page of illustration, just like old generation guides. Also I wouldn't guess that a new generation guide that has a 2006 edition would treat Yellow-legged Gull as "probably a race of herring gull". Shame!
4-Some of distrubution maps are wrong too. e.g. Arctic Skua, it appears in Mediterranean area either, but in here, it only showed that it only appears in Scandinavia and Scotland in Europe. Also, the placing of maps are really bad.

In conclusion, if you look for true and recent information, you don't need it, but for plates, it's perfect.

Hope this was helpful.
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on 1 July 2011
I've used this guide on numerous occasions before, but it has always been someone else's that I've borrowed so I knew what the book was like and how it was held in high regard by all of those who have lent me it in the past. A couple of those whose copies I've borrowed in the past are now professional academics working in research in to birds and they still have the copies of a few years ago and still wax lyrical about this publication if you ask them about it - a better advert you could not get!
My copy is a couple of years old and whilst there is the possibility of the odd name change or reorganisation within a species group there is no way that any newly evolved plumage or other additions will have appeared at least not ones that would make identifiying any more difficult. True that with climate change some of the ranges may change a bit, but again I don't see this changing overly much in my life time. So all in I would not worry about the book being a few years old.

Content wise, it is brilliant ! Clear and well made drawings of just about every species in the text, detailed distribution maps, clear and concise descriptions of the species and notes on the changes in their plumage from juvenile to adult and throughout the seasons.

Anther great thing about this guide compared to others is the first 20-30 pages that take the reader through the identifying features on birds, how to see them, what to look out for, notes on taking notes in the field and how to observe as a "real birder" in short if you know nothing about bird watching the first 20-30 pages tell you what you need to know before giving a good account of how the different species are aligned in to families and other groupings.

All in this is the best field guide there is, I've heard people recommending the Collins guide, which whilst it is good I think this one is that bit better, although personal choice may come in to it I would still recommend that you buy this one. "if you buy no other field guide buy this one"
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on 22 June 2009
If you want to know what you are loking at and you are anywhere in europe this is the daddy! ! easy to identify , well laid out, go for it.
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on 4 October 2013
I use this book every time I go out. The text and illustrations are excellent, both for beginners and experts.
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on 6 February 2017
Comprehensive and super illustrations, a real classic! A must have for any bookshelf. Get one while you can...
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on 26 February 2013
Well known to be an outstanding bird guide. Nothing further needs to be said. Pity that it seems to be out of print.
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on 21 July 2015
Great book to identify Birds around Europe, excellent photo's and descriptions.
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on 22 October 2016
Excellent guide,lovely illustrations,very pleased,thanks
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