After encountering a barn owl roosting in an old oak near their Devon home, Miriam Darlington and her teenage son Benji embark on a mission to find every species of owl in Europe. They travel to France, Spain, Serbia and Finland – but when Benji is struck with a mystery illness, the quest becomes entangled with the search for a cure. Blending memoir and nature writing, Miriam also reflects on the roles that owls have played in human culture.
The Little Guide to Birds
Delicately illustrated by the printmaker Tom Frost and supplemented with facts and fables, this pocketbook features information on 40 avian species from all over the world – from common garden varieties to exotic flyers, birds of prey and sea-faring fowl. A section at the back provides a space to tick off each bird when spotted.
BIRDS Watercolour Art Pad
Easily detached for painting and mounting, the 15 outline drawings in this art pad include a peacock, golden eagle and mandarin duck. Colour reproductions of the original watercolours are featured, with brief introductions to materials and techniques such as representing feathers and creating washes.
As Kingfishers Catch Fire
Books and Birds
‘Triangulating between the bird, the world and literature’, Alex Preston’s book brings together a vast range of writing about birds and his own very personal experience as a birdwatcher, book-lover and novelist. Arranged by 21 bird species, each one illustrated by Neil Gower, the book quotes poets and prose writers as diverse as Dark Age poets, John Clare and Richard Mabey, looking always for writing that ‘makes the birds take shape in the mind in a way that is new yet immediately familiar’.
The Blue Tit
With its bright plumage, the blue tit is a familiar and much-loved visitor to garden bird feeders. Illustrated with colour photographs of the various species found around the world, this book offers an in-depth account of its habits, life cycle, mating and breeding patterns, and the predators it faces. Up-to-date scientific evidence on taxonomy, distribution and population structure is complemented by a chapter on the blue tit in folklore, anecdote and poetry.
An Urban Bird Watching Logbook
Each of the 50 species featured in this urban birdwatching journal is allocated a two-page-spread – the first showing a colour illustration and facts written by a leading ornithologist; the second blank squares for notes and observations. Sightings can be recorded in a separate section using the enclosed stickers. Age10+
The Splendor of Birds
Art and Photographs from National Geographic
Throughout its endeavours to advance knowledge of the natural world, the National Geographic Society has created a remarkable archive of paintings and photographs. Hundreds of these images, showcasing the diversity of birds around the world, are reproduced in this large-format portfolio. Dating from 1888 to 2018, they include close ups and in-flight shots, with the majority showing the birds in their natural habitats. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge. American spelling.
Birdhouses of the World
Chosen for their remarkable display of creativity, the forty birdhouses in this illustrated collection include traditional, wooden designs placed in unusual formations, sleek models made from modern materials, and ornate, fantastical designs featuring heavily carved wood and stained glass windows. While not necessarily functional, each one is a talking point and design feature.
The Eponym Dictionary of Birds
Written by the authors of Whose Bird, but greatly expanded to list both scientific as well as vernacular birds’ names, the Dictionary has over 4,100 entries and covers more than 10,000 genera, species and subspecies. It provides brief details of the eponymous names – including steel magnates and princes along with the explorers, scientists and ornithologists – from Aagaard (the Buffy Fish Owl, Ketupa ketupa aagaardi) to Zusi (Bogota Surnangel, Helioangelus zusii).
A Sweet, Wild Note
What We Hear When the Birds Sing
‘Birdsong belongs to the birds, but we’ve spent an awful lot of time trying to make it ours too.’ These witty meditations of a birdwatcher explore how humans’ love of birdsong has influenced literature, music and science. They also reveal what such cultural responses say about our dreams and desires, even our ideas of Britishness – and what will be lost if human activity eventually silences the sounds from our trees and hedgerows.
The London Bird Atlas
Within a 20-mile radius of St Paul’s – the area covered by the London Natural History Society – no less than 370 species of birds have been observed. This atlas profiles 200 of the most common, from mute swans to house sparrows. Each entry is illustrated with colour photographs and a map showing distribution. The text also describes the capital’s varied habitats, including brownfield sites, woodland and wetlands, and contains a gazetteer of sites.
The Birds of the Iberian Peninsula
The avifauna of the Iberian Peninsula reflects the area’s diversity of climate and landscape, and the contrasting influences of the Atlantic and Mediterranean. This first English-language ornithological account covers mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands, Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar, with chapters on geography, climate and habitats; the complete species list, including population statistics and distribution maps; and a selection of colour photographs.
H is for Hawk
Helen Macdonald was devastated by her father’s sudden death. Already an experienced falconer, she set herself an awesome challenge to confront her grief: to rear and train a goshawk, a member of the species she had thought of as ‘things of death and difficulty: spooky, pale-eyed psychopaths that lived and killed in woodland thickets’. This award-winning book records how, with TH White’s The Goshawk as her guide, she dealt with bereavement by adopting Mabel and living alongside ‘the hawk’s wild mind’. American-cut pages.
What's in a Name?
The scientific names identifying every species of bird are used around the world, though few know how they came about. Fully illustrated with colour photographs, this alphabetical guide traces hundreds of birds’ names to their habits, appearance, and even folklore. Accipiter – for hawks – is derived from the Latin ‘to take’; the crevice-roosting wren is called Troglodytes, or cave-dweller; while the nightjar is Caprimulgus because of an old belief that it sucked goats’ milk.
Doves and Dovecotes
Dovecotes are one of the least recorded types of vernacular building, but architects including James Wyatt and Edwin Lutyens have designed them and their history reaches into antiquity. This survey of English and Welsh examples ranges from Norman times to the 20th century and from utilitarian structures to Palladian flights of fancy. The authors also describe how doves and pigeons have been domesticated, reared and used by humans. Off-mint.
Penguins and Other Sea Birds
This visual field guide to sea birds focuses on 50 species, each illustrated by a watercolour portrait, alongside notes on colour and behaviour. The birds range from the well-known – Emperor Penguin, Albatross – to the more unusually named Parasitic Jaegar and Blue-footed Booby. A useful spotting guide displays the birds across seven spreads.
Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness
‘There are more crows now than there have ever been in the history of the earth’: this book focuses on their behaviour, habitats and the imbalance in their population to highlight issues of biodiversity and how we share our space – urban or rural – with wildlife. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Seabird's Cry
The Lives and Loves of Puffins, Gannets and Other Ocean Voyagers
Adam Nicolson combines science, tradition and poetry in his ‘exploration of the ways in which seabirds exert their hold on the human imagination’. He describes the lives and habits of ten birds, among them native species of the British Isles, the albatross of the Southern Ocean and the extinct great auk, each one showing a different facet of seabirds’ unique ability to exist in three elements – on the sea, in the air and on land. Winner of the Wainwright Prize, 2018.
Birds of Paradise
A Colouring Expedition
Scientific illustrator Andrew Leach provides images of the 39 birds of paradise found in and around New Guinea in this colouring book. Each bird is given a short description, and guidance on plumage is provided by photographs taken by wildlife photojournalist Tim Laman.
A Naturalist's Guide to the Birds of China
Southeast China, Including Shanghai
The characteristics, distribution, habitat and migration patterns of 280 bird species are listed with photographs in this identification guide centred on seven provinces in Southeast China, including Hainan and Guangdong. Practical information for birdwatchers visiting the region is also included.
The World of Birds
This extensive photographic guide to birds explains all aspects of their life, from anatomy and flight to plumage and song, and features explanatory drawings and diagrams. It includes a comprehensive survey of the 32 bird orders and 195 families, with an account of each one and reference panels detailing range, habitat, food and migration. In addition, it has a full glossary of terms and two exhaustive indexes, sorted by subject matter and bird name.
The Art of Ornithology
This chronological account charts the development of bird art from early decorative images to scientifically accurate modern portrayals, focusing mainly on the period between 1650 and the present day. Presenting an extensive selection of original artwork from the collections of the Natural History Museum, Jonathan Elphick interweaves ornithological information with brief biographies of the artists, descriptions of the techniques they used and a critical appraisal of their work, encouraging a deeper appreciation of bird art and the riches of avian life.
Songs of Love and War
The Dark Heart of Bird Behaviour
From a commentary on the dawn chorus in a Dorset village, with quotations from the poets as well as explanations of the behaviour compelling the birds to sing, to his final, powerful argument for conserving birds’ habitats, Dominic Couzens’s book illuminates the realities of life for songbirds. Here are the grim truths of sparrows killed by sparrowhawks, the aggression inspired by feeding tables and crows made homeless by tree-felling as well the marvels of the skylark’s song and starlings’ murmurations.
From the familiar Great Auk to obscure island finches, this listing describes all the bird species known to have disappeared in the last 700 years and now represented by museum specimens, credible accounts and illustration. Each entry includes details of status, range and location of specimens, followed by a description and history, with quotations from written records. There is also a listing of ‘hypothetical birds’, known by very few specimens and unverified accounts, and appendices dealing with doubtful and deficient taxa.
The Life of an English Hen Harrier
The Forest of Bowland is a bleakly beautiful Lancashire upland, and one of the last redoubts of the hen harrier in England. This book follows the life of one exceptional harrier, immersing the reader in her day-to-day regimen of hunting, bathing, roosting and seeking a mate. It is also a fierce rallying cry against landowners who illegally exterminate birds of prey to protect the grouse that sportsmen pay to shoot.
Waiting for the Albino Dunnock
How Birds Can Change Your Life
Despite having written many books about the countryside, including the bestselling Country Wisdom, Rosamond Richardson only started birdwatching in her sixties. This lyrical blend of science, mythology, philosophy and poetic excerpts conveys her growing engagement with the beauty of birds, and the joy and serenity brought by 'ornitheology'. The result is a precisely observed exploration of the importance of nature to one’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
A collaboration between Ralph Steadman and the filmmaker and conservationist Ceri Levy, the award-winning Extinct Boids surveyed the birds we have lost; Nextinction shifts the focus to those we are about to lose. Levy’s ‘With a Wing and a Prayer’ commentary tells the stories of 192 species on the Critically Endangered List; while Steadman depicts the birds on the brink of extinction, such as the Giant Ibis and the Kakapo, and some rather dubious species including the Unsociable Lapwing and the Ooshut Doorbang.
Few creatures can be more emblematic of the Scottish Highlands than the golden eagle, and to catch a glimpse of this magnificent bird is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This book recounts many such encounters over many years. The evocative text and superb colour photographs capture the sights, the sounds and the very texture of the Highlands, as well as the life, the habits and the prey of this mighty raptor.
Cuckoos of the World
The ‘Cuculidae’ family is comprised of 144 species, whose members may be found almost anywhere in the world. This definitive reference work on the identification of cuckoos includes summaries of those species, accompanied by accurate paintings, detailing plumage variations and sub-species, from four world-renowned artists. The summaries cross-reference more detailed accounts of each type, featuring information on taxonomy, conservation, breeding habits and behaviour, and complemented by maps and quality colour photographs.
The Birds of Shetland
The most northerly island group in Britain, Shetland is famous for its globally significant populations of breeding seabirds, including such rarities as red-necked phalarope, great snipe and lanceolated warbler. This authoritative, comprehensive guide provides an overview of the climate and ecology of the archipelago, followed by a survey of every species recorded there. With 40 pages of colour photographs and many line drawings throughout the text, it is an essential handbook for any ornithologist with an interest in the islands.
Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Ireland
Written by birdwatching expert Mark Golley and with more than 1,000 full-colour illustrations by leading bird artist David Daly, this compact guide is arranged in taxonomic species order. It includes identification tips, details of habitat and describes calls for over 280 species of birds, both those seen regularly in Britain and Ireland and some of the less common migrants.
Cormorants, Darters and Pelicans of the World
Birds in the order Pelecaniformes share biological traits such as feeding predominantly on fish and incubating only a limited clutch of eggs (one or two) by the transmission of heat from the foot webs. This meticulous study, first published in 1993, provides a worldwide survey of the 32 species of cormorants and shags, two species of darters and seven species of pelicans, examining their biology, behaviour, plumage, distribution and ecology, and including colour photographs and anatomical drawings.
National Birds of the World
From Angola's Red-Crested Turaco to Zimbabwe's African Fish-Eagle, more than 90 avian species have been adopted as official symbols of national identity. Each bird is pictured and described in this comprehensive guide, which features data such as size, diet and habitat alongside an explanation of reasons for the bird's use as a national emblem, information on its conservation status and examples of its prevalence in the stamps, coats of arms and wider culture of its country. Foreword by Chris Packham.
Grouse of the World
Grouse are a vast family of birds found throughout the northern hemisphere from the Gulf of Mexico to the Kamchatka peninsula; they include the capercaillie, ptarmigan and prairie chicken. This comprehensive English-language guide explores the evolution of the grouse, then examines each species in turn, noting its distribution and habitat, diet, breeding habits and conservation issues. The extensive illustrations include maps, paintings, photographs and line drawings that highlight anatomical features and behaviour.
Penguins' anthropomorphic qualities have contributed to their popularity, but it is the extreme conditions in which they live and the extraordinary behaviours that they have evolved that makes them so fascinating. This photographic celebration focuses on the penguins of the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands, studying the birds' feeding, courtship, breeding and survival behaviours and remote habitats, and also contains a 'fact file' profiling the 17 commonly recognized species – from the Emperors of the sea-ice to the lesser-known warm-weather penguins.
An Eternity of Eagles
The Human History of the Most Fascinating Bird in the World
This natural and social history of the eagle from an American writer and naturalist traces the evolution of our love-hate relationship with this magnificent bird, from Neolithic rock art and ancient mythology to medieval falconry and contemporary popular culture, and asks what modern-day threats such as habitat loss and pesticides mean for its future. More than 100 photographs and illustrations accompany the text, and novelist Annie Proulx contributes an introduction.
A Natural History
Malcolm Schuyl, a biologist and wildlife photographer with a passion for swans, presents a very accessible introduction to their biology, life cycle and behaviour, their domestication and their significance in cultural life, along with a remarkable collection of photographs taken over many years of observing these beautiful birds. The book concentrates on the Mute or Common Swan, and its special place in folk traditions and in literature and art, from Aesop to the band T. Rex.
The Skylark's beautiful song, delivered from its famous towering songflight, can be heard from Ireland to Japan and from the Arctic Circle to the North African deserts. This volume opens with an overview of all the world's larks and, as well as a thorough account of the species biology, migratory patterns, behaviour and habitats, Paul Donald discusses the Skylark's role in history and folklore. This book is from the Poyser Monographs series. Regarded as essential reading by many ornithologists, the Monographs provide an enormous amount of detail on individual species, covering evolution, biology and ecology, breeding and feeding, distribution, and conservation.
Why Birds Sing
A Journey into the Mystery of Birdsong
David Rothenberg is a professor of philosophy, a composer and a jazz clarinettist. In this ‘attempt to answer the beguiling question of why birds sing’ he blends the latest scientific research with a deep understanding of musical aesthetics and form.