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
The first part of this extensive guide to birds, which features copious photographs, diagrams and sidebars, explains all aspects of bird life, including anatomy, breeding, flight, food, habitat, plumage and song. In the second part there is a comprehensive survey of the 32 bird orders and 195 families, each of the latter accompanied by a detailed account and fact panel (range, habitat, food, migration, etc.), plus a full glossary of terms and two exhaustive indexes.
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 exhaustive listing describes all bird species known to have disappeared in the last 700 years and now represented by museum specimens and 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 accounts. There is also a listing of ‘hypothetical birds’, known by very few specimens and unverified accounts, and appendices dealing with doubtful and deficient taxa.
As Kingfishers Catch Fire
Books & 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 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 picked up a pair of binoculars and started birdwatching in her sixties. In a series of lyrical prose poems, this book charts her growing engagement with the world of birds over a single year, and the joy and serenity it brought. The result is a precisely observed exploration of the importance of nature to one’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
Woodpeckers of the World
The Complete Guide
Each of the 239 meticulously detailed entries in this authoritative guide to the woodpecker family includes a description of vocalizations, drumming, conservation status, habitat, range, food, taxonomy and variation, as well as several captioned photographs that beautifully illustrate plumage and behaviour. A comprehensive introduction to the book explains the general characteristics of woodpeckers, including anatomy, morphology, foraging, breeding habits, flight, and the universally admired drumming sound made with their chisel-like bills.
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.
A Life with Birds
Esther Woolfson, in a blend of memoir and natural history, describes how she shares her home with birds, not only the rook that arrived as a young, abandoned fledgling, but also doves, parrots, a cockatiel and a starling. ‘Of all of them,’ she writes, ‘it has been the corvids, the rook, magpie and crow, who have altered for ever my relationship to the rest of the world, altered my view of a hierarchy of form, intellect, ability; my concept of time.’
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.
An Exploration of Avian Intelligence
Different species of birds have demonstrated tool use and advanced spatial and navigational awareness but recent experiments have begun to reveal a more sophisticated and self-aware problem-solving ability. This highly illustrated introduction to the subject explains the current state of knowledge, explores the anatomy and workings of the avian brain and describes some of the most notable recent studies that suggest that some birds have an intelligence that could be compared to dolphins or elephants.
The Birdwatcher's Garden
In this straightforward guide to making your garden – whatever its size – into a safe haven for birds, Hazel and Pamela Johnson explain how to plan a garden and what to grow to provide food, shelter, observation and singing posts, and nesting sites. They also deal with feeding birds, providing a directory of different species’ requirements; and ‘man-made provisions’ such as bird tables, nesting boxes and bird baths.
Advanced Bird ID Guide
The Western Palearctic
Nils van Duivendijk’s authoritative guide for serious birdwatchers covers all the essential identification features, including many not dealt with in standard guides, for every plumage of all 1,300 species and subspecies, common residents to rare migrants, recorded in Britain, Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Published in association with British Birds journal, the Guide is a former Birdwatch magazine Book of the Year.
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.
Birds of the West Indies
Helm Identification Guides
More than 560 species of bird are known to occur in the West Indies, including migrants and vagrants (occasional visitors accidentally diverted off their usual routes), each of which is identified and beautifully illustrated in this comprehensive guide. Species notes explain each bird's range, habitat, nesting habits and other information, such as local names, and are accompanied by a distribution map. There is also a locality checklist charting the occurrence of each species island by island.
A Journey Through Birds
From hen harriers nesting on Orkney, Lockhart travels south through Caithness and Sutherland, across to the Outer Hebrides and south again, bird-by-bird, until he reaches his home in Devon – and the sparrowhawks. He is driven by a lifelong passion to explore the habitats of the raptors, and celebrates the birds themselves while reflecting on the ornithologists of the past, including his own great grandfather, Seton Gordon. Raptor received the Royal Society of Literature’s Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction in 2011.
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.
Understanding Bird Behaviour
Male wrens build several nests for the female to choose from, coots and grebes build floating nests – and golden eagles build nests up to three metres across. This book examines the movement, feeding, breeding, distribution and migration of the 200 most commonly encountered species in Britain. The first half focuses on the different types of behaviour, while the second discusses specific families and groups of birds. The guide is illustrated throughout with attractive photographs.
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.
The Magic of Birds
Celia Fisher's study of the ways in which birds have inspired artists, writers and storytellers is filled with glorious images of birds ranging from ancient Babylonian stone carvings to Audubon's The Birds of America (1827–38), and from paintings decorating the pages of the Sherborne Missal (c.1399–1407) to Arthur Rackham's illustrations for Some British Ballads (1919). Fisher explores this tremendous diversity of themes and approaches and presents reproductions of over 120 examples from across time and cultures.
Latin for Bird Lovers
Over 3,000 Bird Names Explored and Explained
The scientific names of birds can provide clues to a species' colour, size or distribution, and may reveal a hidden history or quality. The secrets behind more than 3,000 scientific names – not all of which derive from Latin – are revealed here in an exquisitely illustrated and produced volume, organized alphabetically. It also delves into aspects of biology and behaviour such as beaks, feathers, songs, calls, migration and foraging, and looks at the crucial discoveries of eleven notable ornithologists. American spelling.
Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern North America
Covering the entire area to the east of the Rocky Mountains, this volume features more than 650 species, from pelicans to passerines, from the Arctic to the Everglades. Each entry contains new text on behaviour, nesting, feeding and breeding. There are more than 4,200 illustrations, while new maps show the range and distribution of individual species.
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 New Naturalist Library
Terns are small, graceful seabirds commonly seen around our shores in summer months. This guide to the five species breeding in Britain and Ireland draws on a wealth of new information to describe their features, behaviour, habitats, breeding patterns and migration, and the measures in place to protect their populations from coastal flooding, changes in land use and conflict with humans.
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.
A Natural History
An ornithologist who has devoted decades to studying seabirds, Anthony Gaston explains in detail what is special about being a seabird and why – like humans – they live a long time and reproduce very slowly. Enriched with personal anecdotes from the field and photographs, the book provides information on all seabird types and covers adaptation and plumage, distribution and communities, feeding, behaviour, migration, breeding, the consequences of coloniality and population dynamics.
The Birds of CITES
And How to Identify Them
This comprehensive reference handbook was produced for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, to describe the birds of the world threatened with depletion or extinction. The large, beautifully drawn illustrations capture in exquisite detail many hundreds of species, and for each one there is information on its physical characteristics and its range. All technical terms are clearly explained, and there is a helpful guide to bird families.
Naturalised Birds of the World
After habitat loss, the impact of naturalized exotics is the single most important cause of extinction in native species throughout the world. In this book, updated from the first edition in 1987, Christopher Lever describes when, where, how and by whom the world's naturalized birds were introduced to places outside their natural range, and discusses the economic and ecological impacts each has had in its naturalized regions.
The Birds of Dorset
Dorset has much to offer birds and birdwatchers; with few large towns and a wealth of unspoilt countryside, the bird fauna of the county is rich, with many open-country and woodland species. This book presents a comprehensive overview of the status of every species recorded in Dorset. Each account covers distribution and population trends, patterns in habitat use, and conservation; while introductory chapters outline the county's climate, vegetation, ecology and history of land use, and the history of Dorset ornithology.
When asked by film-maker Ceri Levy to produce one drawing representing an extinct bird, Ralph Steadman got somewhat carried away. Along with the genuinely extinct species such as the Auk, Dodo, Rodrigues Solitaire etc, there are Steadman 'boids' that would have been hunted to extinction – like the Jamaican Red Macaw – had they ever existed. Altogether, there are 100 boids, accompanied by a commentary on their creation and notes on their extinction. In the words of Ceri Levy: 'such beautiful chaos'.
The Atlas of Birds
Mapping Avian Diversity, Behaviour and Habitats Worldwide
This comprehensive reference book provides a timely insight into the conservation status of birds around the world, with full-colour maps showing where birds are found, where and why they are most under threat and what is being done to protect them. Maps and diagrams also chart the amazing phenomenon of bird migration and explain bird classification. The Atlas is illustrated with photographs and artworks and its authoritative text uses the latest data and case studies.
The Most Amazing Birds to See in Britain
The birds of the British Isles are remarkable for both their abundance and variety, from the mighty Golden Eagle to the tiny Goldcrest. This sturdy and handsome guide details the appearance, size, nesting and feeding habits and life cycle of more than 100 British birds, arranged in chapters according to habitat: parks and gardens, farmland, woodland, mountain and moor, wetlands and coast. Each species is illustrated with colour photographs and clear artwork for identification, and a locator map showing its range.
Beautiful Bird Songs from Around the World
A Skylark, recorded in the Outer Hebrides; the Musical Wren from the Amazonian rainforest; a plaintive Hoopoe Lark in the North African desert: or the strange sound of the Kokako, heard in the wild only in New Zealand's North Island... With recordings drawn from the British Library Sound Archive, this double CD set presents 40 of the most inspiring sounds of the natural world, whether richly melodic, ethereal or simply amazing, like the mimickry of Albert's Lyrebird. 2 CDs total duration over 2 hours.
Lady of the Loch
Once widely distributed, Ospreys had more or less died out in Britain by the early 20th century but were spotted again in the 1950s and have since re-established themselves, mainly in Scotland. This book tells the story of the fish-eating raptor's resurgence through its most famous representative Lady, who migrated from Africa to the same Scottish nest, and bred successfully, for more than 20 consecutive seasons.
The Birds of Essex
Stretching east from suburban London along the Thames and north towards East Anglia, Essex is of national and international importance for many birds, especially the migrant wildfowl and waders that occur on the Stour, Colne, Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Thames estuaries. Covering the entire Essex list of 384 species, this volume analyses and summarizes data collected over the last 200 years, with an up-to-date status report for each species and its patterns of occurrence within Essex.