Birds & Birdwatching Books
You can learn so much about our feathered friends through their birdsong. It's the natural soundtrack to our lives and can evoke so many memories - as well as helping us understand about birds' lives and behaviours.
- RRP £14.99
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This RSPB-endorsed guide will help you learn and identify different bird sounds at your own pace. It's suitable for novices and experienced birdwatchers and comes with a CD full of 100 songs and calls of 65 garden, woodland and farmland birds, so that you know exactly what to listen out for.
It also contains a reference section detailing the sounds of another 185 birds found in Britain and north-west Europe.
Why should you buy this book?It will help you get closer to nature and learn more about our feathered friends.
Learn all about 80 of the most common species of bird with this witty and informative book. It's suitable for both birdwatching beginners and nature enthusiasts.
- RRP £12.99
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Illustrated and written in a friendly style, the descriptions of each bird describe what makes them unique and tell you what to look for - whether in your back garden or in the wider countryside. This book is packed with facts that will fascinate non-birders and birders alike.
The birds are ordered into broad and straightforward groups (Woodlands, Parks and Gardens, Farmland and Wild Spaces, Birds of Prey, Seabirds etc) and the text explains why each is so significant. This book will also help you recognise when you've seen something rare or out of the ordinary.
Alison Davies' The Little Guide to Birds will help you learn about 40 of the most spectacular birds from all around the world - from common garden birds to sea birds and exotic flyers.
- RRP £7.99
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Featuring stunning illustrations by printmaker Tom Frost, each bird has a stunning profile that explains where they originate from, how many eggs they lay and the incredible journeys they undertake.
This charming book also contains a spotter's guide so you can tick off when you see each bird.
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.
- RRP £19.99
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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.
- RRP £30.00
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On Valentine's Day 1985, biologist Stacey O'Brien met a four-day-old baby barn owl - a fateful encounter that would turn into an astonishing 19-year saga. With nerve damage in one wing, the owlet had no hope of surviving on his own in the wild. O'Brien, then a young assistant in the owl laboratory at Caltech, was immediately smitten, promising to care for the helpless owlet and give him a permanent home. Wesley is the funny, poignant story of their dramatic two decades together. As Wesley grew, O'Brien snapped photos of him at every stage, recording his life from a helpless ball of fuzz to a playful, clumsy adolescent to a gorgeous, gold-and-white, adult owl with a heart-shaped face and an outsize personality that belied his 18-inch stature. When O'Brien develops her own life-threatening illness, the biologist who saved the life of a helpless baby bird is herself rescued from death by the insistent love and courage of this wild animal. "Wesley" is a thoroughly engaging, heart-warming, often funny story of a complex, emotional, non-human being capable of reason, play, and, most important, love and loyalty.
- RRP £8.99
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For generations, people in the countryside have kept chickens, mainly for the eggs. Now, more and more people, in town as well as countryside, are enjoying the pleasure of keeping hens in the garden and reaping the reward of those fresh eggs every day. Virginia Shirt has lived with chickens for over 15 years so her knowledge of these fascinating birds is conditioned by practical experience. Her book is a revelation to every aspiring enthusiast. Concentrating initially on the very first steps, the book goes on to deal with feeding and rearing chickens and comprehensively covers matters relating to health and disease.
- RRP £7.99
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This book, the latest innovative "Haynes Manual", will provide a complete and easy-to-understand reference for the growing band of people wishing to keep their own chickens for both food and pleasure. Pitched at the novice but also containing plenty to interest the experienced chicken-keeper, the book will contain no-nonsense advice, tips, facts and step-by step sequences, as well as plenty of relevant photographs and diagrams. As more people keep chickens nowadays than at any time since the Second World War, this book is a timely addition to the "Haynes" range.
- RRP £22.99
All animals are equal - but some, as George Orwell said, are more equal than others, and birds, most people would surely agree, are in the very first rank. They can do almost everything that mammals can do - and more. By mastering flight, they have a way of living that encompasses the whole world. In "The Secret Life of Birds", Colin Tudge explores the life of birds, all around the globe. From the secrets of migration to their complicated family lives, their differing habitats and survival techniques to the secrets of flight, this is a fascinating account of how birds live, why they matter, and whether they really are dinosaurs. Colin Tudge shows how birds - who are like us in the general sense but very different in the particulars - live and think. For birds have minds: they feel, they are aware, they work things out. And so, by considering the birds, asking how and why it is possible for them to be so different, we gain insight into ourselves. Birds are beautiful, lively, intriguing - and all around us. This rich and endlessly absorbing book opens up their lives to everyone.
- RRP £14.99
The beauty and drama of the bird world brought to breathtaking life in a new edition. From hummingbirds weighing less than a coin to monkey-eating eagles, this is a unique celebration of birds, photographed and studied in their natural environments around the world. Explore the complete bird story: from their origins to up-to-date information on flight, anatomy, feeding, communication, breeding, habitat, migrations and life cycles. Spectacular features on the most impressive birds, plus a huge catalogue that profiles nearly fifteen hundred different species makes this a must-have for every bird enthusiast. This title is published with Birdlife International, the world's leading avian authority.
- RRP £19.99
This is a new and fully updated edition of this popular title. Essentially a beginner's field guide to British and Irish Birds, this is a must-have book for any birder coming to grips with the 200 or so most common species to be found in these countries. Written in Bill's inimitable style, the book enables even the most inexperienced birdwatcher to clearly identify a wide variety of species. The new edition takes into account the most recent changes to the taxonomic order of bird species, includes the latest scientific bird names as well as the common names, contains numerous new pictures, and is fully updated with the latest data on species for which the status has changed since the book was first published, such as the Little Egret. Clear, realistic and accurate illustrations by several leading artists show the birds as they are actually seen in the field. A unique feature of the book is the 10-page section featuring 'confusion species'; these compare and contrast the birds that novice birders often find the most confusing.
- RRP £12.99
There are 10,500 species of bird worldwide and wherever they occur people marvel at their glorious colours and their beautiful songs. We also trap and consume birds of every kind. Yet birds have not just been good to eat. Their feathers, which keep us warm or adorn our costumes, give birds unique mastery over the heavens. Throughout history their flight has inspired the human imagination so that birds are embedded in our religions, folklore, music and arts. Vast in both scope and scale, Birds and People explores and celebrates this relationship and draws upon Mark Cocker's 40 years of observing and thinking about birds. Part natural history and part cultural study, it describes and maps the entire spectrum of our engagements with birds, drawing in themes of history, literature, art, cuisine, language, lore, politics and the environment. In the end, this is a book as much about us as it is about birds. Birds and People has been stunningly illustrated by one of Europe's best wildlife photographers, David Tipling, who has travelled in 39 countries on seven continents to produce a breathtaking and unique collection of photographs. The book is as important for its visual riches as it is for its groundbreaking content. Birds and People is also exceptional in that the author has solicited contributions from people worldwide. Personal anecdotes and stories have come from more than 650 individuals in 81 different countries. They range from university academics to Mongolian eagle hunters, and from Amerindian shamans to some of the most celebrated writers of our age. The sheer multitude of voices in this global chorus means that Birds and People is both a source book on why we cherish birds and a powerful testament to their importance for all humanity.
- RRP £40.00
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Known as heralds of spring and beautiful, elegant flyers, swallows are among the most beloved of familiar birds. Because they return with the spring, swallows have long been associated with the renewal of life, love, fidelity and fertility, while their ability to travel incredible distances has given them associations with freedom and speed. That freedom, however, hasn't kept them from becoming familiar figures in villages and towns. Unlike many animals, these birds have benefited from their close relationship with humans. They often appear to seek out our company; barn swallows have taken advantage of our buildings to make new nesting sites and purple martins use backyard nest boxes. However, as we encroach on their natural habitat, some swallow populations have dwindled to the point of extinction. Bringing together an intriguing mixture of biology, mythology and legend, Swallow is a cultural and natural history that will delight the many fans of these popular birds.
- RRP £12.95
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Markus Varesvuo's first title Birds: Magic Moments published in 2011 took the world of bird books by storm selling tens of thousands of copies and coeditions in half a dozen countries all around Europe. The author's status as one of the world's best bird photographers was already established and the collection of images was breathtaking. Since then Markus's career has gone from strength to strength. Here, for Birds in Pictures he has gathered a new and even better collection of stunning bird images from around the world with highlights including Snowy Owls, Puffins, Dippers, and Capercaillies. The format of the book is slightly larger to show off the photography in all its glory. The text is brief with short descriptions of the subjects and photography tips. In short this will be Markus's biggest and best book to date and it will be another 'must-have' book for birdwatchers and wildlife photographers everywhere.
- RRP £30.00
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In a sense this book is a garden-based autobiography of Britain's most famous birdwatcher. The main narrative covers Bill's personal relationship, not only with his present garden, which was described by the Daily Mail as "Probably the most bizarre back garden in Britain", but also with the gardens he has known throughout his life. The first was what he has called "a sink full of mud" in industrial Rochdale in the 1940s. Next came a larger garden on the edge of Birmingham which he used as a bird ringing station, sometimes helped or hindered by his granny, who often trimmed the lawn with a pair of scissors!In Tales of Ludicrous Bird Gardens there are plenty of eccentric stories about garden characters such as the 'feng shui fox', who constantly rearranged the ornaments, 'Limpy', the one-legged single-parent Great Tit, and one memorable nightmarish occasion when over 50 rats came to visit! This book is NOT an instructional guide on 'How to be a ludicrous gardener' although it may well prove inspirational to others to have a go, or to warn them on what to avoid. Bill abhors decking, large concrete patios, and above, all leaf-blowers.As well as neighbours who whinge about the parakeets! What is certain about Tales of Ludicrous Bird Gardens is that Bill's entertaining take on gardening for birds makes compelling reading.
- RRP £16.99
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This beautifully illustrated field guide enables you to easily identify the tracks and signs left by a wide variety of mammal and bird species found in Britain and Europe, covering behaviors ranging from hunting, foraging, and feeding to courtship, breeding, and nesting. Introductory chapters offer detailed drawings of footprints and tracks of large and small mammals, which are followed by sections on mammal scat, bird droppings, and the feeding signs of animals on food sources such as nuts, cones, and rose hips. The book then describes specific mammal species, providing information on size, distribution, behavior, habitat, and similar species, as well as more specific detail on tracks and scat. Distribution maps are also included. This indispensable field guide covers 175 species of mammals and birds, and features a wealth of stunning color photos and artwork throughout. * Helps you easily identify the tracks and signs of a variety of mammals and birds * Covers 175 species * Illustrated throughout with photos, drawings, and artwork * ncludes informative descriptions of mammal species along with distribution maps
- RRP £17.99
Innocent. Invader. Lover. Thief. Sparrows are everywhere, in many guises. They are cherished pets, subject of elegies by Catullus and John Skelton, listed as 'pretty things' in Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book. They're grimy, urban vermin with shocking manners, so reviled that during the 1950s Mao placed them on the list of 'Four Pests' and ordered the Chinese people to kill them all. In many countries they are appallingly successful non-natives, attacking indigenous birds and ravaging ecosystems. Able to live in the Arctic and the desert, from Beijing to San Francisco, the house sparrow is the most widespread wild bird in the world. In Sparrow, award-winning science and natural history writer Kim Todd explores the complex history, biology and literary tradition of this bird that embodies the word 'common'. In literature, the New Testament claimed that not a sparrow falls without God noting it; the idea of the precious sparrow developed from Hamlet to twentieth-century gospel hymns; the bold, defiant sparrow appears in many folk and fairy tales. The author explores Old World sparrows, like the house sparrow, which can nest in a garage or in an airport, and New World sparrows, which often stake their claim to remote islands or meadows in the high Sierra. Todd looks at the nineteenth-century 'Sparrow War' in the USA - a battle over the sparrow's introduction - which set the stage for decades of discussions of invasive species. She examines the ways in which sparrows have taught us about evolution, and the recent decline of house sparrows in cities globally. This disappearance of a bird that seemed hardwired for success remains an ornithological mystery. With lush illustrations, ranging from early woodcuts and illustrated manuscripts to contemporary wildlife photography, this is the first book-length exploration of the natural and cultural history of this cheeky and ubiquitous bird.
- RRP £12.95
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Now that more than half of the world's population lives in cities, the study of birds in urban ecosystems has emerged at the forefront of ornithological research. An international team of leading researchers in urban bird ecology and conservation from across Europe and North America presents the state of this diverse field, addressing classic questions while proposing new directions for further study. Areas of particular focus include the processes underlying patterns of species shifts along urban-rural gradients, the demography of urban birds and the role of citizen science, and human-avian interaction in urban areas. This important reference fills a crucial need for scientists, planners, and managers of urban spaces and all those interested in the study and conservation of birds in the world's expanding metropolises.
The seventy-mile chain of largely uninhabited islands along the Eastern shore of Virginia is one of the last remaining natural seashore areas of the Atlantic coast. These barrier islands and bordering marshlands exist today pretty much as they must have in pristine times. Because of its wilderness aspect, diversity, and location of the islands, this region has the richest assortment of bird life in the Middle Atlantic states. The Eastern Shore is known for its numerous nesting colonies of terns, skimmers, laughing gulls, herons, egrets, and ibises; large breeding clapper rail populations; large concentrations of migratory birds of various species and for its large segment of the Atlantic brant and greater snow goose populations that winter there. This book deals with the nearly 200 species of shorebirds, seabirds, and marsh birds that have attracted bird-watchers to the area since the late 1800s.
- RRP £7.99
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Get out into the garden and get birdspotting with the RSPB. Birdwatching can be done from your doorstep with RSPB Pocket Garden Birdwatch, the perfect guide for taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch. You'll find all the information you need to create a welcoming garden environment for birds, with explanations of different bird food, feeders and how to site them, including practical projects, such as making a nest box. Identify your birds with over 40 profiles of garden birds, including in-situ photography that shows birds as you see them in the wild along with a helpful size comparison gallery. With this new edition of RSPB Pocket Garden Birdwatch (previous ISBN 9781405340885) you will be able to make your garden more attractive to birds and then sit back and watch them explore, feed and raise families. It is perfect for the budding birdwatcher or families getting involved in birdwatching together.
- RRP £6.99
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Since the publication of the bestselling first edition of Finding Birds in Ireland in 2007, Ireland's rich birdlife and its habitats have continued to be explored. This second edition captures many new areas that have been discovered as rich birdwatching locations, as well as updating all of those sites described in the first edition. In recent years, access and directions to many sites have changed, while additional species have been recorded at many locations. This new edition includes the very latest information on each and every site. A comprehensive and beautifully illustrated reference guide, it is a must-have for both experienced and novice birdwatchers. It is also an invaluable guide for visiting birdwatchers, covering almost 550 of the best birdwatching sites in Ireland, north and south. Organised county by county, this is an easy-to-follow handbook giving the site names, grid references, detailed descriptions and maps for the main sites. It includes the best times to visit each area, a breakdown of the different seasons and the species you are likely to find, and lists rare birds seen at each site in the past. It will become a well-thumbed addition to any birdwatcher's reference library as well as being a celebratory record of the beauty and rich diversity of birds in Ireland.
- RRP £17.99
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Birds of the Masai Mara is a remarkably beautiful photographic guide featuring the bird species likely to be encountered by visitors to the popular Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. With an eye-catching layout, easy-to-use format, and no-jargon approach, the book contains more than 300 stunning photographs covering over 200 species of birds and is accessible and informative, rather than purely identification-based. A handy, brief introduction provides visitors with background on the habitats of the national park, and the guide's habitat-based approach makes it simple to identify any bird species according to where it is found. Based on the firsthand experiences of the author, Birds of the Masai Mara is an ideal companion to all those visiting the national reserve and to bird aficionados interested in learning more about the region. * The only photographic guide to focus solely on the bird species of the Masai Mara National Reserve * More than 300 remarkable photographs covering over 200 species * Accessible text explores bird species behavior and species etymology * A brief and handy introduction examines the habitats of the Masai Mara * Easy-to-use habitat-based layout makes exciting birdwatching easy
- RRP £17.99
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During the last decade, the osprey has risen, phoenix-like, from the ashes - once extinct in Britain, now returned as a powerful symbol of hope. The opreys' story is a moving tale of triumph over adversity. Their slow but sure resurgence has attracted huge public interest and support; that of one bird in particular, Lady, at 25, Britain's oldest breeding osprey, has tugged at the world's heartstrings. For the past twenty years, Lady has made the 3000-mile journey from Africa back to Scotland, her nest and her mate. In March 2010, she produced an egg for a record-breaking 20th year; despite her weakened state throughout that summer, and with the stalwart assistance of her youthful mate, the chicks fledged successfully. But how many more times can Lady defy the odds; will the spring see her return, as, happily, it will so many other ospreys?
- RRP £7.99
Parrots are considered to be one of the most intelligent types of bird and it is their innate characteristics that have made them popular to keep as pets since the Roman times, although parrot-keeping reached its peak only in the last century. Their popularity can be attributed to their colourful plumage, their intelligence and flair for mimicry, their playful behaviour and ability to bond with human beings. Naturally they require a considerable amount of dedicated care, attention and psychological stimulation in order to lead happy, balanced and contented lives. It is therefore essential that parrot owners are aware of their pet's needs, day-to-day requirements and their responsibilities as owners.
- RRP £19.95
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