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Recommended Books
Helm Identification Guides
World Field Guides
Where to Watch birds - Worldwide
Watching Wildlife - Lonely Planet
Photographic Guides - New Holland

The Helm Identification Guides Series

Shorebirds of the Northern Hemisphere (Paperback)
Richard Chandler et al: Buy from or

  • Shorebirds are a very popular group of birds among birders of all standards, though their identification is often a challenge. Covering all the species of the northern hemisphere, this new photographic guide provides all the information a birder will need at a glance. Lavishly illustrated with colour photography by the author, Shorebirds of the Northern Hemisphere focuses on specific and subspecific separation and on ageing to provide a complete identification resource.
Owls of the World

Owls of the World (Helm Identification Guides) 2nd Edition
Claus Konig, Freidhelm Weick et al: Buy from or

  • Fully revised and updated, this is the definitive identification guide for all the worlds 250 species of Owl. There are 72 stunning plates, and detailed notes and maps. Writen by Claus Konig, argueably the world's foremost Owl expert.

Bewick's Swan (Poyser Monographs S.) (Hardcover)
Eileen Rees: Buy from

  • I have always loved watching the arrivals of the first wild Bewick's Swans of winter. Eileen Rees shares her passion for Swans in this authorative, learned and yet highly readable personal account containing much previously unpublished research. Well illustrated throughout, including some evocative illustrations by Dafila Scott.

The Greater Flamingo (Poyser Monographs)
Alan Johnson, Frank C. Cezilly: Buy from or

  • This book summarizes current understanding of flamingo biology, with detailed discussion of population dynamics, ecology, movements, feeding, breeding biology and conservation, with emphasis placed on the authors' work on the famous population of Greater Flamingos in the Camargue region of southern France.

The Lapwing (Poyser Monographs)
Michael Shrubb: Buy from or

  • As with all Poyser Monographs this is a comprehensive study of the Lapwing from egg to eventual death...If you're keen on learning more about this charismatic wader, look no further.

Albatrosses, Petrels and Shearwaters of the World (Helm Field Guides) (Paperback)
Derek Onley, Paul Scofield: Buy from or

  • A brand new and thoroughly up to date guide to the most enigmatic of all bird families - the 137 currently accepted species of Procellariformes. Expertly written and well illustrated. Highly recommended to sea watchers everywhere.

The Goshawk (Poyser Monographs) (Hardcover)
by Robert Keward: Buy from or

  • Robert Kenwards engaging monograph on the Goshawk is both authoritative and detailed, reflecting over thirty years experience in the field. This is a close up account of a fascinating and elusive bird.

The Barn Swallow
by Angela Turner: Buy from

  • This authoritative and highly readable book examines all aspects of the life of this endearing and familiar bird, including chapters on its flying skills and feeding habits, mate choice, migratory behavior and population dynamics. It also considers changes in populations and behavior in relation to intensive agriculture and climate change.

The Gyrfalcon (Poyser Species Monograph S.)
by Eugene Potapov, Richard Sale: Buy from or

  • The first monograph of perhaps this most charismatic of falcons. The Gyrfalcon is a formidable predator, found across the whole of the Arctic regions. The authors have produced a highly readable account that will appeal to raptor enthusiasts everywhere.

The Skylark (Poyser Species Monograph): Buy from
Paul Donald

  • The Skylark is one of Britain's most popular and inspirational birds, and in recent years it has also been one of the most newsworthy. The species' population has plummeted as a consequence of changes in farming practice, and the RSPB has launched a major research and fund-raising campaign to save the "blithe spirit" from further decline. Three closely related species; Oriental and Japanese Skylarks and the enigmatic Raso Lark are also discussed.

Gulls of Europe, Asia and N.America
Klaus Malling Olsen, Hans Larsson: Buy from or

  • Perhaps the best book yet in this superb series from Helm. "Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America" is truly ground breaking. It combines excellent plates by Hans Larsson, photography that is second to none and a most authoritative text by Klaus Malling Olsen. Several putative "splits" are suggested (or rejected) by the authors all backed up by detailed field observations and DNA analysis. Buy it!
Flight Identification of European Seabirds
Anders Blomdahl, Bertil Breife & Niklas Holström: Buy from or
  • This book is set to become the dedicated sea-watchers bible. Flight photography is very difficult, especially for seabirds and yet this volume contains over 650 generally superb shots, each carefully annotated to pick out the key identification features. Just about every seabird that has ever occurred in European waters has been included. (making this book equally valuable to birders on the East coast of America.) The authors are experts in their field and they have included a wealth of new information.

Pipits and Wagtails
Per Alström and Krister Mild: Buy from or

  • Pipits and Wagtails, written by world experts Alström and Mild, has been long awaited. Although there are only a few species in the Motacillidae family, Pipits can be an identification nightmare and the Wagtails have so many sub-species that they are a constant challenge to the field ornithologist. Excellent plates, good quality colour photos, detailed distribution maps and an authoritative text make this book the essential reference work for this family.

Helm Identification Guides: Raptors of the World
James Ferguson-Lees et al.: Buy from or

  • This guide covers all the world's 313 raptor species illustrated with adult, juvenile and selected immature plumages as well as main geographical races. There are illustrations of over 2000 perched and flying birds, some with typical prey and facing texts summarising length, wingspan, male-to-female proportion, shape and flight. The text is further enhanced with line drawings illustrating specific points about identification and behavior.

Helm Identification Guides: Sunbirds
Bob A. Cheke, Clive F. Mann, Richard Allen (Illustrator): Buy from or

  • The insect-eating sunbirds of the Old World are amongst the most glamorous of all bird families. This guide provides a comprehensive resource on the sunbirds and their allies, with 48 colour plates portraying all major plumage variations and many species depicted on typical food plants.

Helm Identification Guides: Wrens, Dippers and Thrashers
David Brewer, Barry Kent MacKay (Illustrator): Buy from or

  • This is the first comprehensive guide to these closely related families. The book covers all 75 wrens, 34 thrashers and 5 dippers, almost all of which are New World species. The wrens (Troglodytidae) in particular display great diversity, occupying almost every kind of habitat in the Americas. The thrashers (Mimidae) include the mockingbirds, catbirds and tremblers. The dippers (Cinclidae) are river specialists although, unusually, they exhibit no obvious features for an aquatic existence.

Helm Identification Guides: Shrikes and Bush-shrikes
Tony Harris, Kim Franklin (Illustrator): Buy from or

  • Covering the identification, biology and relationships of all true shrikes, bush-shrikes, helmet-shrikes, wood-shrikes, shrike flycatchers, philentomas, batises and wattle-eyes this book offers information on 114 species in 21 genera within the families Laniidae and Malaconotidae. The detailed species accounts, account for the bulk of the book, providing knowledge on field identification, plumage descriptions, geographical variation.....

Helm Identification Guides: Finches and Sparrows
Peter Clement, Alan Harris (Illustrator), John Davis (Illustrator): Buy from or

  • This is a guide to "true" finches and sparrows illustrating all the species, many races and most sex and age variations, with almost 950 portraits. The maps accompanying the illustrations show breeding and wintering ranges for all species. Although the guide is not primarily intended for cagebird enthusiasts, it will also be useful for those wishing to know more about the species encountered in captivity.

Helm Identification Guides: Kingfishers, Bee-eaters and Rollers
C. Hilary Fry, Kathie Fry, Alan Harris: Buy from or

  • Dazzling in their beauty, many of the 123 species of kingfisher, bee-eater and roller are very poorly known. This reference provides a review of the group showing every species, all the main races and most sex and age variations. Text and plates are closely co-ordinated with emphasis on behaviour, field characters and identifcation. Colour maps showing breeding and wintering ranges are also included.

Helm Identification Guides: Crows and Jays
Steve Madge, Hilary Burn (Illustrator): Buy from or

  • There are 120 species in the Corvid family, of which some are colourful and exotic and others are highly endangered. All species are illustrated and each plate is accompanied by an informative caption page summarizing the most important identification criteria, alongside colour distribution maps. The text provides a thorough review of all aspects of Corvid behaviour, distribution, population and taxonomy as well as the standard rigorous discussion of all matters relating to identification.

Helm Identification Guides: Thrushes
Peter Clement, Ren Hathway, Jan Wilczur, Clive Byers: Buy from or

  • This book is devoted to the 162 species of thrush, one of the most widespread and well-known families of birds in the world. Identification and distribution are fully covered and the description makes reference to all recognised races. All species of Turdidae thrushes are described and illustrated together with supplementary line drawings depicting aspects of shape an plumage. It contains 540 portraits illustrating adults, immatures and most of the distinctive races.

Helm Identification Guides:Warblers of Europe, Asia and North Africa
Kevin Baker: Buy from or

  • Many warblers are notoriously difficult to identify. This guide covers 145 species, covering all aspects of identification. The text includes sections on moult, voice, habitat and behaviour, distribution and measurements. Colour plates and a distribution map are provided for all the species.

Helm Identification Guides: New World Warblers:
Jon Curson, David Quinn, David Beadle: Buy from or

  • Following the same format as other book in the series, this guide to North American wood warblers, the parulinae, looks at their distribution throughout the USA and into Central and South America. It contains a full text for each species, including "wing-formulae" drawings. Some of the species covered find their way to the UK and Europe.

Peter Harrison , with foreword by Roger Tory Peterson: Buy from or

  • This revised edition of Harrison's guide to seabirds of the world, with full colour paintings of 1600 birds covering 312 species, has been updated to include recent research. The illustrations usually show several views of a species and each bird has been given an individual account.

Owls: A Guide to the Owls of the World
Claus Konig, et al: Buy from or

  • Many species of owls are difficult to separate by plumage alone; this problem is compunded by the different morphs they adopt. This book fully describes every known species of owl, as well as presenting the latest evidence on owl taxonomy based on DNA evidence and vocalizations. Because voice is vital in owl identification a great deal of emphasis is placed on it.

Herons and Egrets of the World: A Photographic Journey (Poyser)
James Hancock: Buy from or

  • In this book, the only complete review of the world's herons currently in print, James Hancock distills his knowledge into a concise review of all 47 species and recognized subspecies. The text comprises a thumbnail sketch, including descriptions of the appearance, distribution, conservation status, feeding, and breeding ecology of each species. Over 150 wonderful color photographs

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