Monday, April 4, 2011
1) Byers, Clive. A Photographic Guide to Birds of Peru. 2011. New Holland Publishers. Paperback: 144 pages. Price: GBP 7.99 (about $12.89 U.S.).
SUMMARY: A country of huge scenic diversity, Peru is a birdwatcher's paradise and a popular tourist destination. In constant competition with its neighbours Colombia and Ecuador as to which country can claim the highest number of bird species, Peru is home to about 1,800 different types. These range from the mighty Andean Condor to a dazzling variety of jewel-like hummingbirds.
Many dramatic birds can be seen in the capital city of Lima itself, with bright and fiery Vermilion Flycatchers in the parks and gardens, noisy Canary-winged Parakeets in the streets and exotic Inca Terns and Peruvian Pelicans along the shoreline. Deep in the forests of the Amazon basin lurk birds of great variety and beauty: antpittas, trogons, manakins, motmots and cocks-of-the-rock – intriguing names that represent some of the most exciting birds anywhere.
This concise and easy-to-use guide features 252 of Peru’s most interesting and spectacular birds, with each illustrated in full colour and with key information on identification, habitat and distribution.
RECOMMENDATION: For beginning birders or ecotourists.
2) Chandler, David. Barn Owl. 2011. New Holland Publishers. Hardbound: 128 pages. Price: GBP 12.99 (about $20.94 U.S.).
SUMMARY: The sight of a ghostly Barn Owl quartering a field at dusk is not one that is easily forgotten, but the day-to-day lives of these captivating birds are little known to most people.
In this book, insightful text coupled with rarely seen images of the species’ life and behaviour introduce the reader to some of the most fascinating aspects of a remarkable nocturnal existence. There are chapters on subjects such as hunting, courtship and survival. The owls are further brought to life through a series of personal anecdotes from the author and photographer, which are woven into the text.
The book is part of a series that also includes titles on the Kingfisher and Peregrine Falcon.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for anyone interested in the Barn Owl!
3) Couzens, Dominic. Top Birding Sites of Europe. 2011. New Holland Publishers. Hardbound: 192 pages. Price: GBP 22.99 (about $37.07 U.S.).
SUMMARY: If you have ever dreamt of seeing Snowy Owls in Norway, spectacular raptor migration by the Black Sea, Wallcreepers in the Pyrenees or seabird cities off Scotland, then this book and CD package is for you.
Top Birding Sites of Europe features more than 30 detailed accounts of the continent's finest bird locations, from the famous Camargue and Coto Donana, to some less well known but no less productive destinations.
The expertly written and very readable text is backed up by lavish photos of the birds and scenery at each of the chosen hot-spots, including rare images of amazing species and some of the continent's most stunning avian spectacles.
A CD of key birds sounds complements the entries on each site.
Whether you want to use it to plan your holidays for years to come, or just as an inspirational book to dip into, Top Birding Sites of Europe will have a wide appeal for all those with an interest in birds.
RECOMMENDATION: This coffee table book should be of interest for birders visiting Europe.
4) Hammond, Nicholas. New Holland Concise Garden Wildlife Guide. 2011. New Holland Publishers. Paperback with plastic cover: 192 pages. Price: GBP 4.99 (about $8.05 U.S.).
SUMMARY: This beautifully illustrated pocket guide is packed with information on the wildlife that can be found in gardens in Britain and the near Continent, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, molluscs and crustaceans. It covers around 200 species, all of which are illustrated with superb full-colour artworks.
A concise written account covering size, description, voice, habitat, distribution and habits appears on the same page as the illustration for each species. The easy-to-follow layouts and superb artworks aid quick and accurate identification, and make this book an invaluable reference outdoors as well as at home.
To protect it against the elements, the book is wrapped in a durable plastic wallet. Also included is a fold-out insert illustrating differences between similar species, and assisting in quick identification.
RECOMMENDATION: For amateur naturalists wanting to learn about what's in their back garden.