Friday, August 17, 2012
1) Mikkola, Heimo. Owls of the World: A Photographic Guide. 2012. Firefly/Helm. Hardbound: 512 pages. Price: $49.95 U.S./ GBP: 34.99.
SUMMARY: Owls of the World is the ultimate resource dedicated to the identification of these charismatic birds of prey. Dozens of the world's finest photographers have contributed 750 spectacular photographs covering all of the world's 249 species of owls.
The photos are accompanied by detailed text describing:
*Accurate range maps
Owls are shown as adults from a perspective that clearly shows markings which assist in identification. Photographs of similar-looking species are included where identification is particularly difficult.
For photographers, birders, naturalists, researchers and any fan of these birds, Owls of the World is the definitive work on species identification. It is also a comprehensive encyclopedia for reference and leisure reading. No bookshelf should be without it.
RECOMMENDATION: The taxonomy in this book basically follows Owls of the World (2nd edition) by Konig et al. (2008). That book is prone to splitting up species (e.g. the Barn Owl, Tyto alba) into separate species. This taxonomy is at odds with other published sources. Also, some of the range maps of North American species need to be reworked. But birders will find the collection of photographs, especially of the rarer species, very useful!