Friday, January 24, 2014

Featured Title

1) Mikkola, Heimo. Owls of the World: A Photographic Guide (Second Edition). 2014. Firefly Books. Hardbound: 528 pages. Price: $49.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Owls of the World, second edition, is the ultimate photographic resource dedicated to the identification of these charismatic birds of prey. The new edition is packed with spectacular photography of 268 species of owls from all over the world -- 19 more species than the original book. Many of the photos are of highly elusive species that are very rarely caught on camera.
      The photos are accompanied by detailed text describing:
  • Identification notes
  • Habitat
  • Population status
  • Voice
  • Food
  • Distribution
  • Accurate range maps
  • Similar species.
     The photographic coverage includes plumages and subspecies which promotes differentiation between species, making this the definitive work on owl identification. Similar-looking ("confusion") species are included and owls are shown as adults from a perspective that clearly shows markings that assist in identification.
     For birders, naturalists, photographers, researchers and any fan of these birds, Owls of the World is the definitive work on species identification as well as a comprehensive encyclopedia for reference and reading.
RECOMMENDATION: The page count has increased from 512 to 528. As with the first edition, 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 still need to be reworked. I still recommend this book for those with a serious interest in owls.

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