The Advanced Bird Guide: ID of Every Plumage of Every Western Palearctic Species

The Advanced Bird Guide: ID of Every Plumage of Every Western Palearctic Species

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Nils van Duivendijk

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  • Publisher: New Holland Publishers Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 308 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 210mm x 21mm | 540g
  • Publication date: 25 July 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1847736076
  • ISBN 13: 9781847736079
  • Illustrations note: 10 line drawings of bird topography
  • Sales rank: 27,230

Product description

This innovative guide will be an essential addition to the library of any serious birder. It accurately describes every key detail of every plumage of all 900 species that have ever occurred in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East - the region known to all birdwatchers as the Western Palearctic. Its level of detail is unprecedented for a book of this size, and it will be sought after by all bird enthusiasts. A large number of existing bird field guides cover Europe and the Western Palearctic. This, however, is a guide with a difference. It has no colour plates or illustrations, but instead its unique selling point is that for every species the detailed text lists the key characters of each recognizable plumage, including male, female, immature, juvenile, all subspecies and all other variations. This level of detail includes, for example, all eleven forms of Canada Goose and all nine forms of Yellow Wagtail known in the region. In the past such in-depth detail has only been available in huge multi-volume tomes such as Birds of the Western Palearctic. "The Advanced Bird Guide" enables birders to take this information into the field for the first time. The detailed yet concise nature of the guide means that the original Dutch edition of this title became an instant classic when it was published in 2002. UK birders who know of the Dutch edition have been eagerly awaiting an English-language version for many years, so this is an exciting opportunity for New Holland in terms of publishing a cutting-edge bird book. The book will be endorsed by the renowned journal "British Birds", which has been running for more than 100 years and which has a dedicated and enthusiastic readership.

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Author information

Nils van Duivendijk is an ornithologist and author based in Woerden, The Netherlands. He is a regular contributor to Dutch Birding and other esteemed ornithological journals.

Customer reviews

By mat archer 19 Aug 2010 5

How fitting in A'level results week a book comes to the fore that all students of birdwatching will want to advance their own education.
The Advanced Bird ID Guide is the kind of work that every teacher of every subject wished existed for their own particular disciplines.
So groundbreaking is it in both concept and also ease of use that it is bound to become one of the classic works in birdwatching literature, literature being the operative word.
Surprisingly, for a book stretching to 304 sumptious, fact-filled pages, there are only four photographs and ten line drawings! A bird book without illustrations, what use is that, I can hear people mumbling?
Dutch author Nils Van Duivendijk's iconoclastic approach to the art - or should that be the science of birding - has given birth to a guide that is bound to take up pocket room or fill a backpack on countless future birding adventures.
Rather than use illustrations to pick out a bird's field marks - those discernible clues that help a birdwatcher make a positive identification - the author has spelt out the key features of every European species in easy to absorb and understand bullet points.
In fact, Nils has produced more bullet points than an SAS operation. In total, he has covered all 1,300 species and subspecies found in the Western Palearctic, the wildlife region that covers Britain, Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
Let me explain how it works. We all think we know what a blue tit looks like, but Nils breaks down this easily identified common garden bird into its core components:
· Well-patterned head with blue crown, long-eyestripe, long supercilium and white ear-coverts and cheeks;
· One wing bar; pale tips to tertials;
· Blue tail without white sides;
· Dull yellow underparts...

And so on... There are plenty more facts to help identify young birds and points to help separate the sexes. What's more, there are details of five other forms of blue tit found in the remote parts of the Canary Islands archipelago, where the species is in a state of evolutionary flux.
And that's just the blue tit. Nils's treatment of difficult to identify species such as some of the larger gulls reads like a medical manual. That said, it's written in such clear, precise languatge that separating yellow-legged, Caspian and North American herring gulls looks positively fun.
For those that like birding minutiae and also building their lists, this work is essential reading. It also has important role in conservation, too.
Appreciating the significances of small, say a British willow tit from the European form, will hopefully encouraged more concerted efforts to preserve these threatened creatures in an age when numbers of so many species and subspecies are crashing.
Thankfully, Nils has provided a priceless tool in helping us point out the subtleties between plumage types. It is for birders everywhere to use to enjoy their birds and then come together for their conservation.
...Sunday Express, August, 2010.

If you're serious about your birding...then this is going to be pretty essential
...Bird watching magazine, August, 2010.

it covers some 1,300 species and sub-species, and it's hard to imagine more detail and data squeezed into such a well-organised,compact space....a one-stop shop for bullet points ID features from essential to quirky. it's a must-have....British Birds magazine, November, 2010

Book of The Month: This innovitive guide is an essential purchase for any serious birder. with no plates or illustrations, its unique selling point is that it accuratly describes every key character of every key plumage of all 1,000 species that have occured in the Western Palearctic. The level of detail is unprecedented for a book its size, and it is thus an essential guide for all birders, enabeling them to take this information into the field...Birdwatch magazine, February, 2011.

Birdwatch Book of the Year, 2010: Winner Advanced Bird ID Guide: the western Palearctic. It's hard to concive that an identification guide without illustrations would draw so many plaudits, but the Advanced Bird ID Guide: the Western pelearctic has done just that. It is an essential companion for everyone who wants to advance their ability to identify birds to the next level - which is surely the great majority of birders. congratulations to the author Nils van Duivendijk, for compiling such a useful manual, and to the UP publisher New Holland for bringing it to an English-speaking audience. .....Birdwatch magazine, February, 2011