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Suggestions for a book on ornithology

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Offline lucy

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« on: November 03, 2007, 18:17 PM »
This question isn’t specifically about Iberian birds but all birds in general.  However, I’m going to post it here as it probably stands more chance of attracting the attention of a relevant expert, and then it can be moved wherever it needs to be.  Can anyone recommend a general book on ornithology? I’ve looked on amazon, and found one by Frank Gill that looks promising:  reviews say it’s informative as well as accessible for the non-scientist.  However, it isn’t cheap, and I want something I will definitely be able to read (although am willing to concentrate quite hard) and not just to look impressive on the book shelf. Any advice would be welcome. 




Offline Dave

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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2007, 18:26 PM »
Hi Lucy
Not sure what type of book you are after, but the Life of Birds by David Attenborough is, in my opinion, excellent, and very readable.
regards
Dave

Offline iñigo

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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2007, 19:29 PM »
Hi Lucy,

I would recomend you "The New Encyclopedia of Birds" (First edition revised) edited by Christopher Perrins (Oxford). Is a good generalistic book and quite cheap.

Best regards,

Iñigo


Offline John C

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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2007, 18:47 PM »
What sort of information do you want such a book for?   'Hard' biology or a general resume?

John

Offline Clive

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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2007, 19:03 PM »
Hi all,

I have moved this to the books board. I think it will be good for people to say what bird books they use for general info... What books they wouldn't leave at home without and which ones are just plain useless....

Clive
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Offline nick

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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2007, 19:07 PM »
I've got The New Encyclopedia of Birds and it good at what it sets out to but...as it has to deal with some many groups of birds and species it is perhaps a bit general...and it's a bit heavy unless you sit and read at a desk.

The New Encyclopedia of Birds
Christopher M. Perrins
ISBN-10: 0198525060
« Last Edit: November 04, 2007, 20:15 PM by nick »
Nick
http://iberianature.com/barcelona/history-of-barcelona/spanish-civil-war-tour-in-barcelona/
Spanish Civil War Tours in Barcelona
http://www.iberianature.com/
A guide to the environment, climate, wildlife, & nature of Spain
The Amazon/Forum Bookshop - lend us a hand
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/shop/index.htm
And also now The Natural History of Britain
http://iberianature.com/brita

Offline Clive

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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2007, 20:34 PM »
For home use cos the pictures are nice and I like the way each bird is described....

Bird's of Iberia by Clive Finlayson and David Tomlinson

isbn 84-88127-08-1
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

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Offline Clive

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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2007, 20:38 PM »
As a field guide and one to keep in the car then the Collins Bird Guide

The most complete guide to the birds of Britain and Europe....

Killian Mullarney, Lars Svensson, Dan Zetterström, Peter J. Grant

isbn 0 00 711332 3
« Last Edit: November 11, 2007, 20:23 PM by Wildside »
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Offline lucy

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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2007, 20:52 PM »
I’m not looking for an identification guide, but in-depth information about bird behaviour, their physical structure, abilities – well, just about everything related to them.  The sort of book I could consult, for example, to find out why after swallowing an enormous eel, a cormorant doesn’t choke (saw that this week: it flew off with a horribly bulging throat.)

 “Hard” biology is fine if expressed in reasonably accessible style, and with plenty of examples.  Don’t mind if it’s big.  Many thanks for all your suggestions so far, will check them out.

SEO - Ronda

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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2007, 21:19 PM »
Hi Lucy,

Sorry I had not noticed this thread until pointed in this direction by Clive. What is your budget? The handbook of birds of the western palearctic is excellent on all aspects of bird biology specific to each species, but it is 10 volumes! It can be obtained on DVD for downloading onto the computer, but I am unsure how much this costs. It is produced by Birdguides and Oxford University Press. Take a look at their website http://www.birdguides.com/bwpi/default.asp and see what you think. If you need any further suggestions, please ask away.

Peter
www.spanishbirds.com

Offline Clive

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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2007, 21:29 PM »
139 UK pounds....

I think this may be a very good price for the content involved...

Clive
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey

Offline Clive

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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2007, 21:34 PM »
Quote
Version 2.0 provides:

    * Compatibility with Windows Vista and XP
    * The ability to add your own assets
    * All BWP Update journal content included
    * 700 extra video clips
    * 75 new species accounts
    * New and updated population and distribution data

Add my own assets... Does this mean I can make observations and link them to specific species?

Clive
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey

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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2007, 22:07 PM »
Add my own assets... Does this mean I can make observations and link them to specific species?
Clive

Certainly does, plus you can add photos to each species.

Peter
www.spanishbirds.com

Offline lucy

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« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2007, 19:04 PM »
Hi Peter, That’s a spectacular collection – a veritable tsunami wave of bird lore! The price of the DVD does seem very reasonable, especially compared with a thousand pounds for the book version.  But something on a smaller scale might be better for me for the moment.  Also would be nice to spend less time in front of a computer screen and have something that can be read on the sofa.  Browsing on various sites, Frank Gill's "Ornithology" comes up alot - described as a general textbook for bird biology.  Have you heard of it by any chance?

Offline Clive

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« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2007, 20:06 PM »
I'm gonna get the CD version for 2 reasons....

Can't afford the full set book version though I would very much like to...

I really like the idea that I can add my own observations to the database....

I know what I'm getting for Christmas...... :)

Clive
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey

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« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2007, 23:29 PM »
Hi Peter, That’s a spectacular collection – a veritable tsunami wave of bird lore! The price of the DVD does seem very reasonable, especially compared with a thousand pounds for the book version.  But something on a smaller scale might be better for me for the moment.  Also would be nice to spend less time in front of a computer screen and have something that can be read on the sofa.  Browsing on various sites, Frank Gill's "Ornithology" comes up alot - described as a general textbook for bird biology.  Have you heard of it by any chance?

Lucy,

Let me have a bit of time and I will explore my book collection. I am certain to have something which might be suitable and can then let you have details. Yep, have read Frank Gill's book and good as it is, I think I can recall something better (age stops me remembering precisely what book). Promise to get back soon :dancing:

Peter
www.spanishbirds.com

Offline John C

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« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2007, 01:07 AM »
I suspect that the ideal book for what you want - which I understand to be a handy guide with a focus not merely on bird ID but also on breeding biology, migration, etc with a bias towards Europe - is out of print.  I refer to the short lived "Collins New Generation Guide to Birds of Britain & Europe" by Christopher Perrins (1987).  It never really got the attention it deserved mainly due to our fixation with identification above all else, but the odd copy might be lurking in some second hand bookshop.   A few years back the concise version of the 'Birds of the Western Palearctic' (two volumes) was flogged off at a heavy discount - I think I got mine for £45.   You might also consider the "Photographic Handbook of the Birds of the Western Palearctic" which is due out next year.   You can look at some of the pages at  from A & C Black's website (www.acblack.com).   Personally, although DVD/CDs are very good, I find it so much easier to flick open a textbook and read real print on a real page rather than  stuff on a screen,

John

Offline SueMac

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« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2007, 09:17 AM »
Hi
I have identified six copies of the Colliins book 1987 for anything between £3 and £10 excluding postage on the Book Exchange. SueMac
SueMac

Now mainly blogging on www.suevista.blogspot.com Vistas from Afar - A European Garden Blog