Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe
The previous edition of this title is now out of print and unavailable through NHBS
Written by one of Europe's leading ornithologists and illustrated by two of the world's finest bird illustrators – Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterström (with a translation by David Christie). Covering Britain and Europe, the book provides all the information needed to identify any species at any time of year, with detailed text on size, habitat, range, identification and voice.
Accompanying every species entry is a distribution map and colour illustrations (over 3500 in all) to show the species in all the major plumages (male, female, immature, in flight, at rest, feeding). The book is fully integrated, so that all this information appears on one spread, the ideal structure for use in the field. Each group of birds has an introduction, which covers the major problems involved in identifying or seeing them: how to organise a sea watching trip, how to separate birds of prey in flight, which duck hybrids can be confused with which species etc.
The second edition has expanded text and additional colour illustrations.
Also available in German, French, and Swedish.
Even better than the first edition
by Richard Bufton in United Kingdom
While the new order in which the birds are presented in this superb book, will not be to everyone's liking, this 2nd edition accurately reflects new and revised taxonomy. The text and illustrations are mostly familiar to readers of the first edition, but overall, I would say this new edition is even better than the first! Simply wonderful!
"The richest, most comprehensive of the current guides."
- The Times
"The Collins Bird Guide is undoubtedly the finest field guide that has ever been produced and now deservedly sits in a bird book elite of essential titles – nestling between BWP, HBW and Birds of Europe' The nomenclature and taxonomy may not be to everybody's liking, but it is a certainty that the magnificent work of Mullarney and Zetterstrom has set the illustrative standard for decades to come and will be admired and enjoyed by thousands of birders worldwide for many years. The word 'classic' is so often over-used these days but, for once, it is a particularly fitting way to refer to this book. This is the last great bird book of the 20th Century, and I am sure that Peter Grant would have been happy knowing that. It is a fitting tribute to him, and his co-author and the world class artists. This book is an absolute gem."
- Mark Golley, Birding World
"[...] The hardcovers are essentially enlarged versions of the softcovers (which were actually published first). The main problem with the paperback is that it is cramped for space. The font size is fairly small and could be a problem for some people to read. The number of species covered, the incredible amount of information given, and the desire to make it portable ensures that this issue was unavoidable. The hardcover edition is nearly three times larger, thus eliminating this concern. Additionally, the artwork is also larger and has more room to breath, making it even more spectacular. Reading and studying the larger edition is simply easier and much more enjoyable. But of course the increase in size and weight means that it is not practical to carry into the field while birding.
Recommendations for this guide are very simple. If you will be birding in Europe, without any doubt you absolutely should have this field guide. I would even take this a step further. Every birder who regularly encounters even some of the birds covered here, or might find one as a vagrant, should own this book. That definitely includes everyone in North America, as many of our difficult species, such as gulls and shorebirds, are included. The next decision is which version to get. I would suggest that everyone get at least the hardcover. The larger format just does wonders for the art, and it is much easier to scrutinize and study. And then anyone needing to use the guide in the field should also have the smaller paperback.
I cannot state that this is the best field guide in the world, or even for Europe (this is the only modern European guide that I have). But I have no problem stating that this and the North American Sibley Guides are easily the best field guides that I have seen."
- Grant McCreary (13-11-2007), read the full review at The Birder's Library
Lars Svensson is Europe's leading field ornithologist. Killian Mullarney is one of the world's finest bird illustrator's. Winner of numerous awards, this is the first guide that he has illustrated. Dan Zetterström is widely acclaimed for his bird illustrations.
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