630 pages, 615 colour photos, 505 colour illustrations, 157 colour distribution maps
Language: German with extensive English summaries, methods chapter bilingual in German and English. Index contains German, English and Latin species names.
Birdlife on Helgoland has systematically been observed and investigated since the 1840s. Die Vogelwelt der Insel Helgoland summarizes the data and research results from this 170-year-period.
The introductory chapters describe the habitats, the history of ornithological research, breeding birds, bird migration, as well as winter visitors and rarities, and they are fully illustrated with – sometimes historical – photographs. Furthermore, the methods of data collection and analyses are explained in detail. The occurrence of all 426 species recorded on Helgoland is reviewed on up to four pages per species. Information is given on status, subspecies, breeding, migration, habitat and food, trends in numbers and factors affecting local mortality. The results from Helgoland are discussed in a broader and often international context for common species as well as for rarities. For all species with more than ten records the phenology and often also the trend in numbers (for rarities from 1840-2009!) are illustrated in histograms. For some species figures for roosting and for nocturnal and diurnal migration are provided. Maps show all recovery sites of birds ringed on and ringing sites of birds found on Helgoland, respectively. For almost every species at least one picture is included, and all photographs have either been taken on Helgoland or show the actual skin of a bird that had been collected on the island.
53 species with presumed or proven origin from captivity are treated in a separate chapter. Other sections concern all reports of rare birds on Helgoland not accepted by the Helgoland rarities committee (HAK), a list of bird names in the Helgolandic language, references, and a trilingual index (English, Latin, German).
The final chapter contains a map of Helgoland with all locally used sitenames and a quick-reference guide to abbreviations, graphs and maps.
"This is a mammoth work on the world's most famous bird observatory island (in the North Sea, off the coast of Germany, of course), with an illustrious history going back to the days of Heinrich Gatke (Heligoland as an Ornithological Observatory: the result of fifty year's experience, Gatke 1895). This is in every way a worthy successor to that seminal work. The main text is in German, but that should not prevent non German readers from both enjoying the book and finding it extremely useful on the subject of migratory birds in Europe. There are brief English summaries to each of the species accounts and there are maps and histograms of occurrence for most species which require no language to understand. There are high quality colour photographs throughout and the book has been produced to an extremely high standard. As well as the comprehensive species accounts (which include details of the many rarities recorded, as well as photographs), fascinating introductory chapters covering Habitats, History, Breeding birds,"
- Steve Gantlett, Birding World 24(10), November 2011
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