272 pages, plates with colour photos
Following the success of Ireland's Garden Birds, Jim Wilson has teamed up with Mark Carmody for a collaborative work that is in a different mould from their previous publications, Freshwater Birds of Ireland and Shorebirds of Ireland. An important tool of a birdwatcher is a good identification guide. Most cover the birds of Europe and few deal exclusively with Ireland.
This first photographic identification guide to the birds of Ireland has over 1,600 photos of more than 260 species, in an easy, quick-reference format. With eight to fifteen images per species, the key identification features of each bird are shown, with concise descriptions and pointers to indicate important features.
The Birds of Ireland is produced in association with BirdWatch Ireland, Ireland's leading bird conservation organisation. The purchase of The Birds of Ireland contributes funds to BirdWatch Ireland's conservation and education initiatives to help protect and promote Ireland's wild birds and habitats.
"Field guides should ideally fit into an anorak pocket; few field guides achieve this – but this one does. So well done Collins Press in producing this style of field guide! [...] The majority of each page contains a carefully selected medley of photographs to suitably aid identification, with just a small amount of text to further explain key identification features as well as seasonal distribution and habitats, therefore doing away with distribution maps that would have enlarged the book unnecessarily. Clearly this book is targeted at the beginner birdwatcher."
- Julian Greenwood, BTO book reviews
"The Birds of Ireland is a simple yet effective field guide that should appeal to a broad front of birders and non-birders alike. I really like the straightforward, no-frills layout, which ensures that using this guide is far from laborious – something that is especially important for beginners. What's more, it's a small, lightweight guide that won't strain the beholder – whether it is pocketed or placed in a rucksack. Hopefully this guide will find its way on to many a bookshelf this Christmas and, in turn, inspire a new generation in what is (and I'm sure always will be) one of my favourite destinations to be out birding."
- Josh Jones, 27-11-2013, ww.birdguides.com
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Jim Wilson, wildlife writer, broadcaster, tour guide, and former chairman of BirdWatch Ireland, co-wrote Ireland's Garden Birds (2008), Shorebirds of Ireland (2009), and Freshwater Birds of Ireland (2011). He has been involved in the study and conservation of birds in Ireland for over 35 years, contributing to major surveys and international projects.
Mark Carmody did postdoctoral research in genetics and is currently a trainee Patent Attorney. Co-author of Shorebirds of Ireland and Freshwater Birds of Ireland, his work has featured in the renowned Birding World. A member of BirdWatch Ireland, Mark contributes to surveys and international projects concerning wildlife and the environment.