390 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour & b/w illustrations, colour tables
Despite their small size, the Maltese Islands have a rich history that spans 7000 years. For centuries, their strategic location in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea was coveted by successive powers as a base for control and expansion.
The Islands are also of strategic value as a resting and refuelling station for millions of migratory birds crossing the sea between Europe and Africa. These mysterious seasonal comings and goings of birds no doubt fascinated people down the ages. Not surprisingly, the Islands' ornithological history is also rich and varied.
History Of Ornithology In Malta traces all written references to bird observation and study in the Maltese Islands, from a comment by a 16th century French monk to the latest ground breaking research projects. It is an account of the evolution of bird study and ornithological literature in Malta, interspersed with brief biographies of the human protagonists.
"Meticulously researched, beautifully illustrated and eminently readable, this book gives a sweeping account of the evolution of ornithological study in Malta, from its rudimentary beginnings in the sixteenth century through to the cutting edge of present day research projects. [...] The lavish illustrations on every page make this book a delight to read and add an extra dimension. The characters are brought vividly to life by means of portraits, photographs, title pages, correspondence and diaries. Their various rivalries and jealousies are revealed through quotations and anecdotes. Footnotes are used to clarify and extend many of the points made in the text. [...]"
– Genevieve Bridgeman, BTO book reviews
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