Soon after publication, this book took its place as the most accessible yet authoritative work on owls available. It continued to be a bestseller for almost twenty years until it went out of print a few years ago. Appealing not just to keen birdwatchers but also to budding naturalists and all those with a passing interest in birds, copies of the book are still sought after.
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Chris Mead, who lived in Norfolk, was one of Britain's foremost ornithologists. An influential member of the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology), he was often its spokesman and the driving force behind many of its projects. Chris firmly believed that scientific work on birds should be shared more widely and he communicated new information in a way that was always accessible and engaging. He was a prolific author and a regular contributor to many publications including Bird Watching, BBC Wildlife and British Wildlife. Mike Toms is Head of Garden Ecology, BTO.