Lying in the northern part of the Irish sea, the Isle of Man’s avifauna has many similarities to that of its four neighbouring countries, but also a number of striking and sometimes inexplicable differences. Off the south-west tip of the main island lies the Calf of Man whose farm house has operated as a Bird Observatory since 1959. Here regular wardening of the islet has produced valuable data on bird migration and the annual changes in its populations of breeding birds.
For over eighty years the standard work on Manx ornithology has been P.G. Ralfe’s The Birds of the Isle of Man, but very few people now have access to a copy of this beautifully written book.
This book reviews the history and status of all birds known to have occurred on the Isle of Man. There are 113 breeding distribution maps, 38 other maps, 22 tables and 101 histograms, mostly illustrating migration periods on the Calf of Man. Bird species are illustrated by 89 line drawings
by Alan Harris and there are 43 photographs of Manx habitats.
Birds of the Isle of Man will not only be a valuable reference work for the serious ornithologist, but should appeal just as much to anyone with an interest in this unique island.