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At last it is possible to listen to the amazing variety of birdsong that enriches our environment simply by opening this book. Delve into the absorbing text and beautiful photographs of each of the 150 birds whilst listening to their songs and calls using the integrated sound module.
Among many others, the sounds you will hear at the touch of a button include the cries of birds of prey like the Red Kite, Osprey, and Peregrine Falcon as well as the dramatic mewing or barking cries of several species of gulls that can be found both on our coasts and in the centre of towns. The recordings include the songs and calls of much-loved garden birds, such as the Blackbird, Song Thrush, Robin, Wren, and Blue Tit, as well as the sounds of many wonderful migrants: the call of the Cuckoo that heralds the arrival of spring, the piercing cries of the Swifts that arrive later, the distinctive sounds of the winter-visiting Redwing and Fieldfare. The recordings also include sounds that communicate a desire to mate or challenge a territorial rival: the rattling bursts of Woodpeckers as they drum their beaks rapidly against a hollow tree-trunk, or the strange bleating sound made by the Snipe's outer tail feathers as it hurtles earthwards in its display flight.
Concise descriptions are given of each species as well as fascinating nuggets of information. Did you know that both sexes of Robin sing almost all year, that the Nightingale sings by day as well as at night, and the Great Tit holds the record for the number of different songs and calls – over 50 – it produces? With stunning colour photographs of each species, accessible and authoritative text and a unique sound module, this rich source of wildlife knowledge can be enjoyed at home or outdoors.
Listen here to sound samples of the eider duck, nightingale, tawny owl, and whooper swan.
Also available in French.
Jonathan Elphick, BSc, FLS, FZS, has been a passionate birdwatcher for over 50 years and a natural history writer, consultant and editor specialising in ornithology for 40 years. Among his many books, The Birdwatcher's Handbook won Bird Watching magazine's award for best field guide to British birds in 1997; and his highly acclaimed history of bird art, The Art of Ornithology, was published by Scriptum Editions in conjunction with the Natural History Museum in 2004. He worked as researcher with Mark Cocker on the best selling Birds Britannica (2005).
Lars Svensson is an ornithologist and writer and a widely recognised famous expert on birds. He is co-author of the best-selling Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe (1999, 2009) and numerous other titles. He has collected bird sounds since 1970.
Jan Pedersen is a photographer, author, writer and adventurer. A bird watcher since his teenage years, he has led nature tours all over the world for more than 26 years. Jan has written several books and articles for numerous newspapers and magazines and is also a highly regarded speaker and course leader.