Opening up new frontiers in birdwatching, this is the first field guide for identifying European passerines in flight, featuring more than 830 stunning colour illustrations from acclaimed bird artist Tomasz Cofta, who creates remarkably lifelike images using the latest digital technology. With detailed coverage of 206 passerines and 32 near-passerine landbirds, this cutting-edge book features a seamlessly integrated approach. It combines Cofta's precise illustrations, which depict key shape and colouration features, with a range of photos for each species that show how they appear in flight. The species accounts are short, sharp, and authoritative, and essential information on individual flight manner and flock structure and behaviour are represented concisely. In addition, flight calls are transliterated, briefly described, shown as sonograms, and backed up with a unique collection of more than a hundred online audio recordings. While Flight Identification of European Passerines and Select Landbirds is written in a style that will appeal to all birders, it also contains new knowledge on flight identification, making it a must-have for professional ornithologists and scientists as well.
- The first field guide to flight identification of European passerines
- Covers 206 passerines and 32 near-passerine landbirds
- Features more than 830 colour illustrations
- Includes a range of photos showing each species in flight
- Provides extensive information on flight calls
Tomasz Cofta is an acclaimed bird illustrator and ornithologist. He has published more than a hundred papers on bird identification featuring close to two thousand of his own illustrations and has published thousands of other bird and nature illustrations in some sixty books, including The World’s Rarest Birds (Princeton WILDGuides).
"I declare that I am a fan of the WILDGuides series. They are authoritative, usually superbly written, brilliantly illustrated and very well produced. The title of this new guide will immediately get the field birder's pulse racing; a guide to the all-too-difficult subject of birds in flight, aiming to pin down essential details from sometimes the briefest of glimpses of a bird as it hurtles overhead or dives into cover, never to be seen again. [...] The biggest omission however is the lack of the ‘F-wave’ for each species within the individual accounts. This is so well explained in the introduction and on further reading that you cannot help feel that this is the ‘USP’ of the title. So why hasn't the F-wave of each individual species been included in the individual accounts? I admit that some would be the same for similar species and so may appear repetitive, but this is where you want these F-wave diagrams – not 250 pages away so that you have to repeatedly keep turning back. I personally would have prioritized the F-wave diagram over a sonogram and feel this is such a bewildering omission when so much thought and care has been put into other aspects of the book. Nit-picking aside, this is a tremendous book in scope, and by and large is well executed. There will be few who will not learn something from it: for the experienced hunter of rarities on a wind-swept isle it might just solidify what they have begun to notice for themselves, but for the newcomer it will prove fascinating (although I would advise they use it alongside their more familiar field guide). My hope is that others will be able to bring some of this book’s insights into the more popular field guides and bring the F-wave concept to the masses."
– Steve P. Dudley, Ibis, 2021
"Not so long ago, the idea of an identification guide dedicated to passerines in flight would have seemed rather outlandish. But the increasing popularity of observing visible migration now makes such a guide timely and this volume is a high-quality addition to the identification literature. [...] The book's focus is on field identification but in this age of digital photography I imagine that it will come in equally handy when pondering those dodgy record shots of birds whizzing by or that mystery warbler that took off just as the shutter was pressed. Anyone with an interest in visible migration or identification generally will want to own a copy of this guide and it's a remarkable achievement by a single author."
– Chris Kehoe, British Birds 114, April 2021
"[...] It is hard to imagine a guide of the quality of Flight Identification of European Passerines and Select Landbirds coming out 20 years ago. When I first received a copy, I was excited by its novel aims but remained somewhat sceptical about whether it could pull them off. The more I pour over this guide, though, the more I am impressed. Hats off to the author and illustrator, Tomasz Cofta, who has produced a quite remarkable – and undoubtedly original – piece of work. [...] this is a visual guide like no other. In many ways it is a reflection of how birding has advanced since the turn of the millennium. Improvements in optics and digital photography have been spectacular, and clearly contribute to making the production of such a guide possible. Furthermore, flight identification has never been more relevant, with 'vis-migging' and associated recording an increasingly popular pastime among birders across the region. Flight Identification of European Passerines and Select Landbirds is a genuinely stunning production that is arguably the greatest 'must-have' for European birders since the Collins Bird Guide."
– Josh Jones, birdguides.com
"I struggle to think of a birder I know or know of who will not wish to buy this book."
– Phil Slade, Another Bird Blog