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Robins and chats are a diverse group of birds comprising both highly colourful and visible species, such as the robin-chats of Africa, as well as some of the most skulking and elusive birds, such as the shortwings of Asia. Many species, like the well-known Nightingale, are renowned songsters, some are even familiar garden birds, but a good number are highly sought-after for their extreme rarity or simply because they are hard to see.
This authoritative handbook, part of the Helm Identification Guides series, looks in detail at the world's 175 species of robins and chats. This large group passerines was formerly considered to be part of the thrush family (Turdidae), but is now usually treated as a separate family, Muscicapidae, together with the Old World flycatchers. The vast majority of species are Eurasian or African, with only a handful of species straying into the New World or Australasia. The Australian Robins, although superficially similar, have long been regarded as a separate family and are not included in this book.
Robins and Chats discusses the identification and habits of these birds on a species-by-species basis, bringing together the very latest research with accurate range maps, more than 600 colour photographs, and 62 superb colour plates that illustrate age and racial plumage differences. This authoritative and sumptuous book will be indispensable for all chat enthusiasts, and will surely remain the standard reference on the subject for many years to come.
Peter Clement is a lifelong and well-travelled birder and tour leader with a particular interest in wheatears and other chats. He is the author of several books including Finches and Sparrows and Thrushes, both in the Helm Identification Guides series
Chris Rose is an acclaimed bird artist and illustrator. His work is highly sought after and he has exhibited widely. He illustrated Swallows and Martins, also in the Helm Identification Guides series, and has been working on the Robins and Chats plates for almost 20 years.
"[...] Progress and changes in relationships and nomenclature will continue, but this book will stand as a mine of information for a very long time, especially for those captivated by this charismatic group of birds. It is beautifully produced and designed, and fully maintains the high standards set by its predecessors in the Helm Identification Guides series."
– Martin Woodcock, Bulletin of the African Bird Club, Volume 23(2)
"[...] The Helm Identification Guides are both authoritative and attractive, and this is one of the best so far – a book not just for the shelf, but for regular exploration to inform and inspire the next trip!"
– Andy Clements, BTO book reviews