The bestselling RSPB Handbook of British Birds has been completely revised and updated for its fifth edition. To maintain its position as the most comprehensive accessible field guide to British birds, the new edition will include new artwork, additional rarities, extra comparison spreads and a completely updated taxonomic order.
This easy-to-use guide offers an 'avian biography' for all of the bird species likely to be encountered in Britain or Ireland including many details of breeding, migration and longevity not found in other mass-market bird guides. It covers all aspects of field identification, features illustrations showing all common plumage forms, and also describes each bird's behaviour, breeding biology, population, status and longevity, as well as other interesting facts.
For this edition, the authors have fully revised the species text using the latest available research and knowledge on identification, distributions, ecology and conservation. The conservation text gives the current status for every bird and now also provides a summary of the current threats each species faces with details of what conservationists are doing to help. The detailed maps included for every featured species have also been updated for this edition to reflect their current UK distribution.
In short, this is a complete, single source of essential information to the UK's most familiar birds.
Population Trends of British Birds
Using this Book
Further Reading and Resources
Peter Holden has written nine books, including the bestselling RSPB Handbook of British Birds and the acclaimed RSPB Handbook of Garden Wildlife. He worked for the RSPB for more than 40 years.
"The 5th edition is a new book, completely revised/updated with new excellent artwork and comparison spreads, and following the current taxonomic order. ‘Regular’ rarities, such as Golden Oriole, Pallas' Warbler and Bluethroat, are included within correct taxonomic position within the main book, with ‘real’ rarities in a separate section at the end. One good addition is the conservation status and short text box on conservation issues for each species. Overall, excellent."
– Richard Sale, Ibis, August 2021
Reviews of previous editions:
"A compact but comprehensive reference book for the keen birdwatcher."
– The Good Book Guide (September 2006)
"A must for newcomers to birding."
– Birdwatch (August 2006)
"To get in touch with your inner 'twitcher', look no further than this wonderful reference work."
– What's on in London (24 August 2006)
"I was genuinely amazed at the price as it must represent the best value for any bird book on the market at present get along to the nearest bookshop as you will not be disappointed."
– Highland News (March 2007)