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British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

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Conservation Land Management (CLM) is a quarterly magazine that is widely regarded as essential reading for all who are involved in land management for nature conservation, across the British Isles. CLM includes long-form articles, events listings, publication reviews, new product information and updates, reports of conferences and letters.

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Academic & Professional Books  Ornithology  Biology, Ecology & Behaviour

Songs of Love & War The Dark Heart of Bird Behaviour

Nature Writing Out of Print
By: Dominic Couzens(Author)
256 pages, no illustrations
Songs of Love & War
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  • Songs of Love & War ISBN: 9781472909916 Hardback Apr 2017 Out of Print #232447
About this book Biography Related titles

About this book

The dawn chorus: a single voice cutting through the darkness heralds a breaking wave of sound at the very beginning of the day. It is an iconic natural phenomenon with many familiar performers, yet it is a mysterious event for which there is no complete explanation.

A mass of starlings gathers at the end of a midwinter day. As the sun sets, wave upon wave of bodies rolls in, embarking upon another of nature's great attempts to show off. The murmuration is another much admired spectacle, but again its purpose is obscure and defies our understanding.

From dawn until dusk, birds do things that that are surprising and mystifying. Songs of Love & War delves into bird behaviour and uncovers its purpose and meaning.

More than just an inside look at how songbirds behave, this book also represents a personal journey of discovery. What starts as a desire to learn more about the birds encountered on a regular father-and-son walk through the woods leads to a realisation that a bird's life is very far from the idyllic scene that can often be glimpsed by the casual birdwatcher. A bird's life is often unusual and surprising but above all it is brief and much darker than you might think.

Customer Reviews


Dominic Couzens is an ornithologist and wildlife journalist. He contributes regularly to Bird Watching and BBC Wildlife magazines, and has written a wide range of books about birds and other animals, including The Secret Lives of Garden Birds, Tales of Remarkable Birds and Birds: ID Insights.

Nature Writing Out of Print
By: Dominic Couzens(Author)
256 pages, no illustrations
Media reviews

"Dominic Couzens journeys into the world of birdsong at its finest distillation, the hours around dawn when mates are attracted and territories staked [...] pulling back the curtains on this nocturnal enigma."
Sunday Express

"An engaging book [...] The text includes the author's own observations and thoughts drawn from long experience, backed up by well chosen details of research."
BBC Wildlife

"To us birdsong is a thing of beauty, an expression of joy. But Dominic Couzens, in his fascinating new book, says these songs are a form of warfare."
Daily Express

"[...] This is a delightful book for birders or anyone who has enjoyed the simple pleasure of watching Robins in their garden, marvelled at the long, delicate tails of Swallows, or simply wondered why birds sing. You will probably never look at Dunnocks in the same way after reading this!"
– Henrietta Pringle, BTO book reviews

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