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Academic & Professional Books  Ornithology  Non-Passerines  Birds of Prey

The Snowy Owl

Monograph
By: Eugene Potapov(Author), Richard Sale(Author), Jackie Garner(Illustrator)
304 pages, 32 plates with colour photos, colour illustrations, and colour maps; b/w photos, b/w illustrations, b/w maps, tables
Publisher: A & C Black
The Snowy Owl
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Average customer review
  • The Snowy Owl ISBN: 9780713688177 Hardback Jan 2013 In stock
    £59.99
    #194881
Price: £59.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles
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About this book

The snowy owl needs little introduction. This massive white owl breeds throughout the Arctic, wherever there are voles or lemmings to hunt, from Scandinavia through northern Russia to Canada and Greenland. Southerly movements in winter see North American birds travel as far south as the northern United States, while infrequent vagrants on the Shetlands and other northern isles are a magnet for birders.

The Snowy Owl gives this popular bird the full Poyser treatment, with sections looking at morphology, distribution, palaeontology and evolution, habitat, breeding, diet, population dynamics, movements, interspecific relationships and conservation, supported by some fabulous photography and the art of Jackie Garner. A major strength is the availability to the authors of Russian literature, which is generally out of reach for Western scientists.

Contents

List of figures List of tables Introduction

1. What makes a Snowy Owl?
2. Distribution
3. Palaentology, systematics and evolution
4. Winter and summer habitats
5. Breeding
6. Timing and hatching
7. Diet
8. Numbers and population density
9. Winter range and winter records
10. Snowy Owl friends and foes
11. Snowy Owls and people

References
Glossary
Index

Customer Reviews (1)

  • Everything that is known about Snowy Owls
    By Keith 28 Oct 2020 Written for Hardback
    The Snowy Owl needs little introduction, even to non-birding audiences. This is partly down to Hedwig, Harry Potter’s pet Snowy Owl, but also because it is such a stunning bird. So it came as quite a surprise that this is the first serious book to be published about the species.

    This the latest in the long-running series of Poyser monographs, and in some ways it is quite different to its predecessors. Many of the earlier Poyser books were written by people who had devoted their lives to their chosen species (Bryan Nelson on the Gannet, Derek Ratcliffe on the Peregrine, Donald Watson on the Hen Harrier) while this book is written by two raptor enthusiasts with a huge knowledge of the wildlife beyond the Arctic Circle. In this book, they have undertaken a massive literature review (much it in Russian) to put in one place everything that anyone knows about Snowy Owls.

    With a distribution from Canada and Greenland across to Scandinavia and Russia the Snowy Owl is widespread, but interestingly it is clear that much less is known about the birds present on the west side of the Atlantic compared to the east side. The authors start by explaining the basic facts about the species and then move on to describe the breeding range in detail, followed by palaeontology, systematics and evolution. The difference between winter and summer habitats is explained and many pages are devoted to information about breeding and the timing of hatching. There are also sections on diet, numbers and population density. The birds can wander quite widely in winter so there is a specific chapter on winter range and records. The birds interact with humans in those winter months much more than at the time of breeding the book records how these can be friends or foes.

    The text is somewhat heavy at times but is supported by attractive drawings by Jackie Garner and a wide range of photographs. Most of these are good but a number by the authors fall below the levels that I would accept – for example, those on pages 84 and 103 (both supplied by the authors). However, if you need to know all that has been published about the Snowy Owl it is all here and well organised.
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Biography

Raptor specialist Eugene Potapov and Arctic expert Richard Sale form a talented and experienced authorship team that has written some superb books for Christopher Helm. Their first Poyser title, The Gyrfalcon (2005), was the winner of The Wildlife Society's 'Best Science Book 2006' award; Richard Sale's most recent work, A Complete Guide to Arctic Wildlife (2006) is a spectacular addition to the Helm list.

Monograph
By: Eugene Potapov(Author), Richard Sale(Author), Jackie Garner(Illustrator)
304 pages, 32 plates with colour photos, colour illustrations, and colour maps; b/w photos, b/w illustrations, b/w maps, tables
Publisher: A & C Black
Media reviews

"[...] The text is somewhat heavy at times, but is supported by attractive drawings by Jackie Garner and a wide range of photographs. Most of these are good, but a number by the authors fall below the levels that I would accept – for example those on pages 84 and 103 (both supplied by the authors). If you need to know all that has been published about the Snowy Owl, it is all here and well organised."
- Keith Betton, Birding World 26(8), September 2013

"[...] In conclusion, I highly recommend this impressively detailed monograph on the Snowy Owl to anyone wishing to deepen their knowledge of the biology of a fantastic species which is adapted to live in continuous sunlight in summer and continuous darkness in winter, but which is now threatened by the effects of global warming."
- Pertti Saurola, Ibis 156, 2014

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