343 pages, 200 colour & b/w illustrations, b/w distribution maps
In this stunning book, Lars Jonsson celebrates and explores the beauty of the birds that surround him during the Swedish winter months. Inspired by the desolate, wintry landscapes, the dazzling light and the stark contrast of colours he observes against the snow, Jonsson has created an unparalleled collection of art.
Jonsson illustrates each bird in his classic style, and his text provides information on their behaviour and insights into how to identify them as he shares his personal observations as both an artist and an ornithologist. This unique combination offers an intimate and compelling opportunity to better understand the method behind one of the world s preeminent bird artists.
"Breaking from the mould of his field guides, Lars Jonsson’s Winter Birds provides a personal perspective on the most common 59 ‘garden’ species of the Swedish winter. [...] The artwork is nothing short of an indulgence: at once singing out with the vibrancy of the birds’ plumage, and shivering with cold. [...] The combination of an acute attention to detail and ability to capture the overall essence of each species is exceptional. [...] One thing I found peculiar were the distribution maps for Britain and Ireland. [...] Unfortunately the maps for Britain and Ireland do not appear to be based on the Bird Atlas 2007–11 winter distributions and greatly exaggerate the occurrence of many species. [...] One constant is the significance of each species as a visitor to the author’s own garden and consequently, the place it occupies in his heart. This adds great warmth to the book, deepening the reader’s engagement with and understanding of both the birds, and the author himself."
– Nick Moran, BTO book reviews
"[...] When I was first getting interested in wildlife in the 1980s, Lars Jonsson was seen almost as a cult figure by young birders. He had published a series of slimline fieldguides based on different habitats (mountains, sea coast etc) and these were later updated and amalgamated into one book covering all birds in Europe. [...] Winter Birds is an altogether different type of book. It focuses on 59 species and deals with each in some detail. Many are birds that he sees regularly in winter on and around feeders at his studio on the island of Gotland, southern Sweden, most of which are also common at British bird-tables. He also includes some of the enigmatic species that occur mainly to the north; birds that hold a special appeal to British birdwatchers because of their status as rare visitors to this country, or the fact that they have yet to make it here [...]. This is an engaging book based on a deep, hard-won knowledge of these birds, but it is also a warm and charming book and one that, as with the fieldguide from all those years ago, is a delight to open."
– Ian Carter, on Mark Avery's blog
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Lars Jonsson, artist, author and ornithologist, was born in 1952. As both a field guide author and artistic interpreter of birds and nature, he holds a unique position internationally. He lives in southern Gotland, where he draws his inspiration from the shores and the rich bird life of the open cultivated countryside.