New Holland, 2010. 308 pages, Octavo, paperback, line drawings.
Van Duivendijk, Nils.
This innovative guide will be an essential addition to the library of any serious birder. It accurately describes every key detail of every plumage of all 900 species that have ever occurred in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East – the region known to all birdwatchers as the Western Palearctic. Its level of detail is unprecedented for a book of this size, and it will be sought after by all bird enthusiasts. A large number of existing bird field guides cover Europe and the Western Palearctic. This, however, is a guide with a difference. It has no colour plates or illustrations, but instead its unique selling point is that for every species the detailed text lists the key characters of each recognizable plumage, including male, female, immature, juvenile, all subspecies and all other variations. This level of detail includes, for example, all eleven forms of Canada Goose and all nine forms of Yellow Wagtail known in the region. In the past such in-depth detail has only been available in huge multi-volume tomes such as Birds of the Western Palearctic. This guide enables birders to take this information into the field for the first time., The detailed yet concise nature of the guide means that the original Dutch edition of this title became an instant classic when it was published in 2002. UK birders who know of the Dutch edition have been eagerly awaiting an English-language version for many years, so this is an exciting opportunity for New Holland in terms of publishing a cutting-edge bird book. The book will be endorsed by the renowned journal “British Birds”, which has been running for more than 100 years and which has a dedicated and enthusiastic readership.