T & A D Poyser, Octavo, dustwrapper, colour photographs, text illustrations, tables.
With its striking green-black and white plumage and distinctive pee-wit call, the Lapwing is one of Britain’s best-known birds. Lapwings depend on agricultural land to breed and are considered a barometer of the health of this habitat; the population has crashed over recent decades, partly due to changes in farming practices. In winter, Lapwings switch to coastal areas and to wetlands, including those in suburban areas, where large, noisy flocks can gather. Michael Shrubb’s The Lapwing is a concise yet authoritative monograph of this popular species; a thorough review of Lapwing biology contains sections on population dynamics, feeding ecology, habitat use, migration, and conservation; there is an impressively detailed review of our current understanding of breeding biology, plus discussion of some other species in the genus. The Lapwing is a superb addition to the Poyser list. Of interest to both amateur naturalists, who will enjoy insights into the birds’ lives, and to academics, who will appreciate the broad overview of current research, this title will remain the definitive work on the species for many years to come.