Non-Fiction Books:

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Birds of Britain, Europe & Africa


Paperback / softback

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Illustrated Encyclopedia of Birds of Britain, Europe & Africa by David Alderton
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The habitats of Great Britain, Europe and Africa boast some of the most interesting and adaptable members of the avian world. While African savanna may seem remote from the forests of northern Europe, many birds will endure perilous migrations between the two continents as part of their life cycle. This accessible and fully illustrated guide presents some of the rare and familiar bird species of these lands, and captures the multitude of sizes, shapes and colours in existence. From the tiny malachite sunbird to the enormous ostrich; from the grace of a mute swan to the striking casque of an African crowned hornbill; from the bright colours of a Vasa parrot to the stealthy camouflage of a tawny owl - each has the power to enthrall. An expert, accessible introduction explains how birds evolved, with artists' impressions of their winged ancestors, the pterosaurs. It examines the special anatomy of birds, their keen senses, and how they have adapted to life in the air. Bird behaviour is also examined in detail - read how factors such as mating rituals, nest protection, rearing chicks, group living, hunting, feeding and migration are necessary to the survival of the species. This guide also features practical tips on fieldcraft, and colourful depictions of birds found in distinct types of habitat. A directory of up to 560 species features intricate colour artworks, and details everything from variable plumage to bill shapes, distribution, size, food, eggs and nest. The birds are grouped by habitat and type - including oceanic, estuarine, freshwater, woodland, open country and urban species - and include representatives from all the major avian families. With over 535 individual colour illustrations and photographs, plus maps detailing distribution, this encyclopaedic volume documents the sheer abundance of bird life found between the snowy Arctic tundra and the tip of southern Africa.

Author Biography

David Alderton has had a lifelong interest in birds, and has travelled widely, observing them on every continent in a wide range of different habitats. He has also been involved with birds in the conservation sphere. David is the author of The Exotic Pet Handbook, Looking After My Pet Goldfish and Birds of America (all Southwater). He is also a consultant to the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, based in Washington.
Release date NZ
May 1st, 2011
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
over 535 colour illustrations & photographs
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