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Birds of Europe: (Second Edition) [Paperback]

Lars Svensson , Dan Zetterström , Killian Mullarney
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 33.44
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Book Description

Feb. 21 2010 Princeton Field Guides

Since it was first published a decade ago, Birds of Europe has become the definitive field guide to the diverse birdlife found in Europe. Now this superb guide has been brought fully up to date with revised text and maps along with added illustrations. Uniquely designed for easy use in the field, this expanded edition covers all 772 species found in the region as well as 32 introduced species or variants and 118 very rare visitors. Detailed species accounts describe key identification features, voice, habitat, range, and size. More than 3,500 full-color illustrations depict every species and all major plumage variations, and color distribution maps provide breeding, wintering, and migration ranges for every species.

Complete with an introduction to each group of birds that addresses major problems of observation and identification, this new edition is the ultimate field guide to Europe's fascinating birdlife.

  • Expanded and fully updated
  • Covers all 772 species found in Europe, 32 introduced species or variants, and 118 very rare visitors
  • Features more than 3,500 color illustrations that depict every species
  • Includes detailed species accounts
  • Provides color distribution maps for every species
  • Color plates face text and maps for at-a-glance identification

Frequently Bought Together

Birds of Europe: (Second Edition) + Birds of the Middle East: (Second Edition)
Price For Both: CDN$ 55.24

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"The richest and the most comprehensive of the current guides."--Times (London)

"One of the world's greatest bird field guides, first published in 1999, has been expanded and fully revised. It includes new species names, field marks, illustrations, and range maps. Remaining unchanged is its sense of purpose--to present clear identification information for each of Europe's birds."--Birder's World

"If you are birding in Europe, you must have this guide. It should be on the shelf of many North American bird watchers, especially those who live along the Atlantic coast, where many European birds are found. It should also be in the library of anyone who collects field guides, if for no reason other than you can occasionally take it down and be reminded of what is possible when art and design and purpose are treated as equal parts of a final product."--Bird Watcher's Digest

"The best field guide to the birds of Europe and one of the best field guides worldwide!"--Ian Paulsen, Birdbooker Report

"The guide has extensive information (plumage for juveniles, adult males and females, and seasonal variations) on 772 species of European birds. . . . Birds of Europe is a hefty tome--1 and 3/4 lbs.--but choosing between it and, say, an extra pair of shoes when you pack is a nobrainer. Take the field guide; lose the shoes."--Fannie Peczenik, Pittsburgh Bird Watching Examiner

"Birds of Europe has some of the best illustrations I have seen in any field guide. . . . The identification notes are often quite detailed, especially for difficult species. . . . Birds of Europe: Second Edition is the best field guide I have yet seen and surpasses even David Sibley's excellent work. . . . If you are birding in Europe, if you want to seek out European vagrants in North America, or if you just want to look at better illustrations of Europe's avifauna, this is the guide to get."--John Beetham, DC Birding Blog

"I give this guide a 4.5 out of 5 rating because of the quality of the information and presentation. I would wholeheartedly recommend picking up a copy of Birds of Europe."--Jeff Jones, Birdoculars

"This excellent new edition meets all of my criteria for usefulness: highly-readable text, excellent layout, fine maps and beautiful, accurate illustrations that help the reader come to grips with the fine points of identification. . . . Highly recommended!"--William P. Mueller, Bluebird's Laugh

"Given the wealth of descriptive identification cues in the text, and the truly wonderful illustruations, Birds of Europe is truly a first-rate field guide."--Terry Sohl, Bird's Eye View

"The update is worth the wait and a great revision from the first edition. The amount of knowledge about birds of Europe has increased greatly and there have been drastic changes in taxonomy as well. . . . With over 3,500 color illustrations and a vault of information on a vast geographic area, Birds of Europe is a perfect addition to your birding library and a great upgrade from the first edition."--Birdfreak.com

"This book gets two fists, way up."--Two-Fisted Bird Watcher

"Looking at each page of this Birds of Europe field guide was a blast. . . . My favorite features of this field guide--that I have never seen or noticed before in other field guides--are the at-a-distance views of each species portrayed in their typical habitat and posture."--Idaho Birding Blog

"If you want to see what I consider to be one of the current best field guides, check out the second edition of what's called in Britain the 'Collins Field Guide' aka Svensson and Mullarney."--Phil Jeffrey, NYC Birding

"In many bird guides, the birds look to be cut outs strewn across the page. Mullarney and Zetterstrom's birds look as if they just landed on the page. They have captured the lives of birds and the essence of what draws many people to birding. Each species has a map showing where the bird is likely to be found in the different seasons. . . . A new standard has been set for authors of future bird guides and it is hard to imagine how Svensson's guide could be surpassed."--Rob Butler, Vancouver Sun

"[A] handsome book. . . . Its best feature is the length of the text offered with each species. For example, the new Peterson guide uses fewer than 100 words in discussing identification of Short-eared Owl. The Princeton book's ID text for this species is twice as long. This is its pattern throughout: much more detailed text in support of its illustrations. . . . Birding ID books in general could benefit from its fine idea of expanded text."--Jim Williams, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Compact, beautifully illustrated, and crammed with information."--The Eyrie

"As good as the first edition was, this one is better. To say the book is merely comprehensive would be like saying the Atlantic is wet. . . . There's really so much to like about Birds of Europe that you quickly run out of superlatives. It's simply the best field guide for its region and makes a run at being one of the finest anywhere."--Drinking Bird blog

"The first edition was widely considered to be the epitome of field guides, and the revisions found in this edition will cement its reputation as an archetype to which others will be compared. I'd say that any serious North American birder needs this guide."--Bill Schmoker, BRDPICS blog

"The best field guide ever. . . The purpose of a field guide is to help you identify birds. Birds of Europe: 2nd Edition makes that easier than almost any other guide for almost any bird you may find in Europe. The illustrations and text are wedded and presented in a concise format that gives birders the most important information needed for bird identification. It is a gem by which all other gems are to be compared."--Rob Fergus, The Birdchaser

"This book is meant to be used to identify birds in the field with a high chance of being correct. It achieves this and more. If only other field guides were as good. Although meant for birdwatchers in Europe [in the broadest geographical sense] non-Europeans might want to spend the $30 [excellent value] just to be able to drool and dream."--Roy John, The Canadian Field-Naturalist

"By consensus, this is the best field guide ever, boasting unsurpassed art, detailed captions, and a superb, authoritative text."--Library Journal starred review

About the Author

Lars Svensson is one of Europe's foremost field ornithologists. Dan Zetterström and Killian Mullarney are two of Europe's leading bird artists.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly incredible!!! March 30 2001
This field guide has been awaited with excitement (already having existed in Swedish and Danish for a year or so) - now I know why. I have seen a huge variety of field guides, but this is simply the best yet. It covers Europe (east of Ural), Northern Africa (north of ca. 30 degrees north), and the Middle East (e.g. Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Armenia and so on). Also included is the islands of the Canaries and Madeira. All species naturally occurring (and several species not considered to be native) in this area are included. The only exception being a number of species only recorded a few times (usually meaning ones or twice) in the area. These rarities are included in a list. The species are dealt with taxonomically, and each group (e.g. Swans) starts with a short (or long in the "hard-to-id" groups) introduction. Each species has a text which I can only refer to as perfect. All relevant information is included (id, habitat, voice etc.). Also included is a map. However, the truly incredible thing is the drawings. Not only are they precise, they also include all kinds of plumage's and positions (often shown in a natural habitat as you would see it in the nature) that you could only wish for in most guides. Arrows (with a short and simple text) point at features of the birds especially important for identification. A thing most (if not all?) will find great is that the drawings are placed next to the text (and map) - no more endless going through pages. Incredibly it is still a handy guide. This is the field guide for the beginner as well as the pro. Sorry, I'm not able to find any bad things to say about this guide.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive new Guide May 3 2000
This book covers all of the European birds and lots potential visitors. There are good plates showing variations in plumage. Field marks are pointed out on the plate, which greatly reduces potential confusion. Thin lines separate species on the plates, making it easier to know what you are looking at on some of the more crowded plates. Text and range maps are opposite the plates and are quite detailed with further field marks, habitat information, identification tips, and detailed discussion of voice. The important characteristics are in italics which make them easier to find in the very small print. The information is incredibly thourough, especially for a book of this size. Attention is also paid to hybrids ducks and identification skills for gulls and waders. The range maps are clear with migration areas also marked. The guide is small enough for use in the field, well organized, and easy to use. The only major drawback of this guide is that the type is very small, but the plates and the information it contains more than make up for this problem.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best guide ever! April 19 2002
If only there were so good guides for every other region of the world!!!! It is simply the best guide I've ever had. It ^has very good paintings and perfect descriptions. Impossible to miss one identification with that. And it's also not so heavy to transport, so you can easily bring it to the field. BUY IT!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with Helpful Information! April 13 2010
By bachef TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book as my husband and I have a house in rural Europe and want to learn as much about the local birds as we possibly can. Maybe we will even become birders! We will be taking it along with us each time we go mushroom (and other foraging) and hikes.

This field guide is laid out in encyclopedic format including identification features and photographs. On the bottom of the page are maps showing where each is found.

This is a no-nonsense (albeit impersonal) practical reference guide that will be useful for years and years. Exactly what I was looking for.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget your other European Bird guides Feb. 2 2001
This is by far the best field guide I've come across. The illustrations are more refined, more detailed and - in my mind - more lifelike than in any other fuild guide. And there are so many of them! There are male and female, juvenile and adult, on-land and in-flight pictures of almost every species. Svensson covers a larger area than is usual for a 'european birds' guide: he includes many Middle Eastern and Northern African species. The maps, pictures and text are conveniently located on the same page. Only one drawback: some of the rarer species don't have an accompanying map.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful for Cruisers and Beginners June 13 2004
More experienced birders can tell you more about the technical wonders of this book -- they are many, and in short you should buy it! As a beginning birder but a more experienced traveller, however, I can tell you that this is a fabulous resource to have along, even if you are just generally curious about nature in the places you visit.
This guide covered EVERY region in a recent cruise from the most western to the most eastern points on the Mediterranean, inlcuding many islands. It was terrifically easy to figure out which birds were likely candidates for each sighting -- and each time of year.
Getting to know an area is more than having a favorite restaurant and knowing how to get from one point to the next. Recognizing the creatures around, and maybe even getting to know their songs, will bring you even further into a new place. This book is exhaustive yet accessible, and will really help you "get there."
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