David said i can post it so...
A History of Ornithology by Peter Bircham Published by Collins (New Naturalist) £25
A History of Ornithology sounds like a really boring book, you know the kind, given to you by your grandparents on christmas day and it never sees the light of day again until you sell it on e-bay several years later.
This has without doubt, been the best birding read i have read in ages. By far this book is much more authorative and scientific then other efforts like, A Bird in the Bush ( a social history of birdwatching) by Stephen Moss. And don't be scared by the science in the book though, as it is lucidly written and clearly explained, it doesn't bog down with long winded sentences of explanation and neither does it ramble on about specific ornithologists either, a criticsm you can level about 'A Bird in the Bush' and it's covering of people like Gilbert White. That is not to say 'A History' doesn't focus on specific ornitholigists, because it does, but there is such a wide variety of ornithologists from all over the globe, mostly english, with some americans (notably swainson) and some europeans that this book really gives you a feeling over comprehensiveness.
It also features rather endearing pictures of birds from the birds book past, including field guide illustrations by Bewick, Audubon and Thorbun, portraits of the ornithologists and lots of species photographs by Rebeca Nason.
The text is well laid out and formated although the use of tables and lists is a bit annoying at the start of the book.
I'm trying really hard to think of some criticsm's for this book, but i can't. It is a must read for everyone and it's not paticularly hard to read either. 5***** in my opinion.
Ps: I really like the Robert Gillmour designed cover as well.
Today i managed to get out for a quick walk around the countryside near my home. Highlights include short eared owl, two barn owls, 2 grey partridges and a goldcrest. My list for this year is 25.
I Have Moved
6 years ago