The Birds of Turkey
The Birds of Turkey by Guy M Kirwan, Kerem Boyla, Peter Castell, Barbaros Demirci, Metehan Özen, Hilary Welch & Tim Marlow. – HELM 2008 - £40 – ISBN 9781408104750
Turkey is a popular destination for birders and tourists, and although there has been much published on its birds over the past 40 years, there has never been a comprehensive avifauna.
The Birds of Turkey redresses this. It contains a detailed account of every species on the Turkish list, with a full breakdown of records and status [from resident breeders to vagrants], distribution in Turkey, and taxonomy. A distribution map accompanies each entry. There are also authoritative introductory chapters on geography, climate, habitats, history of ornithology and conservation.
It also contains some very fine photographs of birds in habitat which serves both as an illustration of the vary varied topography and geography of Turkey and some mouth watering glimpses of a number of iconic species.
If I have a criticism of this volume it is that the rather ‘blocky’ headings and distribution maps make it look heavy-handed and less accurate than is actually the case… but this is probably just a matter of personal taste. However, it does seem to me that, as Turkey is undoubtedly one of the most interesting countries for avifauna in the Western Palearctic this book fills a gap but could have filled a bigger one by just going a tad further. Given the comprehensive species accounts it makes sense to include ID plates too and thus make it a totally comprehensive tome, and be fieldguide as well as a country report. The sort of book one might read before a visit to the country and take in the suitcase to refer to daily when not sure what a particular habitat may hold or to help identified the birds seen on a day out. An avian crossroads, where Europe and Asia collide and through which mass migration happens twice a year, deserves this book, and would have been well served with good illustrations of the birds too.
Guy Kirwan (the senior author) has travelled extensively in Turkey over many years and has published many papers on its birds. He is also the editor of the Turkey Bird Report and the former editor of OSME's journal, Sandgrouse.
Buy this book from www.nhbs.com
Created: 30th Nov 2008