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Owls of the World: A Photographic Guide

…here is one photographic guide I would recommend

Owls of the World: A Photographic Guide By Heimo Mikkola | 512 pages | Colour Photos | Colour Distribution Maps | Christopher Helm | Hardback | Aug 2012 | ISBN: 9781408130285

What the publisher Says: Having trouble separating your scops from your screech owls, Tengmalm's from Tawny Owl or Collared and Spotted Owlets? Then this is the book for you.

Owls of the World is the ultimate photographic resource dedicated to the identification of these charismatic, largely nocturnal birds of prey. This book contains lavish and spectacular photography from dozens of the world's finest natural history photographers, covering all of the world's 250 species of owls; particular attention is given to subspecific differences, sexing and ageing. The photos are accompanied by concise text on the identification, habitat, food, distribution and voice of these birds, along with accurate range maps.

The definitive work on owl identification, no birder's bookshelf should be without it!

The Author: Heimo Mikkola is the world's best known owl expert. Originally from Finland, Mikkola has travelled the world, visiting 128 countries in the course of his 40-year research career in search of nocturnal birds. His previous books include Owls of Europe.Fatbirder View: Everyone who reads my reviews knows I am not a devotee of photographic guides, not least because it is very hard to compare birds unless they are posed in exactly the same position as each other. Well, Owls are very accommodating in this respect. They almost all sit on the same, forward facing way, virtually posing for the lens. Given that many will be taken at roosts, in trees they are also likely to be in similar shaded conditions thus, to an extent, ameliorating the differences between light conditions that effect perceived colour. Combine this with extremely good sharp photos and a very knowledgeable author and many of my reservations are taken care of.

I sat turning its pages, comparing it to Helm’s guide with drawn and painted illustrations and found that there were advantages and disadvantages to both leading me to believe that if you have one you would do well to purchase the other. These guides are not cheap but they are all very good and come out infrequently enough not to bankrupt most world birders. If you are like me one of the great pleasures of overseas birding is sitting at home weeks later making sure you have the right ID for your new country list or right subbie ticked on your world list and this often takes a lot of research. I am fortunate to have the fuill set of Handbook of the Birds of the World, but that is where I start and often I turn to the Helm of OUP family guides for confirmation or another opinion. Even with DNA sequencing there is no uniformity or agreement on what constitutes a valid species, let alone a valid race.

In short, here is one photographic guide I would recommend! Fatbirder View:

Buy this book from www.nhbs.com