Advanced Bird ID Handbook: The Western Palearctic By Nils Van Duivendijk | 416 pages plus tables & maps | New Holland Publishers | Softcover | 2011 | ISBN 9781780090221

What the publishers say

This book is intended as a reference companion for the original Advanced Bird ID Guide, the ground-breaking title by the same author that relies on characteristic lists to assist with species identification.

This new volume has larger and more widely spaced text, and more than 100 additional pages, making it easier to use. The accounts of 570 species have been updated or amended, and recent taxonomic changes and the discovery of new species has been accounted for. Twenty-three tables give side-by-side comparisons of the features of sets of similar species, and a full checklist of Western Palearctic species is included at the end of the book.Fatbirder View

I fully expect more of us to buy this book than will ever get to use it when considering sending in a record of a rarity. Most of us will still twitch other people’s findings or slog around our patches in the hope that one day… just one day… Should that day ever dawn then it will be to this volume that we will all need to turn and I hope that our photos or filed notes are detailed enough to eliminate the negative and accentuate the positive ID features so we can through a fist into the air and declare ‘yes!’ to no one in particular. I’ve often studies every book I have in my collection looking for a clinching ID feature and now I have a text to consult that will either dissuade me from an unintentional mis-claim or spur me into confidence.

Birders in the UK are often wary of reporting their finds, even to friends let alone authorities as we lack confidence simply because of the competitive urge to rubbish the claims of others, I wish it were not so and that we could delight in sharing and not be made to feel bad about our mistakes. This book may well bring that day a little closer.Fatbirder

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