Barn Owl by David Chandler
128 pages, 80 colour photos | New Holland | Hardcover | 2011 | ISBN 9781847737687
I’m not really an aficionado of single species monographs… often it is stretching a subject in the extreme but there are some iconic bird species where such a treatment is justified for layman and ornithologist alike. The common kingfisher is one such and, most certainly the barn owl. It is familiar to most people through images yet sadly seldom seen these days of decline in the UK. Some counties are blessed but a little persistence and local knowledge is needed now that half our population is urban.
The sight of a ghostly Barn Owl quartering a field at dusk is not one that is easily forgotten, but the day-to-day lives of these captivating birds are little known to most people. In this book, insightful text coupled with rarely seen images of the species’ life and behaviour introduces the reader to some of the most fascinating aspects of a remarkable nocturnal existence. There are chapters on subjects such as hunting, courtship and survival. The owls are further brought to life through a series of personal anecdotes from the author and photographer, which are woven into the text.The superb photographs could easily stand alone and such a book can grace the coffee tables of even the least tuned into to nature.
The Authors – David Chandler is based in Histon, Cambridge, and has worked for the RSPB and BirdLife International for nearly 20 years. He is now a freelance writer and ornithologist and has authored a number of titles, including the All About Bugs and All About Garden Wildlife for New Holland. Nigel Blake is a professional photographer based in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, whose work is known to many people through publication of his images in books and magazines (and a great many of his photos on Fatbirder pages). He has been fascinated by Barn Owls for many years and spent many months studying and photographing them.