Bird Atlas 2007-11: The Breeding and Wintering Birds of Britain and Ireland by Dawn Balmer, Simon Gillings, Brian Caffrey, Bob Swann, Iain Downie & Rob Fuller | Hardback | 720 pages | numerous colour photos & illustrations | colour maps & tables | British Trust for Ornithology | Nov 2013 | ISBN: 9781908581280

Publisher’s View: Have the latest scientific findings about distribution and change at your fingertips, including chapters telling the atlas story and highlighting the factors influencing our changing bird fauna. Bird Atlas 2007-11 is the most complete and comprehensive overview of bird distribution and change in Britain and Ireland, and contains over 1300 maps describing patterns of distribution, abundance and change for nearly 300 species. The Bird Atlas 2007-11 has been compiled from data collected by over 40,000 volunteer surveyors through timed visits, roving records and other sources, over four summers and winters.

What Others Say: “Nowhere else on earth is as well known in terms of bird distribution and populations thanks to the astonishing effort of accomplished volunteers and the BTO” – Chris Packham, BTO Vice-President

“…the magnificent new atlas of British and Irish birds is the most riveting bird book produced in Britain for years”. – Mike McCarthy, The Independent

“Buy it! Read it! And think about what it shows of the ornithological reality of the UK and Ireland” – Mark Avery, Nature Conservationist

“The most important British and Irish bird book for two decades” – Andy Clements, Director of BT

Fatbirder View: Marvellous, monumental and magnificent are just three of the words that came into my head when I first started turning the pages of this truly stupendous work. And that’s what has gone into it, a stupendous amount of work from tens of thousands of ordinary birders and hundreds of ornithologists not to say the work which the authors must also have undertaken.

If you just judged it for its beautiful photographs and well written species accounts it would be one of the books of the year, but it surpasses this by many literary orders of magnitude. It has to be judged on how much it will effect our understanding of these islands’ birdlife and the challenges they are facing in a changing world.

Mark Avery is spot on, this is a very well presented set of findings of the most important task ever undertaken by the BTO and their humbler helpers. I’m not going to go on about it, but if you can afford it buy it, and if you can’t then borrow one or go read it in the library as all of us need to understand what it is telling us about avian fortunes.

One fag-end of praise goes to all those individuals, companies and organisations who sponsored individual species.

I’m just going back for another look but I know this will become my most well thumbed reference for years to come!


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