An Identification Guide to Garden Birds of Britain and North-West Europe

| Dominic Couzens & Carl Bovis | John Beaufoy Publishing | 2023 | Paperback | 160 Pages | 180 Colour Photographs | ISBN: 9781913679330 | £14.99p |

The Publisher’s View:

An Identification Guide to Garden Birds of Britain and North-West Europe is a photographic identification guide to 75 species of bird most commonly found in or over the gardens of Britain and North-West Europe. The text combines scientific facts with affectionate descriptions of the birds’ identifying features, including sex and age differences, habits, nest types, eggs and calls.

The introduction contains tips on how to identify birds; how to look after garden birds; which species can be seen throughout the year; a glossary and anatomy details. For each species, there are two or three photographs labelled with distinguishing features where appropriate, a calendar showing the time of year when the adult can be seen and star facts that give further proof of the birds’ fascinating features.

The Authors:

Dominic Couzens  is an award-winning nature writer with 40 books and hundreds of published articles to his name. His best-known books include An Identification Guide to Garden Insects of Britain and North-West EuropeThe Secret Lives of Garden BirdsBritain’s Mammals (WildGuides) and Save Our Species, while he contributes to magazines and newspapers, such as BirdwatchingNature’s HomeBBC Countryfile and The Guardian.

Carl Bovis is a nature photographer with a particular passion for birds. The advent of digital photography has given him the opportunity to capture the birds he sees and share them with the world. He contributes to Birdwatching magazine.

Fatbirder View:

One would expect anything written by Dominic Couzens to be informative, accurate, engaging and expertly focussed on a target audience. This is no exception. He has a way of writing for new or casual birders that never patronises, but always remains clear and not over technical. He is also a past master at selecting those facts that are salient and leaving a great deal to be discovered by anyone wanting to know more. He is a great educator, simply because you don’t know you are being educated! One of the ways he and the excellent photographer Carl Bovis, have done this is by using the photos to mark ID features that are spot on that the less fanatical can easily assimilate. A great example here is pointing out that Stock Doves have black eyes, whereas feral Pigeons have red ones. Given that feral pigeons come in so many guises this is a far better steer than plumage difference, which can confuse even experienced birders.

Many of Dominic’s books use this gently osmosis to deepen knowledge and interest, when preaching would be off-putting and scientific jargon a total turn-off.

I like the books range too… just because us soft southerners are never going to get a Crested Tit at our feeders doesn’t mean our Scots friends will not, let alone our continental neighbours. This makes the book useful wherever you live in the UK and great for those lucky enough to have a summer retreat in France or family in Sweden.

What’s not to like!

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