| RSPB Handbook of British Birds | By Peter Holden & Richard Gregory | Illustrated by: Hilary Burn, Martin Elliott, Alan Harris, Peter Hayman, David Nurney, Stephen Message, Laurel Tucker & Dan Zetterström | Bloomsbury Publishing | 2021 | Paperback | Edition 5 | 320 Pages | 1200+ Colour Illustrations, Colour Distribution Maps, Tables | ISBN: 9781472980267 | £12.99p |

The Publisher’s View: The bestselling RSPB Handbook of British Birds has been completely revised and updated for its fifth edition. To maintain its position as the most comprehensive accessible field guide to British birds, the new edition will include new artwork, additional rarities, extra comparison spreads and a completely updated taxonomic order.

This easy-to-use guide offers an ‘avian biography’ for all of the bird species likely to be encountered in Britain or Ireland including many details of breeding, migration and longevity not found in other mass-market bird guides. It covers all aspects of field identification, features illustrations showing all common plumage forms, and also describes each bird’s behaviour, breeding biology, population, status and longevity, as well as other interesting facts.

For this edition, the authors have fully revised the species text using the latest available research and knowledge on identification, distributions, ecology and conservation. The conservation text gives the current status for every bird and now also provides a summary of the current threats each species faces with details of what conservationists are doing to help. The detailed maps included for every featured species have also been updated for this edition to reflect their current UK distribution.

In short, this is a complete, single source of essential information to the UK’s most familiar birds.

The Author: Peter Holden has written nine books, including the bestselling RSPB Handbook of British Birds and the acclaimed RSPB Handbook of Garden Wildlife. He worked for the RSPB for more than 40 years.

Fatbirder View:

I’m going to keep this short… as it’s all been said already. I’ve reviewed previous editions (all good) and this is not an exception but is even better. If you are a British birder this will stand you in good stead to ID the birds, but, even more importantly, learn about them in general and the current status in particular.

It’s not going to compete with Collins European guide for depth or breath, but why would it; it does what it says on the tin!

As it says above: In short, this is a complete, single source of essential information to the UK’s most familiar birds.

Moreover, there is a very affordable app companion as well, so you can get the songs on your phone too. I’ve no idea how new that is but most species will be covered I’m sure.

It’s a handy size and weight to be in every newby birders pocket and by every conservatory window too.

Buy this book from NHBS