am 3. Mai 2000
This book covers all of the European birds and lots potential visitors. There are good plates showing variations in plumage. Field marks are pointed out on the plate, which greatly reduces potential confusion. Thin lines separate species on the plates, making it easier to know what you are looking at on some of the more crowded plates. Text and range maps are opposite the plates and are quite detailed with further field marks, habitat information, identification tips, and detailed discussion of voice. The important characteristics are in italics which make them easier to find in the very small print. The information is incredibly thourough, especially for a book of this size. Attention is also paid to hybrids ducks and identification skills for gulls and waders. The range maps are clear with migration areas also marked. The guide is small enough for use in the field, well organized, and easy to use. The only major drawback of this guide is that the type is very small, but the plates and the information it contains more than make up for this problem.
am 17. Februar 2010
Das ist dasselbe Buch wie der britische "Svensson", der dort als Collins Bird Guide und mit anderem Umschlagbild läuft. Die US Version mit ihrem sinnvolleren Titel ist bereits als Paperback erschienen, der britische Collins ist zunächst nur als Hardcover publiziert worden. Doch auch dort wird eine Paperback Ausgabe nicht lange auf sich warten lassen. Ich füge hier meine englische Besprechung an, da das Buch doch primäre Leute interessieren dürfte, die mit dieser Sprache wenig Probleme haben:
The long awaited second edition of this excellent field guide is finally here. Improving on the world's best bird field guide is almost certainly a task that will disappoint a few. However the authors and illustrators are to be commended for their achievement. Despite an addition of almost fifty pages, compared to the first edition, this is still a very field-worthy book. The text, range maps, and many illustrations have been throughly revised and updated. Particularly noteworthy are the many new owl illustrations, and the page of "Atlantic" pigeons. Many "new" species have been added due to splits from previous subspecies. Thus, many island races from the Canary Islands are now full species. Some taxonomic groups got a particular revision, such as the wheatears and the "Herring Gull complex". The treatment of the latter has been expanded from less than a double page to three full spreads. With Caspian Gull being fully illustrated in various plumages, for example. The taxonomic sequence got some changes in the first parts of the book, with geese and ducks now at the front. The same confusing fashion as in field guides of North America and many other areas of the world. There is actually no need for a field guide to follow the latest taxonomic insights. Rather, there needs to be a sequence that allows for quickly finding a group of birds. And that would be best served if the basic sequence were kept constant.
Unfortunately, non-native species got a rather worse coverage than in the first edition. Some were relegated to the back of the book such as the locally well established Wood Duck and Mandarin Duck. And even for the European native Ruddy Shelduck, the range presumably due to human releases is not shown on the map. Personally, I consider such omissions a lack of recognizing reality. The same problems, unfortunately, are found in such leading works as the Handbook of the Birds of the World, and likewise for the mammal equivalent.
A welcome change in the range maps is the use of more detailed regional maps for very localised species. Despite the time span of about ten years since the first edition, and the repeated postponement in the publication of this edition for about two years, it seems that there must have been a certain rush at the end. Thus, there are relatively many typos or other minor oversights. No big thing, but somewhat of a bother nevertheless. Hopefully, a large part will be corrected in a later printing.
Despite the various points I have criticized here, the book fully merits its five stars. It is just SO good!
am 13. Januar 2015
Language is exceptional with awesome tips
Maps are useful, Needs geographical knowledge of course but color coding makes life easier
Quality : Exceptional, pictures are very nice
Don't Like :
The breeding or recorded populations is only for Britain I think. If you see a bird , check map and then see "-" in front of the name you may get confused. It took me sometime to get to the point when I thought it was wrong until I read " How to use the book".
I know my mistake but I think this special focus should be also color coded.
am 10. Juni 2013
This book describes all of the 700-odd bird species of Europe, plus the 100-something vagrants and rare species. It is slightly heavy for a field guide but that is just because it is comprehensive. Includes good illustrations and maps. Svensson has also taken special pains to describe the bird songs, which often comes in handy.