To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness.
If you want a bird identification guide which uses photographs rather than paintings, then I would certainly recommend this excellent and beautiful book.
Personally, I prefer a book with paintings, because the artist can create a “composite bird”, highlighting the key identifying features of a species.
Nevertheless, I bought this book for two reasons: firstly, as an alternative and “back-up” for identification purposes; and secondly, for the aesthetic pleasure of browsing through the beautiful photographs. The book is excellent for both of these purposes.
However, I have to say that this book will not replace “The RSPB Handbook of British Birds” as my number one book for British birds. The reason for this is that the book reviewed here only contains brief information about each bird’s habitat, population and distribution.
The RSPB Handbook, on the other hand, is much more than just an identification guide. It also contains information on habitat, habits, food, breeding behaviour, distribution, movements, migration, population and conservation. So if you want to know something about the lives of the birds you are identifying and enjoying, then the RSPB Handbook is the one to get.
I must also mention one other fault with “Britain’s Birds”. I looked to see what population figures it gave for two of my favourite birds: Kestrels and Buzzards. It gives figures of 58,000 pairs for the Kestrel and 40,500 pairs for the Buzzard. I’m sure that these figures are out-of-date and incorrect.
Statistics produced by both the RSPB and the BTO show that Buzzard numbers have recovered over the last ten years, but that Kestrel numbers have declined, making the Buzzard now the most numerous UK bird of prey. Both RSPB and BTO give figures of less than 50,000 pairs for the Kestrel, and somewhere between 57,000 and 79,000 pairs for the Buzzard.
It’s disappointing that this book, which was only published last year, could not get these facts right. But the book is still worth four stars – and the photos are worth five.
This is a fairly comprehensive identification guide. I chose this one because it has photos of the birds rather than drawings. It is heavy, so not suitable to carry around with you, but that is ok with me as I don't usually take guides out with me anyway. The cover is semi-hardback and feels good quality, although it wasn't in perfect condition when it arrived - there was a bit of damage to the cover. It should have been packed better.
There is a photo of every bird in the UK and it's mind boggling that we have so many species of bird on our shores. I have not given it 5 stars as the text information is very limited. Rather than publish one book and list every species it would of been better to have coastal and water related birds separate to urban and woodland birds so more text information could be added.
This is a good book. The photo's are very clear and show examples of male and female and in flight. Notes describe the male, female, juvenile and habitat. I would like to have seen some indication of the food they eat which is not included in the text.