Birds Britannica
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Birds Britannica

by Mark Cocker, Richard Mabey
     
 

Birds Britannica is a lavishly illustrated, comprehensive cultural study, species by species, of all the birds in Britain. Neither an identification guide nor a behavioral study (though both of these subjects enter its field), it concentrates on the cultural links and social history of birds and humans, and captures the essence of why birds matter. The

Overview


Birds Britannica is a lavishly illustrated, comprehensive cultural study, species by species, of all the birds in Britain. Neither an identification guide nor a behavioral study (though both of these subjects enter its field), it concentrates on the cultural links and social history of birds and humans, and captures the essence of why birds matter. The product of years of research, it is based in part on contributions from the public who sent in their memories and experiences of birds, making this a rich trove of stories and observations.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

As readable as it is magnificent, this cultural study of Britain’s birds examines 350 species in detail and features 500 color photographs and illustrations.

Library Journal
Never mind its British accent, this charmingly eccentric book, a companion volume to Flora Britannica, transcends mere national interest and captures, as the jacket blurb correctly claims, "the essence of why birds matter." How this was achieved is remarkable: nature writers Cocker (Birders: Tales of a Tribe) and Mabey (Flora Britannica) not only assembled and interpreted pertinent scientific research but, more important, edited the responses of more than 1000 citizens eager to share their memories and observations relating to some 350 bird species. The result, eight years in the making, is a happy, seamless mixture of avian science and lore, formal literature and popular public response. There are 58 entries (corresponding to bird families) averaging three or four pages in length. The chapter on starlings is especially intriguing. While many bird books today are primarily concerned with identification, this work is neither a field volume nor a behavioral guide but rather a cultural history of humans and birds. Readers will be edified reading snippets from Chaucer, Shakespeare, and other luminaries. But there is poetry of a more homespun sort in the stories submitted by the public as well as in the vernacular names of the birds, which the authors have wisely included. The 400-plus color illustrations throughout are superlative. Bottom Line This book's "foreign" subject matter might make it, in some eyes, a marginal purchase, which is a pity-it would make a stellar addition to any large collection, and many readers will want to see its floral companion. For both reference and natural history collections.Robert Eagan, Windsor P.L., Ont. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780701169077
Publisher:
Random House UK
Publication date:
10/28/2005
Pages:
484
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 11.20(h) x 1.71(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Mark Cocker is the author of the international best-seller, Birders. Richard Mabey is the winner of the Whitbread Award and the author of Flora Britannica.

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