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Birds of Britain and Europe (Collins Field Guide) Hardcover – April 1, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0002199001 ISBN-10: 0002199009 Edition: 5th

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Product Details

  • Series: Collins Field Guide
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins UK; 5th edition (April 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002199009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002199001
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 4.6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #423,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Reviews of the previous editions: 'Easily the most authoritative and best illustrated pocket bird book ever published' Daily Express 'An indispensable aid to anyone travelling in Britain and Europe who is interested in brids' Country Life 'An authoritative, pocketable, generously illustrated, simply written book. They have done their work excellently' The Times 'Comprehensive and reliable. Very full, accurate texts. Good, clear illustrations, with the familiar, useful pointer system to draw attention to important features. The best field guide for use in Europe.' British Birds 'For clarity and speed, it has not been bettered' Irish Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Roger Tory Peterson (1908-1996) received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and every major award in ornithology, natural history, and conservation. His books, including the Peterson Field Guides, have sold over ten million copies. The Penguin Pavilion at the Mystic Marine Life Aquarium, in Mystic, Connecticut, was recently named in his honor. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

118 of 122 people found the following review helpful By jpr@surge.net (jpr@surge.net) on October 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be informative as a guide to what I would find in Europe, but it received a poor grade in the field due to the poor organization. I had to flip through three sections to find a picture, description, and range-map for each bird. The maps were really too small for a US native to be able to tell which country was which, and the illustrations were consistantly exagerated to the point that you could only identify the so-called important features (which often were the same as important features of other birds) were all you could be certain were accurate to some extent. Even though I don't speak German, I actually found a book in German which was more useful to me than Peterson's. The German book, entitled GU Naturfuhrer "Vogel" (Birds), had accurate photos of every bird I saw on my trip. The maps in Vogel, although lacking lines seperating the countries, were much more identifiable to an American due mainly to size. After identifying the birds by the photos, I compared the scientific names to Peterson's, and was able to identify the birds with their English names (although usually the pictures in Peterson's looked nothing like those in "Vogel"). So as a field guide, Peterson's gets no stars, but for the descriptions and scientific names, it deserves a little credit.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By S. CHAPMAN on September 23, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has good descriptions and pictures of the birds of Europe, with very nice color plates. There are arrows that point to key plumage differences among species to make identifications easier. Unlike more modern guidebooks, the book has a few disadvantages, including maps that show only presence of birds in geographical areas, and not seasons or migration routes, and the inconvenience of having to go to three different places to find the illustration of the bird, the description, and the map. It would have been so much easier to use if the three were together.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Holly Waddell on August 26, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed in the book because the scope was too broad. It included all of the birds of Europe and very few of the birds were native to England, where I was visiting. Also, the book is very difficult to use. You have to go to 3 places to look up one bird. The bird's image in one section, its description another section and its territory map another section. It is my own fault for not investigating its contents more thoroughly. Since I am so happy with my Peterson North American bird books, I just went with Peterson.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By steamduck43 on July 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent reference for serious birding, but a bit too lengthy and technical for the average tourist.

I recommend A Naturalist's Guide to the Birds of Britain & Northern Europe, by Peter Goodfellow and Paul Sterry (Beaufoy Books), which is much easier to use. It helped me identify almost all of the birds I saw on a trip to Russia and Scandinavia, as well as the birds which attacked the Pope's doves in Rome (a hooded crow and a yellow-legged gull).
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By JojoGee on August 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed with this Peterson's field guide. My biggest complaint is the pictures (plates) of the birds are in the middle of the guide not on the same page as the birds description. The Peterson's field guide of birds of Eastern and Central North America is formatted with the description and illustrations of the bird on same page. It is very frustrating having to flip back and forth from the bird's plate in the middle of the book to its description 100 or more pages away.

Another complaint I have with this guide is for some bird families (like gulls or terns) the illustrations only show the bird "in flight" not as it would stand about and roost. I took a ton of pictures of the birds and most are of the bird at rest. The guide is useless since there are no illustrations of what a Mew Gull might look like when standing. What does the wing look like?

I own a number of field guides for birds worldwide and this edition is the worst. I guess I'm spoiled by the excellence of "The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America. When will Sibley get around to publishing a field guide for Europe? Soon I hope!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the 3rd Peterson guide I own on birds living in a non USA area. I have mixed emotions about the color plates being consolidated in the middle of the book. On one hand, it makes flipping through the pictures easy but confirmation on the range and details on that species requires looking at two other pages.

Having procrastinated about ordering it or another writer's, it was the one most readily available for delivery to the USA. I was in Spain so it was overkill as it covers all of Europe but certainly met my needs for the trip. Using it to ID the bird in question and using Google images to confirm, I was able to identify all that I saw on the trip.

If you are going to Europe and plan to look for birds, get a copy!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mostly up to usual high standard of Roger Torrey Peterson. I found it very useful in Sweden and Norway this past month. North American bird fans will enjoy the plates to facilitate identification, maps showing where a species is to be found, and description of species, subspecies, and habitats. I carried it everywhere, since even common birds in Scandinavia are not common to me!
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