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Owls of the World: A Photographic Guide Hardcover – July 26, 2012
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Owls have fascinated humans for thousands of years and engendered varied beliefs and symbols in many far-flung regions of the world. A parliament of owls is a literary collective noun not found in nature—except for burrowing owls, which often live in colonies. Owls are wise (hence the parliament) and the associate of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom. Owls may be associated with magic and sometimes death, even in recent times. They are also very vulnerable because of their habitat needs, and some of those habitats are undergoing extensive human development. Nearly 250 owl species are found in the photographs, maps, and text of this important book. It is also a field-guide summary to what is known about these often solitary and elusive denizens of the night. The lengthy introductory material includes essays on what makes an owl an owl—from physical features to calls to behaviors. There is also a section on “Humans and Owls,” detailing interesting trivia. Entries feature common and scientific names, physical size, identifying features, call, food and hunting behavior, habitat, status and distribution, geographical variation, and similar species. Several photographs accompany each species entry, and these photographs help to make real that which is rarely seen or derived from scholarly texts. Artists and illustrators will find many of the photographs useful as reference for their works. Recommended for most libraries—good value and quality for the price. --Linda Scarth
[An] important book. Recommended for most libraries -- good value and quality for the price. (Linda Scarth Booklist 2012-10-15)
A native of Finland, the author is the world's best-known owl expert, having visited the birds in 128 countries over the past 40 years. Here he describes all of the world's 249 species of owls in copious detail with tips on identification, habitat, calls, and status and distribution. The text is enhanced by 750 color photographs from leading wildlife photographers. A spectacular book. (Brian E. Coutts and Cheryl LaGuardia Library Journal, Best Reference of 2012 2013-03-28)
Descriptions include detailed range maps, tips for identification and related species, and a brief overview of the ecology of each species. The highlights of Owls of the World are the stunning photographs used to illustrate each species as well as the introductory section. The book will be a valued addition as a reference for bird enthusiasts and libraries. (John McCarty, University of Nebraska Science Books and Film 2013-05-01)
A masterfully comprehensive reference... No birder with an interest in owls should be without this volume in their birding library. (Melissa Mayntz About.com 2012-12-01)
A must-have for serious birders... but it will repay the attention of anyone who wonders what makes owls tick. (Globe and Mail, Christmas 2012 Gift Book List 2012-12-08)
Birders will find the collection of photographs, especially of the rare species, very useful! (Ian Paulsen GrrlScientist, The Guardian 2012-08-19)
Stunning in detail and scope... an excellent resource. (Paul Nicholson London Free Press 2012-12-01)
The incredible variety of owls is beautifully portrayed in this fascinating collection. (Debbie Caldwell North Shore News 2012-10-17)
Expect to be riveted ... the pictures and maps make this a book that will be admired over and over. (Harriet Zaidman Winnipeg Free Press 2012-12-01)
One of the most comprehensive and beautifully photographed guides about owls I have ever seen.... Heimo Mikkola has obviously done extensive research to put together such a complete reference work of birds belonging to the order Strigiformes.... Don't be put off by its size. I believe this book can be of interest to both hardcore owl enthusiasts and to those who just want to look at beautiful pictures. More than enough information is included to satisfy a person's deep curiosity. And it works equally well for the person who wants to randomly dip into its pages, enjoying a more serendipitous journey through the world of snowy, screech, spotted, pygmy and horned owls. So, two hoots up for this excellent book! (Jan Johnston Clark County Columbian 2012-12-30)
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The latest taxonomy is applied here to the 249 species described in this book. The introduction is filled with information about owls in general with sections on characteristics, plumage, breeding habits, evolution and taxonomy, owls and humans, conservation and a how to use the book section.
Each of the 249 species of owls are shown with multiple photographs, 750 in all, of different plumages and young where they were available. The information on each species covers identification, call, food and hunting, habitat, status and distribution, geographic variation and similar species. Range maps cover the species range with resident, summer and winter ranges.
Heimo Mikkola has done a wonderful job collecting all the data and photographs, itself a monumental achievement, and portrayed it in an easy to follow and well-presented book. There are some stunning photographs of many rare and endangered and range restricted species that bring the world of the owl into the reader's hands. This is a quintessential reference guide to this amazing family of birds and a great book for any ornithological enthusiast.