Another quality guide from the Helm stable, African Raptors covers all 106 species that are found on the continent. The book follows the Helm Identification Guide format putting the colour plates in the first half of the book followed by the map and text pages in the second half. All of the 52 plates were painted for this guide and are excellent, my only minor gripe being that some of the plates are a little crowded; they do, however, contain a lot of information, the plate for Steppe Eagle showing fourteen different plumage types.
There is a clear page number for each species that takes you to the map and text page with little fuss. These pages are where the guide comes alive. The distribution maps are clear and easy to interpret and the text covers everything you need to know about an individual species. This section again follows the Helm tried and tested format, describing all plumages an observer is likely to encounter, taxonomic and geographic variations, similar species and how to separate them and much, much more. The highlight in this section is the addition of some superb photographs and detailed distribution maps.
Anyone with an interest in African Raptors will want this book, but it will also appeal to anyone with an interest in beautiful books.