The BB/BTO Best Bird Book of the Year 2021

01 Feb 2022 | No. 2022-04

British Birds and the British Trust for Ornithology announce the winner of the award for Best Bird Book of the Year 2021.

The winner is the European Breeding Bird Atlas 2 by By Verena Keller, Sergi Herrando, Petr Voříšek, Martí Rodríguez-Franch, Marina Kipson, Pietro Milanesi, David Martí, Marc Anton, Alena Klvaňová, Mikhail V. Kalyakin, Hans-Günther Bauer and Ruud P. B. Foppen; Lynx Edicions, 2020.

This monumental publication was considered by the six judges to be the most impactful and far-reaching title of the past 12 months, receiving top marks from them all. As well as the high value of the publication’s content, the judges praised the accessible way in which it was presented; from the readable texts to the different maps, which deliver data in clear and easy-to-interpret ways. With a growing number of species showing changes in population and distribution, this title not only offers an up-to-date resumé of the current situation but will also act as a vital checkpoint to look back on and compare against over the coming decades.

In all, 45 titles were entered and narrowed down by the judges to a shortlist of 11. Second place went to All the Birds of the World, Edited by Josep del Hoyo; Lynx Edicions, 2020. A book with, quite literally, every bird in the world was deemed to be one of the most exciting titles on the short list and the culmination of many decades of work by Lynx Edicions and Josep del Hoyo. With other more extensive incarnations of the same work available, such as Birds of the World online, the judges felt that this title represented more of a luxury product – to leaf through (and drool over) – rather than a reference work per se, but that did nothing to detract from the book's beauty and exceptional quality. The judges agreed that the title offered something for everyone.

Third place was given to Flight Identification of European Passerines and Other Selected Landbirds by Tomasz Cofta; WILDGuides, 2021. In a field where many topics have already been covered, an identification guide covering only passerines in flight is a novel idea. While the illustrations are excellent, the judges felt that the real value was to be found in the text, with tips on how to watch and identify passerines in flight, as well as details on aspects such as flock behaviour and flight style. The author’s knowledge on the subject shines through, and there can be few birders – even the most seasoned migration watchers – who wouldn’t stand to learn at least something from this book.

Stephen Menzie, Editor of British Birds, said, “This prestigious award had now been running for over four decades. Every year, we continue to be delighted by the quality of the titles that make the shortlist – although the flipside of this is that it makes the judges’ jobs a little bit harder when trying to select just one winner! The 2021 shortlist contained some heavy hitters but, in the end, there was a clear winner. Our congratulations go to the entire EBBA2 team for their outstanding contribution to ornithological literature.”

Hazel McCambridge, BTO judge on the judging panel, said, “My experience in judging this award over the past few years is that we are always presented with a wide reaching and varied selection of books related to birds and this year was no exception. Every book in this list is a worthy contender, however The European Bird Breeding Atlas was a standout winner for 2021, with all judges placing it in their top spot for the impact it has already had and will continue to have on research and conservation.”

All of the short-listed book reviews can be found on the BTO website

Contact Details
Paul Stancliffe
 (BTO Media Manager)
Mobile: 07585 440910
Email: press [at] (subject: News%20release%20enquiry)

Mike Toms (Head of Communications)
Mobile 07850 500791
Email: press [at] (subject: News%20release%20enquiry)

Images are available for use alongside this News Release. These can be downloaded from this link for which you will need to enter the password Ebba2202204 alternatively, please contact press [at] quoting reference 2022-04

Notes for editors
British Birds is a magazine for everyone interested in the birds of the Western Palearctic. Published monthly since 1907, the magazine contains a range of material on behaviour, conservation, distribution, ecology, identification, movements, status and taxonomy, as well as the latest news items and book reviews. British Birds is regarded as the British birdwatcher’s journal of record, with regular reports on rare and scarce migrants, and rare breeding birds. All the main contributions are peer-reviewed, and the magazine aims to interpret scientific research in an easily accessible way.
BTO is the UK's leading bird research charity. A growing membership and up to 60,000 volunteer birdwatchers contribute to BTO's surveys, collecting information that underpins conservation action in the UK. BTO maintains a staff of 100 at its offices in Thetford, Stirling, Bangor (Wales) and Belfast (Northern Ireland), who analyse and publicise the results of surveys and projects. BTO's work is funded by BTO supporters, government, trusts, industry and conservation organisations.

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