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Publisher: The Collins Press, Cork

Publication Year: 2012

Binding: Hardback

Page Count: 306

ISBN Number: 978-1-8488-9138-8

Price: £ 31.99

Bird Habitats in Ireland

NB: This is a second review for this book and is not the one published in BTO News. That one is reproduced elsewhere on this web page.

The eighteen chapters, each written by specialists and leading experts of the birds and habitat areas discussed, include introductory chapters on ‘Habitat Classification and Birds’ and ‘Bird Habitats: structure and complexities’. The main chapters are broken up into the habitat groups that make up the mosaic of our Irish landscapes. These are, well written, easily read, fully referenced and thoroughly explored through known and up to date research. No book of this caliber could avoid the discussions explored in the last two chapters ‘Climate Change, Habitats and Birds’ and ‘Bird Habitats – A synthesis and future perspectives’, which give excellent countenance to these particular subjects. Well laid out tables are used to highlight particular points raised in discussion and the book is liberally sprinkled with some delightful photographs of birds and habitats. Table 18.1 listing the habitats used by regularly occurring bird species in Ireland is particularly useful and the Bibliography is excellent.

This book highlights the radical differences in Ireland’s bird populations to other European Countries. It is not afraid to point out weaknesses in current knowledge and where ornithological research can and should go. A useful tool for all serious ornithologists as well as fascinating reading for birdwatchers and those interested in the birds and natural history in Ireland, and the British Isles archipelago. What I particularly admire is the obvious working ethos of continuous consultation, exploration, and peer review of all aspects of this comprehensive work. This book is an important benchmark in Irish Ornithology, and the two editors must be congratulated in bringing together such a wealth of information.

The final touch? ‘Bird Habitats In Ireland’ – is dedicated to the memory of Clive D. Hutchinson, an inspirational Irish ornithologist, who I have no doubt, would have been just delighted with the quality and standard of this excellent production.

Book reviewed by Christopher J Wilson FZS

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