Oceanic Birds Of The World A Superb New Book Well Worth A Read

Albatross feeding frenzy

We are so lucky that new bird books are being published almost every day, it shows the huge interest in these brilliant creatures that make our lives better. But it can be difficult to keep up with all the new books available and you could be forgiven for not seeing them all. But here is a book that really merits a good look as it is an exceptional publication. It is a big subject the Oceanic Birds of the World and the authors have done a superb job pulling together all the known information on seabird taxonomy, distribution and range and identification – remarkable!

The book is jam packed with high quality photographs, over 2,200 of them, and these are worth the purchase price alone. But there is so much more, the text covers identification clearly and concisely and focuses very much on comparison of similar species that are likely to occur at sea together just what observers need to help them with this tricky group of birds. The book also explains the latest taxonomy which is a very fast moving subject these days so it is very useful to have a “line in the sand” on this which we can review future developments. It is certainly an eye-opener to see how many “new species” there are roaming our oceans waiting to be enjoyed. This book will fire you up and get you out on a boat to see these amazing birds in their ocean homes.

The large brown skua pages are really interesting - here a Great Skua in Scotland.

Seventeen pages of introducing are really useful and well worth reading before you delve into the species accounts. The species accounts are full of really useful photographs and text that is really helpful and a clear distribution map that is actually useful. There are an amazing 270 species covered in this wonderful book that inhabit what is the last real wilderness left on earth, our vast oceans. Each group (penguins, petrels, gulls, terns etc) starts with an overview, often with representative images of the group broken into genera or other subgroups. Good to see that particularly challenging and common identification problems often get expanded or separate treatments, just what field birders need. If you are interested in true sea birds and their identification, distribution and taxonomy this book is a must have addition to your library. Highly recommended.

And of course if you happen to be looking for Brown Booby....

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