Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Field Guide: Svensson and Mullarney

When I first started birding in the US what was startling was just how mediocre the field guides were by comparison with the European guides (in my younger days the most significant ones published by Collins and Hamlyn respectively). The National Geographic guide was considered the best, but that was highly variable in quality. This is what propelled the Sibley guide series to prominence - it was mostly a lot better. However if you want to see what I consider to be one of the current best field guides, check out the second edition of what's called in Britain the "Collins Field Guide" aka Svensson and Mullarney. I picked up version 2 in Britain while birding at the RSPB Minsmere reserve. The quality is IMHO as much an improvement over Sibley as Sibley was over Nat Geo. In the USA this book is published by Princeton University Press with different cover art. Of course it's not a replacement for Sibley since it doesn't explicitly cover the U.S.A.

Links: Amazon, Princeton

(Caveat: I work at P.U. and have informal links with the University Press so I'm not necessarily unbiased)

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