Europe’s Birds: An Identification Guide by Rob Hume, Robert Still, Andy Swash and Hugh Harrop 2021. Production and design by WILDGuides, Hampshire UK. Published by Princeton University Press, New Jersey USA and Oxfordshire UK. ISBN: 978-0-691-17765-6. Flexicover. $29.95 / £20.00. 640 Pages.
Review by Frank Lambert
My first birding trip to Europe, outside of my native UK, was to southern France. We travelled from UK in a minibus full of birders including the legendary Pete Grant and Tim Inskipp, and since I was only 16 at the time, my companions provided me with considerable assistance, including plenty of advice on field marks to look for. At that time, the only field guide I owned was the Peterson Guide (A Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe) which was undoubtedly the best available for that trip.
Since that time, the 1970s, there has been a proliferation of field guides on birds in UK and Europe, culminating in the wonderful Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe (2010). As a field guide, it is unlikely to be surpassed, assuming the authors revise it from time to time. With the publication of the WILDGuides identification guide, however, we now have a second excellent book to help with field identification. Unlike the Collins guide, this is a photographic identification guide, an appropriate name given that it is probably twice as heavy, and certainly considerably larger than the Collins field guide. Indeed, in the introduction, it is described as an Identification Handbook. Despite its size, it is an invaluable guide that will be useful to have in the field, and I intend to carry it on future European birding trips.
This latest WILDGuides identification guide is a natural progression from the bestselling Britain’s Birds: An Identification Guide (2016, revised in 2020). It covers all the countries of Europe east as far as the Turkish borders with the Middle East, the Caspian Sea (hence including Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan) and the Ural Mountains of Russia, as well as Cyprus and the other islands of the Mediterranean Sea, the Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands.
Europe's Birds is a natural progression from Britain's Birds (WildGuides 2020)