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Birds Britannica: Edition 2

Birds Britannica: Edition 2

Mark Cocker & Richard Mabey. Introduction by Helen Macdonald.

The British love their birds, which are inextricably entwined with every aspect of their island life. British customs, more than 1,000 years of English literature, the very fabric of society, even the landscape itself, have all been enhanced by the presence of birds. Now, at last, here is a book which pays tribute to the remarkable relationship forged between a nation and its most treasured national heritage.

Birds Britannica is neither an identification guide nor a behavioural study (though both these subjects enter its field), it concentrates on our social history and on the cultural links between humans and birds. It includes observations and experiences from more than 1,000 naturalists and bird lovers. These contributions from the public touch on aviation ecology; the lore and language of birds; their myths, the art and literature they have inspired; birds as food; and the crucial role they play in our sense of place and the changing seasons.

Birds Britannica has taken eight years to research and write, and has been assembled by a team which includes some of the finest writers and image-makers of British wildlife. On one level, it is a remarkable collection of humorous stories, field observations and tales of joy, wonder and occasional woe; on another, it is a nationwide chronicle. Scholarly and wide-ranging, a mix of the traditional and the contemporary, Birds Britannica is a comprehensive record of birdlife in the early years of the twenty-first century. 518 pages.

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