The Birds of Israel (Birdwatch's 1996 Bird Book of the Year)

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9780126402551: The Birds of Israel (Birdwatch's 1996 Bird Book of the Year)

Situated on one of the major Palearctic-African migration routes, Israel is an area of tremendous interest to ornithologists. This book is the most complete, up-to-date reference on bird distribution in, and migration through, Israel, compiled by a foremost authority. The book especially distinguishes those subspecies found in Israel, and includes hundreds of maps and diagrams detailing seasonal occurrence. The addition of hundreds of colour photographs ensures that this book will become the most significant work on birds of this fascinating region.

Key Features
* The most detailed, up-to -date account of the distribution and migration of birds in Israel ever published
* Over 500 species described
* Written by the foremost authority on the subject
* Maps for all the major species
* Over 400 colour photographs

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Back Cover:

Lying at the crossroads of one of the main migration routes from Africa to the Palearctic, Israel attracts many species of migrant birds, often in large numbers. In both spring and autumn, storks and raptors pass over Israel in hundreds of thousands and can easily be seen at strategic observation points along their traditional flight paths. Other species which migrate on a broader front, such as passerines, can also be seen en masse, attracted to the green oases of the new Israeli kibbiutz cultivations scattered throughout the desert landscapes of the southern part of the country.
In addition to the migrant birds, Israel also holds a fascinating resident avifauna, including many of the Middle East's desert species - bustards, sandgrouse and a profusion of larks and wheateaters. In the northern coastal maquis habitats most of the typical Mediterranean species can be found, while the mountains and valleys of the northeast hold birds of a more easterly origin - Black Francolin, Clamorous Reed Warbler, Pale Rock Sparrow, Syrian Serin and the like. It is therefore no surprise that in the last twenty years Israel has become increasingly popular with European birdwatchers, who now flock there as regularly as the avian migrants.
Hadoram Shirihai is well known and respected both for his skills in the field and for his knowledge of Israel's avifauna. Following general chapters describing the country, its habitats and its birdlife, he presents detailed texts on each species, with maps and bar-charts showing regional and seasonal patterns of occurrence. Taxonomic aspects are well covered throughout the species accounts, with full subspecific field and museum data for all Israel and the Levant presented in detail (to a level of specific identification).
This monumental new work will be invaluable, both to the visiting birdwatcher and to the more studious ornithologist. It contains more information packed into its pages than any previous country avifauna. The information in it is of relevance well beyond the borders of the country it describes and will be of use to anybody with an interest in birds throughout the Middle East and North Africa - and, indeed, throughout most of the Palearctic as well.
The text is illustrated with over 200 line drawings by Alan Harris, and by an extraordinary collection of over 500 colour photographs of some of the most exciting species.

Review:

"This sumptuous book causes a gush of enthusiasm. Hadoram Shirihai has created a mature classic of regional ornithology. The illustrations and color photographs are among the books most useful and attractive features. No serious ornithological library should be without it."
--BIRDING
" The Birds of Israel is a landmark publication that carries the banner of all that is best in modern ornithology."
--A BIRDWATCHERS LIBRARY
"To write a comprehensive book on so diverse and complex an avifauna requires a special kind of ornithologist. Just such a person is Hadoram Shirihai, who put the last seven years of his life on hold to write this monumental work. I strongly recommendthis book to everyone interested in any aspect of the birdlife of the Middle East."
--Reuven Yosef in THE AUK
"In making our final selection this year there was one title which we felt stood out above the rest. The Birds of Israel is a remarkable achievement by any standards - at almost 700 pages long, its comprehensive coverage of a national avifauna must be second to none."
BIRDWATCH Bird Book of the Year Winner 1996.
--BIRDWATCH
" The Birds of Israel, a sumptuous, 800-page blockbuster, is the clear winner in our annual search for the best book for twitchers."
Stuart Winter in DAILY STAR
"Cancel the trip to Scillies, stay in for a month, starve the children--anything to save up the [money] needed to buy this extraordinary book... It's the kind of book you pick up and only put down again when the weight becomes too much for you to continue... What is most striking is the sheer weight of the information: not just the status and distribution of Israel's birdlife, but also the portrait of bird movements across space and time... A bird book can be useful, a work of reference, attractive to look at, or simply a good read. Very few manage to be all of these. The Birds of Israel is just such a work and gives new meaning to that famous phrase, 'the Hadoram experience'."
--BIRDWATCH
"This is quite an astonishing book... Even if you have no intention of visiting Israel, this book is an essential reference for students of Middle Eastern ornithology and those interested in subspecific variations of West Palearctic birds."
--Simon Harrap, in BIRDING WORLD
"MAGNIFICENT. This single word sums up The Birds of Israel."
--NEW SCIENTIST
"Monumental and beautifully produced... the detail supplied on each bird is exhaustive."
--Lorraine Kirk, in JEWISH CHRONICLE
"This sumptuous book could almost have been produced by the Israeli Tourist Board. Everyone I have shown it to so far either wants to return to, or visit Israel as soon as possible. What is more, it is a book to be read, not to gather dust and be referred to only when required. If you have visited or intend to visit the region, are interested in migration studies or birds of the Western Palearctic in general, then I urge you to save up and buy a copy. This is a stunning achievement."
--BIRD WATCHING
"...a sumptuous and authoritative account of the status and distribution of over 500 species, written by the country's foremost field ornithologist...the photographs are quite superb... perfectly complemented by wonderful black-and-white drawings... an essential reference source for bird conservationists..."
--BTO NEWS
"Every once in a while, a book appears and you say to yourself 'I wish Id written that, for me, this is one such book. Here is a model avifauna for others to aspire to. Hadoram Shirihai, the editors (Ehud Dovrat and David A. Christie) and the ten atlas area co-ordinators all deserve much praise."
--Richard Porter, in BRITISH BIRDS
"In this monumental and beautifully produced book, Hadoram Shirihai has put together the definitive work on the birds of Israel, the detail supplied on each bird is exhaustive."
--Lorraine Kirk in JEWISH CHRONICLE
"This tome is mindboggling in every respect: 2.5 inches thick, 692 pages plus 8 pages of front matter; 100 color plates showing breeding species, common migrants, rarities and habitats; 10000 summer, winter and migrational distribution maps, averaging three per species, with eight transparent overlays showing environmental and climactic conditions. Although this volume will be of major interest to bird banders and ornithologists, other serious students of bird plumages will find much value in its ID points at the both species and sub-species levels."
--Eric Salzman in WINGING IT
"A fantastic book. It combines an easy-to-read text with beautiful pictures, many never seen before."
--DAILY STAR
...this book was voted The Book of the Year 1995 by the British Ornithologists Union. I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in any aspect of the birdlife of the Middle East.
--Reuven Yosef in AUK
"A fantastic book. It combines an easy-to-read text with beautiful pictures many never seen before."
--Stuart Winter in DAILY STAR (December 1996)

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