If you are planning to bird in North Africa then a good Western Palearctic guide will suffice. The Collins guide, in any of its forms, or the Lars Jonsson guide are probably the most comprehensive.
You can purchase these and other books from WildSounds, one of the largest specialist UK mail-order companies, via our book and media sales page. Many birdwatchers are not only interested in birds, so we have added the most useful books for other taxa on this page.
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The most complete field guide to the birds of Britain, Europe, North Africa, most of the Middle East, the Canaries and Madeira. Written by one of Europe's leading ornithologists Lars Svensson (with a translation by David Christie) and illustrated by two of the world's finest bird illustrators - Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterström. This book provides all the information needed to identify any species at any time of year, with detailed text on size, habitat, range, identification and voice.
Accompanying every species entry is a distribution map and colour illustrations (over 3500 in all) to show the species in all the major plumages (male, female, immature, in flight, at rest, feeding). The book is fully integrated, so that all this information appears on one spread, the ideal structure for use in the field. Each group of birds has an introduction, which covers the major problems involved in identifying or seeing them: how to organise a sea watching trip, how to separate birds of prey in flight, which duck hybrids can be confused with which species, etc.
The combination of definitive text, up-to-date distribution maps and superb illustrations, all in a single volume, makes this book the ultimate field guide, essential on every bookshelf and birdwatching trip.
Still one of the better field guides. Covers all but a few of the Western Palearctic's breeding birds. 400 superb colour plates by the author Lars Jonsson.
2,817 sound recordings of the songs, calls and other sounds of 819 bird species. The birds are systematically arranged so similar species can be easily compared.
MP3 Tags include the French, German, English and scientific name although this information is not easily accessible and it is difficult to navigate through the sounds using this information. The MP3 product still requires the use of the booklets for indexing and explanatory notes. A printed index in German, English and French is provided (although the English index uses the complete name so "Long-tailed Duck" is indexed under "L" and not "D" as in "Duck, Long-tailed"). A booklet providing details of the recordings is available on the DVD in PDF format.
Each bird species has one to five separate, consecutive tracks or MP3 files. This enables you to choose the calls separately from the songs, for example, which in practice brings obvious advantages.