Book review – Owls by Chris Mead

Owls is the first volume in the British Natural History Collection by Whittet Books.  Some of the books, like this one, are popular books brought right up to date and featuring new additional or new illustrations. Others are entirely new works.

Owls by Chris Mead

Owls by Chris Mead

All have been written by people who have first hand knowledge of the species through their work or research.

In ‘Owls’ Chris Meads’ original work has been updated by Mike Toms, head of garden ecology with the British Trust for Ornithology.

Black and white illustrations by Guy Troughton are scattered throughout the 138 page hard backed book.  Some of the illustrations have a cartoon feel, making the book an easier read for many.

As you would expect from a guide book, it contains a lot of information but this is done in at times in a light hearted way whenever possible.

One example of this is the explanation of divorce on page 73.  It reads ‘ For most pairs divorce will be unlikely  but re-marriage will quickly follow bereavement’.

The book is broken down in to simple chapters that will take any reader through the life cycle of the owl.  Starting with a chapter entitled ‘ What is an Owl?’ and ending with a chapter encouraging where to get more information. In between are chapters on first aid, pellets, roosting, assorted country names and how to build a nest box.

Within the copy we have seen, supplied by the publisher, is a special section with some fantastic full colour photographs taken by Mark Hancox.  This includes his winning BirdGuides of the year 2010 photograph of a Short-eared owl with a vole.

We would recommend that this book is suited for the early secondary school pupil and upwards. It is an ideal book to help with coursework, suitable for a keen amateur beginning to study owls and as a reference book in any home library.

Chis Mead died in 2003.

More information

Amazon – Owls (The British Natural History Collection)

Publisher – Whittet Books

Price £12.99 (Sept 2011)



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