"We live in a new era of discovery"
I'm not going to indulge in a blow by blow account dealing with presentation style, detailed content and so forth and all the accompanying detail which usually comprises a "review". Simply put, this is a very professionally produced publication with excellent illustrations by Ray Scally, wonderful photographs and clear accompanying text. It's also, quite uniquely in many ways, a "team effort" as Martin Garner generously explains. The 18 chapters deal with groups or pairs of species which can , in themselves, pose tricky ID challenges. The book addresses each in turn in a systematic, clear way using a combination of photographs, illustrations and descriptive text , all presented to a high level of quality.
Now, that's it! I shall say no more other than that all birders should have a copy ( see www.birdingfrontiers.com ). If you can't read through this at first and subsequent sittings and not learn something ( in fact, quite a lot ) I'd be very,very surprised. It's that good, order it today!!
Just to emphasize a point, two actually, as the following in no way detracts from the joy of reading this book , its quality or information. It simply serves to show how much we are at the cutting edge of change, and in an era of discovery, and how things are, quite actively, open to interpretation. Having absorbed the various details in Martin Garner's book about Cabot's Tern I then discovered that in the book I'd just written about previously
( HBW and BirdLife International's Illustrated Checklist of Birds of the World Vol.1 Non-passerines ), the authors ( or should I blame the Tobias criteria ?) had lumped the two species!!
An era of change and discovery indeed.