When the 1st edition of the German book “Die Greifvögel Europas, Nordafrikas und Vorderasiens” was published in 2006 I was really excited and it immediately became one of my favorite bird books. A huge volume with about 500 pages it was the most comprehensive and detailed overview of all European raptors.
Since 2006 a lot has happened for European raptors. Many new papers have been published and the populations of some specie have increased considerably, for example the numbers of the White-tailed Eagle in many countries.
I was very happy when the publisher sent me a review copy of the new 2nd edition that was published in June 2014. It has been fully updated and hundreds of new scientific papers and publications have been added to the species accounts and for many species the population numbers have the latest data available during writing, very often from 2013, sometimes even from 2014.
For example the book now lists 760 pairs of White-tailed Eagles in Germany in 2013 as compared to “more than 470” in the 1st edition.
The book has two parts. The first part is worth the price alone. It is one of the best introductions into raptor ecology and conservation available and definitely the best in German. In over 100 pages the authors describe in detail and in an easy to read language how raptors live and how to protect them.
The second part of the book has detailed species accounts for all raptors that regularly occur in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Vagrants like Amur Falcons or Rüppel’s Vultures are not covered but very rare breeding species like the Lappet-faced Vulture or the beautiful African Black Eagle are covered.
The species accounts are very detailed and cover many topics including the names of the birds (names are given for German, English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Polish and Russian), identification, voice, distribution, population, population trends, habitat, density, territory and homerange, behavior, hunting, prey, breeding biology, dispersal and migration, threads, conservation and open questions (where further research is needed).
There is a slight focus on Germany in some parts of the book but this really is a book about all of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
This book is the best, most up to date and most comprehensive overview of raptors in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East and it deserves a very wide readership.
The authors have done an amazing job going through so much literature and summing it all up in such an easy to read but still very accurate and comprehensive way.
This will be the most important book on European raptors for many years to come!
Highly recommend to everyone interested in raptors!
About the language:
The book is written in German and there are no English summaries. I hope that it will be translated into many languages, particularly into English!
More information about the book can be found on the publishers website:
Die Greifvögel Europas, Nordafrikas und Vorderasiens