Britain's birds are among the best loved in the world, and alsoamong the best studied. In recent times, these studies, rather liketabloid exclusives, have thrown up some surprising revelations andsullied a few reputations in the process. They have, above all,demonstrated that many of our birds lead much more complex lives thanwe previously thought.
Following in the footsteps of the bestselling Secret Lives of Garden Birds,this trip around Britain's principal habitats looks beyond the confinesof our gardens and parks to expose the extraordinary hidden world ofsome our most familiar birds. We learn the secrets of romance from MuteSwans, meet the perfect father in the Guillemot, the estranged couple(of Chiffchaffs) who share the same territory, and enter the bizarre,high-rise society of the Dotterel in which women rule. We also meet theultimate killers, both by day (Peregrine) and by night (Barn Owl), andencounter the only true living monster in Scotland. At the same time,we find out how all these birds cope with living in seeminglyinhospitable habitats such as muddy estuaries, lonely moorland or openocean.
Dominic Couzens is an acclaimed writer and birdtour leader, whose popular monthly columns in BBC Wildlife andBirdwatching magazines have brought a fresh and dynamic approach towriting about birds and birdwatching. His previous publications includeIdentifying Birds by Behaviour and Secret Lives of Garden Birds. Peter Partington's paintingis widely admired for the uniquely vibrant and fluid style in which hecaptures the essence of bird behaviour. His previous publicationsinclude Learn to Draw Birds and Secret Lives of Garden Birds.
'Whether it's the duplicitous love-life of certain male PiedFlycatchers or the fragile pair-bonding of Dottorel, plenty of sexysecrets are revealed.' Birds Illustrated, Spring 2007