Britain's birds are among the best loved in the world, and also among the best studied. In recent times, these studies, rather like tabloid exclusives, have thrown up some surprising revelations and sullied a few reputations in the process. They have, above all, demonstrated that many of our birds lead much more complex lives than we previously thought.
Following in the footsteps of the bestselling Secret Lives of Garden Birds, this trip around Britain's principal habitats looks beyond the confines of our gardens and parks to expose the extraordinary hidden world of some our most familiar birds. We learn the secrets of romance from Mute Swans, 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 the ultimate killers, both by day (Peregrine) and by night (Barn Owl), and encounter the only true living monster in Scotland. At the same time, we find out how all these birds cope with living in seemingly inhospitable habitats such as muddy estuaries, lonely moorland or open ocean.
Dominic Couzens is an acclaimed writer and bird tour leader, whose popular monthly columns in BBC Wildlife and Birdwatching magazines have brought a fresh and dynamic approach to writing about birds and birdwatching. His previous publications include Identifying Birds by Behaviour and Secret Lives of Garden Birds. Peter Partington's painting is widely admired for the uniquely vibrant and fluid style in which he captures the essence of bird behaviour. His previous publications include Learn to Draw Birds and Secret Lives of Garden Birds.