Owls: A Guide to Every Species by Marianne Taylor

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Owls: A Guide to Every Species by Marianne Taylor

Category: Reference
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Louise Jones
Reviewed by Louise Jones
Summary: A beautiful encyclopedia of owls, covering over 200 species with full-colour photographs.
Buy? yes Borrow? yes
Pages: 256 Date: September 2017
Publisher: Ivy Press
ISBN: 9781782404040

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I feel like I am being watched. A huge pair of piercing orange eyes are staring right at me, locking me into their gaze. In contrast with the hardness of the deep-amber eyes, soft grey feathers fan out into the surrounding area, intricate, detailed and beautiful. An enigma; harsh and gentle at the same time, the owl is beckoning the reader to turn the pages and take a closer look inside...

Owls: A Guide to Every Species is an encyclopaedia of owls covering all 225 known species, most accompanied by glorious, full-colour photographs. Whilst the word owl may conjure up a certain image in the mind, there is a startling amount of diversity in the owl kingdom. From the familiar barn owl, with its heart-shaped face, to the formidable eagle owl with its huge wingspan, we are also introduced to many of the more obscure species, like the tiny pygmy owl that is only 6 inches long, and the eerie-looking fishing owls with their deep black eyes.

The first part of the book is a general introduction to owls, including evolution, taxonomy, hunting habits, behaviour and camouflage. The main body of the book is an Owl Directory that then covers each owl species in detail, giving most of them a full page with a photograph, summary and information about habitat, distribution and endangered status.

The reason I especially love this book is because the publishers, Ivy Press, have a reputation for going the extra mile when it comes to quality. So not only is the book superbly written with stunning photography, it also has a few surprises hidden within. For example, if we remove the jacket of the book and turn it around, we have a life-size of a great grey owl. At the back of the book, there is a pull-out poster featuring the wing spans of various types of owl.

This encyclopaedia is a perfect coffee-table book which readers can spend hours poring through and completely lose themselves within. It would make a wonderful gift for anyone who has an interest in birds and natural history. The photographs themselves are mesmerising, as each owl seems to have a unique personality behind those piercing eyes, and the pictures reflect that well.

I'm in love with this book and it is definitely one to return to again and again as there is simply so much to absorb. Many thanks to the publishers for my review copy: it really is a visually stunning book.

Ivy Press have also published Beautiful Owls: Portraits of Arresting Species from Around the World by Marianne Taylor and Andrew Perris

Buy Owls: A Guide to Every Species by Marianne Taylor at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Owls: A Guide to Every Species by Marianne Taylor at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Owls: A Guide to Every Species by Marianne Taylor at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Owls: A Guide to Every Species by Marianne Taylor at Amazon.com.


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Sue said:

I've read this book and I can confirm that it is stunning: brilliant, breathtaking photography and informative text. What more could you ask?