BTO Atlas named as Bird Book of the Year

Launched at the Royal Society late last year and published to great acclaim, the British Trust for Ornithology's Bird Atlas 2007-11 has sealed its success by winning the Birdwatch Bird Book of the Year award, despite stiff competition from other contenders.

The atlas received a rave review in the January issue of the magazine, and this was followed in the February issue by the announcement of the award. This major survey of the avifauna of Britain and Ireland was the result of a five-year project involving more than 40,000 volunteers heading out into the field and mostly counting all the birds they saw in tetrads of four 1-km squares.

It provides a comprehensive and detailed account of the ranges of every British and Irish wintering and breeding species, building on two previous volumes to produce a near-complete picture of changes over more than three decades. These results are beautifully presented in a work of both scientific authority and aesthetic merit, and will be the key reference on national bird distributions for years to come.

The Highly Commended runner-up was Mark Cocker's Birds and People, another lengthy meisterwerk illuminating the relationship and interactions of all the world's bird families with humans. The hefty tome draws on ornithology, history and mythology to provide revelations with almost every turn of the page.

Bird Atlas 2007-11 can be bought at a substantial discount from the Birdwatch Bookshop. More about the award here and in the current issue.
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