Poole, Dorset: Blandford Press, 1983. — 127 p. — ISBN 0-7137-1260-0.Owls nave aroused man's deepest feelings since the dawn of history and have been seen as everything from symbols of wisdom to omens of death. This book strips away the accretions of myth and mystery associated in our minds with these fascinating birds. Starting with a description of how owls are related to other birds and their origins in evolutionary history, Tony Wardhaugh reveals them as quite unique birds of prey. Their astonishing powers of sight and hearing make them devastatingly efficient hunters. The peculiarities of the other avian features which suit them to their part icular way of life are also fully explored. The thirteen owl species occurring in Britain and Europe are described individually. The appearance, range, habitat, diet, nesting habits, call notes and many other aspects of each species are comprehensively detailed. A chapter comparing the lifestyles of the British and European owls provides an original approach to their study. Emphasis has been placed on the differences in habitat, diet, nesting habits and diurnal or nocturnal activity which enable several owl species to occupy the same territory. Practical suggestions for observing and studying owls and a comprehensive bibliography for those wishing to pursue tfieir interest in these birds concludes the book. This is a readable and comprehensive introduction to owls for the layperson, but its original approach to the study of lifestyles and the detailed accounts of each species will prove of great interest and benefit to the enthusiast.
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