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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

European Breeding Bird Atlas 2 (1 Viewer)

John Cantelo

Well-known member
My copy of this monumental book (in every sense of the word) arrived this morning the day after publication (unlike 'All the Birds of the World' for which I had to wait for almost two weeks!). It is such an important work that I feel it deserves a thread of its own. My initial impressions are overwhelmingly positive, It's well-produced, beautifully designed and enhanced by gorgeous artwork (disappointingly, though, there's no list of artists & the birds that they illustrated). Another huge positive is that Turkey and European Russia are now included. Clearly, the progress in analysing data and presenting the fruits in map form since the original in 1997 has been enormous. The main maps are large and most species have three maps (abundance, breeding evidence/possibility of occurrence and 'change'), scarcer species have two and newly covered species (i.e. from Russia or Turkey) one. The text is necessarily concise but seems very well done and complements the maps well pointing out any deficiencies or problems. The taxonomy is well up to date which has caused some problems with species that weren't 'split' when the earlier atlas appeared but this has been handled deftly. I was though, disappointed that the division between Hooded & Carrion Crows wasn't mapped (the two being 'lumped'). Whichever way you look at it the tome's a terrific benchmark deserving of the highest accolades.
 

John Cantelo

Well-known member
Thus far the only irritant I've found is where the text refers to the 'European breeding population' (or similar) for those species (Dead Sea & Pale Sparrows, several wheatears, etc) found in areas included in the atlas but which have never been regarded as part of Europe (or at least not by any definition of Europe of which I'm aware). That is those areas east of the Bosporus (save Cyprus) and south of the Caucasus. However, I suppose greater precision would have meant the use of some awkward combination of words since I don't think, surprisingly, that there's a portmanteau word that includes Europe, Asia Minor (aka Asian Turkey), Armenia, Georgia & Azerbaijan. Perhaps someone could invent one - in the spirit of these post(?)-Trumpian times, Euramaga, perhaps ;).
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
Would they fit into Western Palearctic? If the book does not include Africa north of the Sahara and some of those species have populations there, then that might explain avoiding this expression.

Niels
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
I don't have English Collins, but the Czech version uses "the area described" for, well, the area described in the book (when generalizing ranges, populations) because it's not Europe, but it's also not the entire WP. It's short and clear in Czech (thanks to grammar), but it's still a little annoying and not really solvable, because of the vast tracts of Africa included. For the breeding atlas, they should have just started the book with 'definition: "Europe" for our purposes means ....' and it would be probably best. Not like the Europe/Asia distinction makes much natural sense anyway.
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
My copy of this monumental book (in every sense of the word) arrived this morning the day after publication (unlike 'All the Birds of the World' for which I had to wait for almost two weeks!). It is such an important work that I feel it deserves a thread of its own. My initial impressions are overwhelmingly positive, It's well-produced, beautifully designed and enhanced by gorgeous artwork (disappointingly, though, there's no list of artists & the birds that they illustrated). Another huge positive is that Turkey and European Russia are now included. Clearly, the progress in analysing data and presenting the fruits in map form since the original in 1997 has been enormous. The main maps are large and most species have three maps (abundance, breeding evidence/possibility of occurrence and 'change'), scarcer species have two and newly covered species (i.e. from Russia or Turkey) one. The text is necessarily concise but seems very well done and complements the maps well pointing out any deficiencies or problems. The taxonomy is well up to date which has caused some problems with species that weren't 'split' when the earlier atlas appeared but this has been handled deftly. I was though, disappointed that the division between Hooded & Carrion Crows wasn't mapped (the two being 'lumped'). Whichever way you look at it the tome's a terrific benchmark deserving of the highest accolades.
The video you had linked to in the previous thread definitely convinced me of the great quality of this book. I never warmed up to the first edition, but this one fills in most gaps very nicely.

Apparently, many felt the same and thus Lynx can't ship any more new orders till January 18th. Thus no more Christmas treats if you have not ordered earlier.
 
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Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
My copy of this monumental book (in every sense of the word) arrived this morning the day after publication (unlike 'All the Birds of the World' for which I had to wait for almost two weeks!). ..... The taxonomy is well up to date which has caused some problems with species that weren't 'split' when the earlier atlas appeared but this has been handled deftly. I was though, disappointed that the division between Hooded & Carrion Crows wasn't mapped (the two being 'lumped'). ....
Not got mine yet, but from excerpts I've seen in their promo material, I'd say the same disappointment for their treatment of Stonechats
 

jurek

Well-known member
To not-bibliophiles and those whose coffee table was already filled by other books ;) when this content will be available as a free pdf?
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
To not-bibliophiles and those whose coffee table was already filled by other books ;) when this content will be available as a free pdf?
Why would they do that when they're still making money on the actual book, I think that's a long way off?

The strange thing is, in the UK anyway, e-books are sometimes more, or at least as expensive, as a hard copy.
 

davercox

Dave Cox
Supporter
Now received mine; and have to say with I agree with of the posts above. 'Monumental' indeed - I'm sure this is the biggest, heaviest, most unwieldy book I've ever seen. I imagine Lynx were tempted to split it into 3-4 volumes !
 

jurek

Well-known member
the biggest, heaviest, most unwieldy book I've ever seen
That is why a dead tree is much worse medium for EBBA than pdf or a website.

Especially a website - it would reach so many people, that its impact would outweigh the monetary gain from sales of the book. I can imagine it would reach a huge number of casual birders and non-birding people somehow involved in conservation and land management.

And EBBA as a website would have more advantages. One could, for example, use different scales, or overlay different maps (habitats, cities, past data etc., even some environmental indices like pesticide use). One could update it fluidly, and people could see themselves how the freshness of data in, for example, Urals compares with, for example, the Netherlands.

By the way, I did not visit a physical library since years. I think most of young people, too. The whole younger generation of birders will probably overlook the EBBA completely, and look for data on free websites.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Now received mine; and have to say with I agree with of the posts above. 'Monumental' indeed - I'm sure this is the biggest, heaviest, most unwieldy book I've ever seen. I imagine Lynx were tempted to split it into 3-4 volumes !
At 5kgs, almost certainly the heaviest book I've ever owned or held!
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
Well, the EBBA2 website states "The Atlas database will be available for further scientific work." It's not the case as of now as far as I can tell, but hopefully it will be in the future?

In any case, I agree with jurek, having all of this insane data effort end up in a book that's not available for free just because of "sales" would be outrageous to all the volunteers involved. In general it seems to me that there is quite a lot being sacrificed to some people's dream of this being "a book". Hopefully the promised data release occurs and that will be the actually useful output.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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