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Which is the best ornithology book? Frank Gill, Graham Scott or Noble Proctor & Patrick Lynch? (1 Viewer)

Hegazti

Member
Hi, Hola, I have been looking for the best book about ornithology and I found one of Frank Gill:

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Other by Noble Proctor and Patrick Lynch:

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And this by Graham Scott:

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Wich is the best one? Is there other book about ornithology beside these three?
 

Murray Lord

Well-known member
Here's another one you can add to the list: Handbook of Bird Biology, 3rd Ed. | Bird Academy • The Cornell Lab (allaboutbirds.org)

I bought Ornithology; Foundation, Analysis and Application book a few years ago. It's a really good book, but I haven't read as much as I expected, because it's reasonably heavy going. Not the sort of book you pick up when you have 15 minutes spare at the end of the day to learn about birds, but no doubt a comprehensive resource for university students. So I think the answer depends on what you want it for. The Cornell book is I think aimed more at birders and therefore makes for a more interesting read.

I've seen the previous edition of Essential Ornithology and my recollection is it doesn't go into the same level of depth of some of the others. That might change in the new edition I guess.
 
Hi ,

I own the Manual of Ornithology and it,s very specific on the two subjects it covers Structure and Function , highly recommended.

However if you would like to go for a more broadly approach you should look to other titles same already listed by you , but i also suggest you to look at the Handbook of Bird Biology " Cornell lab " as stated by Murray , i own it from some years now and it have been a precious help to improve my knowledge in the subject.
 

mjh73

Well-known member
It kind of depends what you are after!
I have the first three but not the Morrison et al book.

Gill is the best all rounder. I have the 3rd edition but I don't imagine the 4th is significantly different.
It has six sections covering 'origins' (systematics), 'form & function' (anatomy broadly), 'behaviour and communication' (senses and sounds), 'behaviour and the environment (socialisation, migration etc), 'avian life histories' (reproduction) and 'population dynamics and conservation'.
It's a decent sized book - just short of 700 pages of content, plus a big section for references.
It's very thorough and I found it easy to read and use.

I'd describe Scott as 'Gill lite'! It has a very similar content, but just 150 or so pages, so obviously the depth will be much less.

Proctor and Lynch has a narrower scope - as the blurb says ' a visual guide to the structure and anatomy of birds', which it covers in as much detail as the ornithologist (as opposed to a vet!) would most likely need. It includes some useful content on field techniques (measurements etc.) It does cover some more general topics very briefly. It has just under 300 pages.
 

Hegazti

Member
Thanks for the answers, they are very helpful.

However if you would like to go for a more broadly approach you should look to other titles same already listed by you , but i also suggest you to look at the Handbook of Bird Biology " Cornell lab " as stated by Murray , i own it from some years now and it have been a precious help to improve my knowledge in the subject.
I already own the 'Handbook of Bird Biology', but I want a more "lighter" read. Like in the book 'The Largest Avian Radiation'.
 

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