Adult Non-fiction, Book reviews and recommendations

Birds of the Homeplace. The Lives of Ireland’s Familiar Birds

Author(s): Anthony McGeehan with Julian Wyllie

Genre: Adult Non Fiction- Natural History

Reviewed By: Adrian Foran, Mobile Library Service, Library HQ.

Synopsis: Ireland is slowly becoming a country of nature and bird enthusiasts. Everyone has a space – gardens, farmland and oases of natural habitat – to enjoy everyday encounters with birds. Familiar the birds may be, but their lives can fascinate, and they are adapted to survive in ways that surprise. They are center stage in this book that brings alive the feathered characters of Irish neighbourhoods.

Following the success of Birds Through Irish Eyes, Anthony McGeehan and Julian Wyllie take on the task of showcasing over seventy species, from Coal Tits, which choose to drop more seed from feeders than they carry away, to Irish Swallows, which avoid dying from thirst while crossing the Sahara. Some are permanent residents; others use Ireland as one of several homes. Distinctive descriptions are complemented by stunning photographs. ‘Common-or-garden’ is a term that has patronised Ireland’s familiar birds for too long. Discover what our birds do and enjoy them even more

 Review: This is an excellent book for the beginner and the knowledgeable enthusiast as well. Beautiful photographs and packed full of information about species of birds we see every day and ones that are a little harder to find. From Crows to Corncrakes to Dunnocks to Robins this book lets us see inside in the intimate world of our native birds and goes in dept into the life cycles of birds, their feeding and habitat requirements and how to attract them to your garden or area. It also shows us newcomers to Ireland, birds such as the Collard Dove, a bird which everyone will know but was absent from Ireland 100 years ago. It also shows us the Little Egret, a bird from warmer parts of Continental Europe who has come to make its home here in Ireland. The book also shows us the equipment needed to photograph and observe our feathered friends. From binoculars to telescopes to tripods and the pitfalls a beginner can fall into when buying this equipment. More expensive isn’t always the best we find out.

 I would recommend this book as a must read and other titles by this author are excellent also. Birds of the Homeplace is available to request from Kildare Libraries online  here and you can make an appointment to visit your local library and collect it when we notify you  that it has arrived.

Some similar titles available to borrow as an ebook on Bolinda Borrowbox are Birds of Ireland and Ireland Through Birds.

We hope you enjoyed this review. Remember under the Government’s Keep Well Campaign – Switching off and being creative or learning something new, getting back to nature, and finding ways to relax can help our general wellbeing. For more information check out our blog posts here and here or take a look at the Kildare County Council’s Keep Well page for the latest activities to help you Keep Well.

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