are perhaps one of the most difficult bird families to get to grips
with and, indeed, there is still much to learn about the taxonomic
status of many species/subspecies. This weighty book, published
by Helm, is on hand for those birders wishing to learn more about
gull distribution, identification and, perhaps most importantly,
This book contains
authoritative text concerning the identification of previously little
known species/subspecies of gulls and does an excellent job of conveying
the subtle differences to look for in the field with a combination
of plates and numerous photographs for each type. Each species has
its own section in the book with subsections including "identification",
"moult", "geographical variation" and "distribution
and migration" along with a distributional map which, for Thai
birders, can prove useful for predicting which species may be found
in Thailand in the future.
Whilst the body
of the book deals with the many species of gulls, there is also
a useful introduction which gives general advice on which features
to look for in gull identification, including notes on how to age
gulls and recognise hybrids.
guide is perhaps too large to carry around for most birders, its
size is certainly not prohibitive to those specialising in gulls
and it is an essential source of information for birders hoping
to identify gulls as they travel worldwide.