51mIv4VNppL._AC_US436_QL65_Aimed at 8-12 year olds, this is a well-organised book that offers a ‘head start’ to anyone interested in finding out more about birds. 

The first half of the book gives essential information and useful tips to young birders, including how to recognise different bird species (looking at size, shape, colour, behaviour, calls etc.); the kit that’s needed; information about birdwatching in different habitats; and ways in which young people can get involved in conservation. There’s a handy section entitled ‘The Birder’s Year’, which includes suggestions for bird-related activities that can be done during the three main school holidays (Christmas, Easter and summer). 

The second half of the book is a field guide to help identify most of the bird species that can be seen in the UK and Ireland. Each bird has half a page devoted to it, which includes pictures and notes about identification, behaviour, voice, where to see and any confusion species. 

The back of the book has a detailed glossary, index of bird species and a checklist to complete. This book would be the perfect present for any young person who wants to get into birdwatching, and would also be a very useful reference guide for a classroom or school birdwatching club. 

RSPB Children’s Guide to Bird Watching. David Chandler & Mike Unwin (2005). A&C Black. Paperback, pp128. ISBN 978-0-7136-8795-8. RRP £6.99.