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RSPB Spotlight

This page lists books in the RSPB Spotlight series. Each book in the series, which started in 2014, focuses on a specific British species.

The books are arranged by publication date with the most recent at the top.


RSPB pages

There are a number of RSPB pages on the site:

Field Guides
Secret Lives series
Spotlight series
What's That series
Management guides
First Book Of series
County guides (1940/50's)
Other RSPB bird books

Further sections will be added



For more information about the RSPB see the RSPB web site

 

RSPB Spotlight: Owls

Marianne Taylor

Bloomsbury

2017

"Five species of owl currently live in Britain the Tawny, Barn, Little, Long-eared and Short-eared Owls and each of them, as well as their relatives abroad, are introduced here in detail alongside top quality colour photographs and fascinating behavioural images, which will delight and inform the whole family. RSPB Spotlight: Owls begins with a look at owls in general then examines the five British species in more detail. It discusses their evolutionary history and distribution around the world. Their anatomy and adaptations are examined, as well as their natural behaviours including hunting, nesting and mating practices. Next, we are introduced to their life cycles, beginning as eggs, moving onto fledging and independence, migration, and finally death. Marianne also includes a discussion of conservation as it affects owls, and owls' unique relationships with humans and our culture."

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RSPB Spotlight: Hares

Nancy Jennings

Bloomsbury

2017

"Focussing on our two British species, the Brown Hare (found throughout the UK and widely distributed in Europe and Asia) and its more northerly relative the Mountain Hare (found in Scotland, Ireland, Scandinavia and the Russian Federation), RSPB Spotlight: Hares offers exciting and up-to-date information on these incredible lagomorphs, with chapters covering their biology, evolution, natural history, behaviour, including courtship rituals, and ecology. Information on some of the more charismatic species of hare found elsewhere in the world and on hares' other relatives, the rabbits and pikas, is also provided. The author discusses in detail Hares' interactions with humans, in agriculture, habitat management, shooting and hunting, as well as in more culinary matters, and reveals why this almost mythical animal of hill and meadow is so sensitive to the changes we make to age-old farming landscapes. The presence and significance of hares in our culture is also discussed, including the Easter hare, Lewis Carroll's mad March hare, and hares as shape-changers. Nancy Jennings also offers useful tips on where and how to see hares for yourself in the wild."

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RSPB Spotlight: Bumblebees

Richard Comont

Bloomsbury

2017

"RSPB Spotlight: Bumblebees considers all 24 UK bumblebee species, examining what made the group so successful and how circumstances have led to the survival of some species but the precipitous decline of the majority, highlighting the dangers we all face if populations continue to plummet. Separate chapters cover all aspects of bumblebees' biology and lifestyles, from spring queens emerging from dark overwintering chambers to establish their nests, to the drone swarms that herald the end of the bumblebee season. Bumblebees around the world are studied, including in the southern hemisphere where Europe's declining species can become harmful invaders. While the influence of bumblebees throughout our history and their place in our culture, from Shakespeare to Transformers, is also examined."

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RSPB Spotlight: Kingfishers

David Chandler

Bloomsbury

2017

"With their long, dagger-like bills, bright blue plumage and characteristic fast, low flight over water, Common Kingfishers are instantly recognisable. The 90 or so species that belong to this colourful family have a cosmopolitan distribution and, in RSPB Spotlight: Kingfishers, David Chandler celebrates their remarkable existence, studying their unique adaptations and their courtship, breeding and feeding habits. He also investigates historical threats to Kingfishers, considers their future, and offers practical advice on how to find and see these glorious birds."

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RSPB Spotlight: Eagles

Mike Unwin

Bloomsbury

2016

"Two species of eagle occur in Britain - among 60 worldwide - and are the focus of this book. The regal Golden Eagle is the definitive true eagle and occurs in wilderness areas across the northern hemisphere; the even larger White-tailed Eagle, reintroduced to the UK after historic extinction, belongs to the separate sea eagles genus. These two spectacular birds are both very rare confined largely to the remote Scottish Highlands and a sighting of either is one of the UK's most exciting and sought-after wildlife experiences. This highly readable study looks separately at both UK eagles, exploring how each is adapted as an apex predator in its own environment, and explores the relationship between the two. Separate chapters cover all aspects of the birds biology and lifestyle, from defending their vast territories to raising their young. Fascinating secrets are revealed, including the brutal truth behind Cain and Abel syndrome. The book also takes a look at other eagles around the world, placing the two UK species within this broader context. Finally, it examines the complex relationship that humans have enjoyed with eagles since time immemorial, spanning both culture and conservation, and offers expert tips on where and how you can watch these magnificent birds for yourself."

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RSPB Spotlight: Badgers

James Lowen

Bloomsbury

2016

"In Spotlight: Badgers James Lowen explores all aspects of their lives including their communal living, feeding habits, as well as the major threats to and conservation support for Badgers. These iconic omnivores are widely represented in folklore and have permeated our popular culture. Generations of children have been entranced by Badger in Kenneth Grahame's book Wind in the Willows, however these determined yet mostly peaceful animals have also been loathed and persecuted for centuries. Badger baiting is thankfully now illegal, but the legal badger cull introduced in 2011 in parts of Gloucestershire and Somerset remains in place following the 2015 general election. With so much politics surrounding Badgers in the UK, it's not easy to get unbiased information. In RSPB Spotlight: Badgers James Lowen keeps a neutral tone on the debate about Badger culling. He describes the history, from the first Badger found to be infected with bTB in 1972 and the subsequent gassing of setts from 1975 to 1982. He also outlines the RSPB's stance on the Badger cull. As one of the UK's largest landowners, the RSPB oppose Badger culling on their land, in favour of vaccination, cattle testing, bio-security and movement controls."

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RSPB Spotlight: Robins

Marianne Taylor

Bloomsbury

2015

"Despite their cute appearance, Robins are aggressively territorial and hold their territories all year. Their year-round presence has helped them become a beloved and instantly recognisable species. Now, in this delightful new book, Marianne Taylor provides a revealing account of their life cycle, behaviour and breeding, what they eat and how they hold their territories, and she looks into the many cultural representations of these much-loved little birds."

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RSPB Spotlight: Foxes

Mike Unwin

Bloomsbury

2015

"In Spotlight: Foxes Mike Unwin explores how the Red Fox s versatility has allowed it to thrive across the northern hemisphere, from desert and mountain to farmland and urban jungle. This informative book covers all aspects of the Red Fox biology and lifestyle, including hunting and caching food, defending a territory, raising a litter and communication strategies. Finally, it examines the complex, often troubled relationship that the Fox has enjoyed and both endured with humankind, and suggests what the future might hold."

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RSPB Spotlight: Puffins

Euan Dunn

Bloomsbury

2014

"Surprisingly little was known about Puffin ecology until recently thanks to their preferred breeding habitat being underground on remote islands or hard-to-reach coastlines. Now Euan Dunn discloses all we have learnt about them as a result of technological advances, and provides a revealing account of their life cycle, behaviour and breeding, what they eat, how they interact in their busy colonies, and where they migrate to in winter. Euan also exposes the mounting threats Puffins face and offers advice on the best places to see them."

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RSPB Spotlight: Otters

Nicola Chester

Bloomsbury

2014

"RSPB Spolight: Otters by Nicola Chester is an accessible and lively account of an intriguing and much-loved animal that, surprisingly, is still endangered and rarely seen despite a recent resurgence that has seen it expand from the remote countryside into our cities. Nicola's charming, informed text brings this elusive and exciting mammal into sharper focus revealing what an otter is, and how they live, feed, play and breed. Nicola reflects on how otters exist in our imaginations culturally and how that has changed over the years. She also examines the many challenges otters have faced, exposing what brought them to the brink of extinction, and explores the challenges we face in trying to find and watch otters in the wild."

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Last updated June 2014