The gulls are a large family of seabirds, familiar and distinctive as a group, but one of the most challenging to separate at the species level, especially in their various stages of immature plumage. This guide offers the most comprehensive treatment ever published on the gulls of North America, Europe, and Asia. Klaus Malling Olsen and Hans Larsson treat a total of forty-three species--each depicted in considerable detail, with a full description of every plumage and racial variation. The text is complemented not only by superb color paintings by Larsson, but also by 800 color photographs.
Gulls explore a variety of habitats, consume a wide range of food, and are often extremely abundant. They are also great wanderers, with several American species often appearing in Western Europe and vice versa. As well as identification criteria, this book includes an up-to-date assessment of the range and status of every species, together with information on patterns on vagrancy.
This important guide is published at a critical time in the development of gull taxonomy. The large white-headed gulls found in North America, Europe, and Asia comprise a superspecies complex, with the precise relationships between various components still under considerable debate. A thorough illustrative and textual treatment of the group is needed, and this book provides the most recent and complete overview. This is the essential reference to a fascinating and endlessly challenging group of birds.
"Armed with this book, you should be able to separate with confidence an American herring gull from a herring gull, and an Armenian gull from a Caspian gull. You might even put a name to a vega gull."--David Tomlinson, New Scientist
"It is hard to imagine there could be a better book. Quite simply, it is superb. . . . [The] illustrations are of exceptionally high quality."--Bird Watcher's Digest
"Will become the reference for gull identification in the Northern Hemisphere for many years."--Choice
"This landmark new book . . . will undoubtedly be welcomed by larophiles across the Northern Hemisphere."--Steve N. G. Howell, Birding
"Gulls of North America, Europe, and Asia represents a tough job well done. . . . [I]t is not only a welcome addition but a near necessity in an ornithological library."--J.R. Jehl Jr., The Auk
"This book represents a significant contribution to the field of gull identification, and merits a spot on the bookshelf of every gull enthusiast. It greatly expands the coverage of earlier classics such as the works of Dwight and Grant, both in terms of geographic scope, and in attention to subspecific variation and the complexities posed by hybridization. The author is to be congratulated for providing a level of quantification not seen in earlier works, as well as for providing an impressive level of detail on distribution and population trends. Hans Larsson's plates demonstrate an impressive ability to capture subtleties of shape and intricacies of plumage that are vital in the identification of such a complex group of birds. The combination of photos with well-executed paintings is a most effective approach to illustrating this group of birds."--Kevin J. Zimmer
File created: 9/23/2014