These works are very similar in content: taxonomically arranged handbooks with concise texts emphasizing field identification and well-executed color paintings, they both include small-range maps for all regularly occurring species. However, the format differs: Peterson gives the texts, plates, and maps in separate sections; Jonsson usually has all three on the same double-page spread. The first (1954) edition of Peterson was the very first European bird guide and has been regularly revised. This new edition has 17 more plates and four more maps than the fourth (1983) edition; the text has been revised extensively by D.I.M. Wallace. Entries include English, Dutch, French, German, and Swedish common names; scientific name; identifying features (measurements are now given in both traditional and metric units); voice; habitat; and notes on similar species (when relevant). Jonsson is a new work, first published in Swedish. The entries include the same basic information found in Peterson but give only English common names and only metric measurements. Both works have accurate, up-to-date texts that will meet the needs of birders equally well. Jonsson's arrangement is more convenient; Peterson's maps are clearer. The greatest difference is in the illustrations. Most of the plates in Peterson still contain his usual rows of small birds, identically posed with no background; Jonsson's vivid plates show fewer but larger birds in natural poses, usually against a background indicating normal habitat. Jonsson often depicts more variant plumages than Peterson as well. Large libraries and most birders will want both titles, but where one work will meet reader demand, the more convenient arrangement and superior illustrations give Jonsson the edge.-- Paul B. Cors, Univ. of Wyoming Lib., Laramie (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Jonsson, Swedish wildlife artist and author, is known internationally for his fine bird portraits. Here he has assembled almost 500 pages of color plates, depicting all the European birds in a field-guide format. Each species is beautifully illustrated in its various plumages (e.g., by sex, age, or season). Jonsson's artwork incorporates both his expert knowledge in field identification and his keen attention to detail. The accompanying text, via species accounts, describes notable features of the plumage, characteristic calls and song, and distribution with a range map. There is some mention of the bird's behavior and habitat preferences. Where applicable, there is an added statement on the species occurrence in Great Britain, with migration dates. A good introductory section for the beginning birdwatcher is included. For a single volume, this is the most thoroughly illustrated and up-to-date field guide of the European avifauna. General; advanced undergraduate through faculty. C. Leck; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey