This is a truly comprehensive handbook, covering the historical relationship between Man and Birds in the region, Ornithological works from Malta, Conservation measures, Bird Migration, Hunting and Trapping, Social Aspects, and the Way Forward. The second half of the book is comprised of comprehensive species accounts complete with English, Latin, and Maltese names, color photos, and status and records.
From the Publisher:
Lying in the center of the Mediterranean, Malta is a natural staging post for migrant birds crossing from Africa to Europe in spring as well as for migrants returning from their breeding grounds in Europe to the African continent in autumn. Birds have attracted man's attention for a long time and this book shows images of birds in prehistory, art, stamps, coins, antique embroidery and so forth. It also speaks about birds in all aspects of Maltese culture, from folklore to language. It is also a photographic record of many of the birds that regularly visit the islands and features ones that are rare or have been recorded a handful of times. It also contains several unpublished records dating from 1958.
The book discusses conservation measures and the impacts of hunting and trapping, as well as delves into social aspects of hunting and trapping, explaining why people hunt and trap birds and what birds mean to them. It also charts a way forward. It provides a detailed account of bird migration in the centre of the Mediterranean, with maps based on ringing recoveries and satellite telemetry. It provides the most up to date account of all the birds in Malta, documenting 50 new species over the previous guide book, published in 2001. This is both because of new occurrences as well as changes in taxonomy which led to sub-species being declared species in their own right.
The book also lists records of new breeding species such as Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Black-Winged Stilts, Bee-eaters, Long-eared Owl, Great-reed Warblers as well as confirmed breeding again of Peregrine Falcons, Kestrels and Quail which had not been confirmed breeding for some 30 years.