This, the first book on birds in the New Naturalist main series, is undoubtedly one of the most important contributions to the literature of British ornithology of recent years. Its subject is the impact of civilisation upon our bird life, with particular reference to the species that have come to rely largely on types of habitat greatly modified or actually formed by human action. Mr. Nicholson is already well known to many for his popularisation of the scientific study of birds as a means of their protection, and it is not surprising, therefore, that this volume should also be concerned with the ways in which birds and men can live happily together.
Readers will be delighted by his combination of the aesthetic approach with serious criticism, and particularly by the note of optimism in the book – the suggestion that not all the works of man are fated to destroy nature, and that some of them are likely to improve the quality and variety of our birds. From the ornithological point of view, we have an interesting half-century before us. It is extremely probable that at the end of it Birds and Men will still be widely read, and quarried for facts and conclusions by the next generation of naturalists.