Waders have a fascination denied to most other groups of birds. Their spectacular numbers and migratory habits catch the imagination and their haunting cries are characteristic of wild places. British bird watchers are exceptionally fortunate in that this country’s wader populations are internationally renowned. Waders are birds of wetland areas in their winter quarters and the British Isles form the wintering grounds and resting place on migration for a high percentage of the world’s population.
A great deal is known of their biology in winter, but waders in summer have been studied far less. This account by Professor W. G. Hale attempts to describe their biology throughout the year, drawing where necessary on information from abroad. The book thus discusses all aspects of the life of the waders – habitats, distribution, variation, breeding biology, migration, wintering, roosting, moulting, feeding, evolution, and conservation. As the author points out, it is essential that we learn more about waders in order to ensure that our passage migrants and winter waders continue to visit the British Isles.
Professor Hale is head of the Department of Biology in Liverpool Polytechnic. He has made a particular study of the Redshank, with which he spends most of the summer each year, and has supervised a great deal of research into the geographical variation and ecology of wading birds.
The text is illustrated with many drawings and 24 plates of black and white photographs.
Waders, the 65th volume in this seemingly illimitable series, is unquestionable the best one on the subject you have ever read or are ever likely to read. It will become a classic.’