Stephen Moss is a naturalist, writer and broadcaster, who has worked for the BBC Natural History Unity and BBC Springwatch. He is President of Somerset Wildlife Trust and a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.
The Robin is a wonderful book, all about our red-breasted territorial friend. Fans may be surprised to learn that robins usually live little longer than a year. So if you think it’s the same robin returning to your garden each year, it’s likely it is a relative, rather than same bird friend. This book follows the robin from egg to adulthood, through breeding, feeding and migration to end of life. If you would like to know more about this beautiful garden friend from a real expert, this book is a delight.
No other bird is quite so present and familiar, embedded in our culture, as the robin. With over 6 million breeding pairs, the robin is second only to the wren as Britain’s most common bird. It seems to live its life among us, every season. But how much do you know about this beautiful bird? Ideal rainy day reading, while looking out your window at feathered friends.
Never feed birds crusty/stale/mouldy bread (nor fatty leftover sandwiches or roast dinners), as these can choke or affect waterproofing/insulation of feathers. If you give birds food, use quality feeders (not wood, as cats can claw up – bring them inside at dawn and dusk when birds feed) and never use mesh bags with nuts and seeds, as they tear tiny hands and feet.
To help garden birds, garden organically and use humane non-toxic slug deterrents). Never ‘donate’ lint, human hair or pet fur, as all can harm (birds have made nests for thousands of years, without our help). Read how to stop birds flying into windows (artificial light and playing birdsong can confuse, and also attract predators).
Moss is a good storyteller, seamlessly linking biological fact with the anecdotal. Yet there is a serious message here. Evidence of how we have become distanced from the natural world. Moss’ charming paean to this bird that lives hard and dies young, reminds us that it deserves to be more than a whimsical symbol of festive cheer. Patrick Galbraith, The Times
The Wren looks at our most common bird, with 8.5 million pairs, and by far the loudest song in proportion to their size. Thriving in Britain and Ireland, find these birds in small city gardens, remote offshore islands, blustery moors and chilly mountains. Did you know that a wren only weighs as much as two A4 sheets of paper? Always on the move, Stephen says this little friend is more mouse than bird!
The Swallow: A Year in the Life is the latest book by Stephen Moss, one of England’s greatest nature writers. Learn of the epic migration of the swallow, and learn more of these extraordinary birds. Stephen has written several other books on native birds and urban wildlife.
Mrs Moreau’s Warbler looks at how birds got their names. Find a rich cast of characters with fascinating stories, on a remarkable journey through time.
The Twelve Birds of Christmas focuses on a dozen of our favourite birds from swans and partridges, to taking a bit of creative liberty (the ‘drummers drumming’ describes the woodpecker happily drumming his padded skull against the trunk). Bird learning has never been so much fun.
Urban Aviary takes you on a worldwide tour of urban birds, with helpful spotting hints and fact boxes. From frigatebirds wheeling over Rio de Janeiro to bowerbirds in the suburbs of Canberra, from penguins in Cape Town to pelicans in San Francisco, and huge flocks of starlings roosting around Rome’s Colosseum, the world’s cities are home to a remarkable array of feathered citizens.