VUL­TURE

Bird Watching (UK) - - Books -

Katie Fal­lon Foreedge Books, HB, £17.99

Vul­tures have al­ways re­ceived a bad press, given their ap­pear­ance and their di­etary habits, so this look into "the pri­vate life of an unloved bird" is long over­due and most wel­come. Katie Fal­lon does a great job of com­bin­ing the sci­en­tific and top­i­cal (the threat posed to vul­tures world­wide by drugs such as di­clofenac, for ex­am­ple), with a more gen­eral over­view of this fas­ci­nat­ing fam­ily of birds, as well as her per­sonal pas­sion for them. And she suc­ceeds in show­ing why the neg­a­tive at­ti­tudes to­wards them in­grained in so many hu­man cul­tures are mis­taken. There is some­thing of a North Amer­i­can slant to the con­tent, but that's not to say that vul­tures else­where are ig­nored. Above all, you come away from the book more con­vinced than ever that ur­gent ac­tion is needed to save so many vul­ture species. Thank­fully, gov­ern­ments in some parts of the world are al­ready wak­ing up to this, and this book can only help to per­suade oth­ers to do the same.

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