The Boreal Owl: Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation of a Forest-Dwelling Predator

Erkki Korpimaki and Harri Hakkarainen

Cambridge University Press, £60.00

The boreal owl was once one of the most predatory birds in the Eurasian boreal forests, and is also widespread in North American regions such as the Rocky Mountains. The authors, who have spent their careers studying the boreal owl in Finland, introduce and describe the species and its main prey. They then move on to its behaviour, which fluctuates seasonally and multiannually in relation to environmental conditions.

As well as reproduction, the many other factors which regulate populations of this species are described. Populations can be managed, but the loss of boreal coniferous forests is a great threat.

Most texts on owls are descriptive, and so this one is unusual in having so much scientific research on a single species. Evidence is provided in the many tables and figures, and extensive plates and sketches, although variable in quality, are helpful in supporting the arguments of the authors.

The style of this lengthy book is somewhat dated, but the content is interesting. The price will probably deter many laymen but it is within the scope of research and teaching budgets, and deserves to be found in libraries.

Professor Jim Lynch OBE FSB