Wheatears are elegant and colourful birds often found in wild and beautiful settings and appeal to ornithologists and birders alike. This new book by an acknowledged expert is unique in its detailed treatment of the 14 Palearctic species. Richly illustrated, it presents a wealth of information, largely derived from studies in Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union, on a variety of subjects: taxonomic questions; flamboyant displays and highly varied, sometimes mimetic, songs; the construction of stone platforms at the nest; the striking polymorphism of the Eastern Pied (or Variable) Wheatear; range expansion by the Northern Wheatear and its impressively long migrations; the burrow-nesting habits of the Isabelline Wheatear, and on many other topics. The author, an exceptionally skilled observer and interpreter of bird behaviour, has drawn on his immense experience of many hours spent watching wheatears in the field; he has reared young wheatears in captivity, and has studied the wheatear literature, including that on species distributed outside the Palearctic.
The book's thought-provoking text is well supported by an array of diagrams, tables, drawings by the author, and colour photographs of birds and habitats.