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Stephen Moss has written over 20 natural history books, including bestselling titles on birds and British wildlife. He writes a monthly Birdwatch column for the Guardian, frequent articles for BBC Wildlife and Birdwatch magazines, and presents a primetime BBC Radio 4 series on birdsong. Stephen is a former producer at the BBC Natural History Unit, with a TV career that has spanned three decades. He recently produced The Great British Wildlife Revival - a six-part primetime series that will broadcast on BBC One in 2013. Stephen was the original producer of BAFTA-winning Springwatch, as well as The Nature of Britain (with Alan Titchmarsh) and Birding with Bill Oddie.
Britain is a place of remarkable beauty and surprising extremes: nowhere else in the temperate world boasts such extreme variety in such a small area. Our humble island has over 10,000 miles of coastline; iconic animals and birds; and unique spectacles of migration that see wildlife from all corners of the globe descend upon our shores. Here, life is governed by the seasons: each month bringing extraordinary transformations to our land and its inhabitants. This lavish companion to the new BBC One series brings Britain to life, celebrating the vibrancy of the changing year through stunning photography and mesmerising time-lapse sequences, and revealing the unmissable drama and beauty to be witnessed on our very own doorstep.
Family isn't just important. It's everything. From lions hunting as a pride to penguins huddling together to keep from freezing in the bitter Antarctic winter, many animals are dependent on complex social relationships for their survival. Powerful dynasties lay claim to vast swathes of territory, fighting off rivals and securing their hunting grounds for generations to come. Dynasties offers an immersive insight into the shifting hierarchies of animal families. Each chapter follows a different dynasty, from the Marsh Lions of the Masai Mara to rival packs of painted wolves, from a tiger protecting her newborn cubs to a chimpanzee troop and the penguin colonies of the Antarctic. Alongside tender moments when bonds are strengthened through grooming and play, the book charts the rivalries that tip the balance of power, when family members turn against each other and younger animals grow strong enough to challenge for control. With over 200 stunning photographs and insights from the crew of the BBC series, Dynasties reveals in astonishing detail the intricate social lives of our planet's most fascinating animals.
From the bestselling author of The Robin: A Biography The wren is a paradox of a bird. On the one hand wrens are ubiquitous. They are Britain's most common bird, with 8.5 million breeding pairs and have by far the loudest song in proportion to their size. They also thrive up and down Britain and Ireland: from the smallest city garden to remote offshore islands, blustery moors to chilly mountains. Yet many people, particularly a younger generation, are not sure if they have ever seen a wren. Perhaps because the wren is so tiny, weighing just as much as two A4 sheets of paper, and so busy, always on the move, more mouse than bird. However if we cast our eyes back to recent history wrens were a mainstay of literary, cultural and popular history. The wren was on postage stamps and the farthing, it featured in nursery rhymes and greetings cards, poems and rural `wren hunts', still a recent memory in Ireland particularly. With beautiful illustrations throughout, this captivating year-in-the-life biography reveals the hidden secrets of this fascinating bird that lives right on our doorstep.
Swallow and starling, puffin and peregrine, blue tit and blackcap. We use these names so often that few of us ever pause to wonder about their origins. What do they mean? Where did they come from? And who created them? The words we use to name birds are some of the most lyrical and evocative in the English language. They also tell incredible stories: of epic expeditions, fierce battles between rival ornithologists, momentous historical events and touching romantic gestures. Through fascinating encounters with birds, and the rich cast of characters who came up with their names, in Mrs Moreau's Warbler Stephen Moss takes us on a remarkable journey through time. From when humans and birds first shared the earth to our fraught present-day coexistence, Moss shows how these names reveal as much about ourselves and our relationship with the natural world as about the creatures they describe.
Swallow and starling, puffin and peregrine, blue tit and blackcap. We use these names so often that few of us ever pause to wonder about their origins. What do they mean? Where did they come from? And who created them?The words we use to name birds are some of the most lyrical and evocative in the English language. They alsotell incredible stories: of epic expeditions, fierce battles between rival ornithologists, momentous historicalevents and touching romantic gestures.Through fascinating encounters with birds, and the rich cast of characters who came up with their names, inMrs Moreau's Warbler Stephen Moss takes us on a remarkable journey through time. From when humans and birds first shared the earth to our fraught present-day coexistence, Moss shows how these names reveal as much about ourselves and our relationship with the natural world as about the creatures they describe.
Selected as a Book of the Year 2017 in The Times 'There is no doubt that Moss's book, with its charming cover and quaint illustrations, will make it into many a stocking this year' The Times No other bird is quite so ever-present and familiar, so embedded in our culture, as the robin. With more than six million breeding pairs, the robin is second only to the wren as Britain's most common bird. It seems to live its life alongside us, in every month and season of the year. But how much do we really know about this bird? In The Robin Stephen Moss records a year of observing the robin both close to home and in the field to shed light on the hidden life of this apparently familiar bird. We follow its lifecycle from the time it enters the world as an egg, through its time as a nestling and juvenile, to the adult bird; via courtship, song, breeding, feeding, migration - and ultimately, death. At the same time we trace the robin's relationship with us: how did this particular bird - one of more than 300 species in its huge and diverse family - find its way so deeply and permanently into our nation's heart and its social and cultural history? It's a story that tells us as much about ourselves as it does about the robin itself.
Chess was invented more than 1,500 years ago, and is played in every country in the world. Stephen Moss sets out to master its mysteries, and unlock the secret of its enduring appeal. What, he asks, is the essence of chess? And what will it reveal about his own character along the way? In a witty, accessible style that will delight newcomers and irritate purists, Moss imagines the world as a board and marches across it, offering a mordant report on the world of chess in 64 chapters - 64 of course being the number of squares on the chessboard. He alternates between black chapters - where he plays, largely uncomprehendingly, in tournaments - and white chapters, where he seeks advice from the current crop of grandmasters and delves into the lives of great players of the past. It is both a history of the game and a kind of Zen and the Art of Chess ; a practical guide and a self-help book: Moss's quest to understand chess and become a better player is really an attempt to escape a lifetime of dilettantism. He wants to become an expert at one thing. What will be the consequences when he realises he is doomed to fail? Moss travels to Russia and the US - hotbeds of chess throughout the 20th century; meets people who knew Bobby Fischer when he was growing up and tries to unravel the enigma of that tortured genius who died in 2008 at the inevitable age of 64; meets Garry Kasparov and Magnus Carlsen, world champions past and present; and keeps bumping into Armenian superstar Levon Aronian in the gents at tournaments. He becomes champion of Surrey, wins tournaments in Chester and Bury St Edmunds, and holds his own at the famous event in the Dutch seaside resort of Wijk aan Zee (until a last-round meltdown), but too often he is beaten by precocious 10-year-olds and finds it hard to resist the urge to punch them. He looks for spiritual fulfilment in the game, but mostly finds mental torture.
Shortlisted for THE WAINWRIGHT BOOK PRIZE 2017 Can Britain make room for wildlife? Stephen Moss believes it can. The newspaper headlines tell us that Britain's wildlife is in trouble. It's not just rare creatures that are vanishing, hares and hedgehogs, skylarks and water voles, even the humble house sparrow, are in freefall. But there is also good news. Otters have returned to the River Tyne; there are now beavers on the River Otter; and peregrines have taken up residence in the heart of London. Stephen Moss travels the length and breadth of the UK, from the remote archipelago of St Kilda to our inner cities, to witness at first-hand how our wild creatures are faring and ask how we can bring back Britain's wildlife.
10 years on from the first, groundbreaking, Planet Earth, we use the most incredible advances in technology and scientific discovery to bring you the most exciting and immersive picture of our world's wildlife yet. With over 250 breathtaking photographs and stills from the BBC Natural History Unit's spectacular footage, this is an extraordinary new look at the complex life of some of the most amazing places on Planet Earth. Each chapter reveals an environment - some never-before-seen, some astonishingly familiar - defined by a unique set of rules required for survival. From the most desolate desert to the depths of the jungle, from blistering heat and freezing cold to perpetual darkness and deadly UV, discover how a whole host of creatures have adapted to life in the most extreme conditions. And how they compete with one another to become the largest, the fastest, the most poisonous, or most devious - all in a bid to survive. Planet Earth II includes the first in-depth look at the urban environment, and the surprising range of behaviours occurring right under our noses, as well as some previously untouched island worlds. Filmed with remarkable 5k and infra-red technology, these are the challenges, the confrontations, and the triumphs of some of the most extraordinary creatures in the natural world, told from their perspective. This is our planet, as you have never seen it before.
Ever looked at a bird and thought, 'I wonder why birds sing...'? Find the answer to this and many more intriguing questions about birds here. How do ducks on frozen ponds stop their feet from freezing solid in winter? Do birds sleep standing up? Why do some species migrate yet others don't? And do birds have knees? Stephen Moss answers 450 questions aimed at birdwatchers of all levels, conveying a veritable feast of bird-related information in his friendly and accessible style. Drawing on up-to-date research and illustrated with more than 200 colour photos, Do Birds Have Knees? will enthral, amuse and enlighten everyone with an interest in birds.
In the very north of Britain, far from the bustling cities and picturesque countryside to the south, lies Western Europe's greatest wilderness: the Scottish Highlands. This is a land shaped by the flow of ancient ice, where snow-capped mountains tower over ink-black lochs, Golden Eagles soar over heather-clad moors, and Red Deer stags engage in mortal combat for the right to win a mate. Along the coast, sea cliffs and offshore islands teem with millions of seabirds, while the seas themselves are home to Basking Sharks, Orcas and Bottlenose Dolphins. The Highlands may at first sight seem bleak and desolate, but they are also filled with secret wonders, from the ancient Caledonian pine forests to the vast Flow Country, and from the sheer granite cliffs of Handa to the mysterious depths of Loch Ness. In this lavish companion to the BBC TV series Stephen Moss's thoughtful, authoritative text is accompanied by spectacular photography from Laurie Campbell. Highlands - Scotland's Wild Heart follows a year in the lives of a stellar cast of wild animals as they live, feed, breed and die in this beautiful, yet unforgiving landscape - a land where only the toughest survive.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE 2017 Can Britain make room for wildlife? Stephen Moss believes it can. The newspaper headlines tell us that Britain's wildlife is in trouble. Wild creatures that have lived here for thousands of years are disappearing, because of pollution and persecution, competition with alien species, changing farming and forestry practices, and climate change. It's not just rare creatures such as the Scottish wildcat or the red squirrel that are vanishing. Hares and hedgehogs, skylarks and water voles, even the humble house sparrow, are in freefall. But there is also good news. In Newcastle, otters have returned to the river Tyne and red kites are flying over the Metro centre; in Devon, there are beavers on the River Otter; and peregrines - the fastest living creature on the planet - have taken up residence in the heart of London. Elsewhere in the British countryside things are changing too. What were once nature-free zones are being `rewilded'; giving our wild creatures the space they need - not just to survive, but also to thrive. Stephen Moss has travelled the length and breadth of the UK, from the remote archipelago of St Kilda to our inner cities, to witness at first hand how our wild creatures are faring, and offers us this complex, heartfelt and often unexpected response. Stephen Moss's new book, The Robin, will be released in November 2017.
The way birds behave is one of the vital keys to accurate identification and this book provides the experienced instruction needed to understand and get the most out of watching birds. The guide covers all the fundamental types of bird behaviour, including movement, feeding, breeding, migration, navigation, distribution, range, life and death, all of which are illustrated with beautiful photographs. There is a whole section dedicated to the behaviour of different species groups, from divers and grebes through to sparrows, buntings and finches.
This book consists of an easy-to-follow yet comprehensive set of step-by-step tutorials that will help you gain proficiency in the Force.com platform. If you have some experience with the Force.com platform and are looking to take your skills to the next level, this is the book for you.
In the sixth of our series of bird guides, recorded on location on The Long Mynd in Shropshire, Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss are assisted by wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson as they present a guide to the appearance, behaviour, songs and calls of the birds you may find around Britain's mountains and moorlands. Each programme focuses on a different habitat, starting with heather moors and birds such as Black Grouse and Merlin, before moving on to cliffs and crags (Raven and Peregrine); upland grasslands (Skylark and Curlew); bogs and mires (Golden Plover and Greenshank) and high tops (Ptarmigan and Snow Bunting). Full of useful hints and tips on how to recognise birds visually and identify them by their sound, this knowledgeable and entertaining guide will appeal to beginner and expert birdwatchers alike; as well as anyone who is eager to know more about the beautiful birds of the British countryside.
Join celebrated naturalist Stephen Moss, host award-winning BBC series Springwatch and author of The Robin, for a year in the idyllic village of Mark on the Somerset Levels - a watery wonderland rich in nature and wildlife, from birds to butterflies to badgers As the year unfolds, Moss transports the reader to the entrancing landscape of flora and fauna that accompanies the dawn of each month. Deeply informative and profoundly inspiring, Wild Hares and Hummingbirds is a celebration of the Great British countryside, animals and the natural world. `Moss captures the flora and the fauna of his Somerset home with a grace and charm to warm the coldest winter night' Independent
Springwatch British Wildlife is the perfect year-round countryside introduction to the much-loved wildlife of the popular BBC2 television series. The book guides you through Britain's rich and diverse natural heritage, allowing you to enjoy the nation's wildlife at its finest - learning how the animals live and where to find them, why they do what they do and how we can appreciate them. You will be introduced to the birds, mammals and plants that inhabit our gardens, cities and countryside, with detailed species descriptions and beautiful photographs allowing you to understand their appearance, behaviour and habitats. Discover the best-kept secrets about garden birds, fascinating fungi facts and what leaves and seeds tell us about our thriving plant life. Join the Springwatch team as they help you to explore the natural world and unlock the mysteries to British wildlife.
When is the last time you climbed a tree? Went pond-dipping? Picked blackberries? Held a snail race? Or tracked down a badger set? If the answer is 'can't remember', or even 'never', The Bumper Book Of Nature will inspire you to change all that for good. Whether you live in the heart of the city, in the suburbs or the deepest countryside, The Bumper Book Of Nature is a treasure trove of nature activities, ideas and information, to inspire and entertain you wherever you are. Go pishing for birds; become a bat detective; take a city safari; find snakes and lizards; identify spiders and their webs; look for owl pellets... Make nettle soup; or itching powder from rosehips; make a bark rubbing; an elder-stem peashooter; or elderflower fritters. Wake up in time to hear the dawn chorus; listen to the heartbeat of a tree; or just stand out in the rain for half an hour... With The Bumper Book Of Nature the whole family will want to switch off the television and computer, pull on their wellingtons and get outside to discover the endless bounty, beauty and fascination of nature right on our doorstep. Lavishly designed with over 160 full-colour illustrations of British wildlife and flora, along with gorgeous black-and-white line drawings throughout, this beautiful and timeless book will be treasured for years to come by children and parents alike. Stephen Moss's latest book, The Robin, will be available from 02/11/2017.
The ideal portable companion, the world-renowned Collins Gem series returns with a fresh new look and updated material. This is the perfect pocket guide for keen birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts to identify the diverse range of birds that inhabit their gardens. Authoritative text and beautiful photographs show the distinguishing features of each bird, including information on each species' feeding, behavioural habits, breeding, voice and population. An extensive introduction provides information on nesting sites, water, pests and predators. This new edition builds on the strengths of the unrivalled original, covering all birds most likely to be found in our gardens.
Join Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss in this fascinating guide to the sounds of our most popular coastal birds, as heard on BBC Radio 4. In the fourth of our series of bird guides, Brett Westwood is joined by keen birdwatcher Stephen Moss on the north coast of Devon, and with the help of wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson they offer a practical and entertaining guide to identifying many of the birds you're likely to see and hear around Britain's coastline. Each programme focuses on a different habitat, starting with estuaries and birds such as Redshank, Dunlin, Curlew and Knot, then sandy shores and birds including Common and Sandwich Tern; rocky shores (Rock Pipit, Turnstone), sea cliffs (Fulmar, Guillemot, Razorbill), and offshore islands (Puffin, Manx Shearwater and Arctic Tern). Listen to advice on how to recognise birds visually and how to identify them from their calls and songs. After all, often you're more likely to hear a bird than see it!