Migration Hotspots – The world’s best bird migration sites

Author: Tim Harris

Number of pages: 224

Year published: 2013

Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


ISBN: 978-1-4081-7117-2

What do Point Pelee in Canada, Heligoland in Germany, Beidaihe in China, and Moreton Bay in Australia all have in common? They are all migration hotspots. They have another thing in common too. They are all included in the RSPB’s publication “Migration Hotspots” along with 25 other places from around the world.

What’s included in Migration Hotspots?

This a beautiful publication that is the sort of book that makes birders dream of travelling to far-off places. Who wouldn’t want to experience the site of a million birds taking a break during their migration or, in some cases, breeding at their final destination. Each of the 29 locations are described in detail as well as other locations in the nearby vicinity. There are plenty of colour photos, maps, and sidebars with useful information.

Of course, the book is not just about the location – it is also about the birds. The text lists some of the main migratory species but also mentions when they arrive and leave. The birds featured are not necessarily rare but includes many common species that can be seen in huge numbers which makes them a spectacle as well.

As one would expect from a RSPB publication there is a conservation message included in the text. It is subtle but there. The numbers of migrating birds are declining, and efforts need to be made to conserve this important areas and many more around the world.

My country isn’t included

Of course, some people will question the selection of migration hotspots included in this book. The first thing I did was to see if any spots are included from my country which there wasn’t. As with any publication decisions have to be made and the sites chosen make for interesting reading and get you wondering why you have never thought of visiting Beidaihe, in China, which “is one of the most exciting places on Earth to experience the full spectacle of migration.” Perhaps I will see you there some day!

In summary

Overall, I cannot fault this book and I recommend it for any birder. It makes great reading and definitely helps you plan that dream trip to witness the spectacle that is a bird migration.

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