Helm Identification Guides

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The Helm Identification Guides are a series of books that identify groups of birds. The series include two types of guides, those that are:

  • Taxonomic, dealing with a particular family of birds on a worldwide scale—most early Helm Guides were this type, as well as many more-recent ones, although some later books deal with identification of such groups on a regional scale only (e.g., The Gulls Guide, which covers only species in Europe, Asia, and North America)
  • Geographic, including all bird species in an area (e.g., The Birds of the West Indies)

Early volumes were sometimes published under the Croom Helm or Christopher Helm imprints. In addition, a parallel set of guides, very similar in design, was published by Pica Press in the 1990s (marked Pica in the list below); Pica was later absorbed into A & C Black (now part of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc), and all guides are now marketed as a single series.

Several of the books have won the British Birds Bird Book of the Year award. A list of titles in the series, in chronological order of publication, is as follows:

Works with a taxonomic scope[edit]

Note: 'nW' indicates those that do not have worldwide coverage.


  • Seabirds - an identification guide by Peter Harrison (1983) ISBN 0-7470-1410-8
  • Shorebirds - an identification guide to the waders of the world by John Marchant, A. J. Prater and Peter Hayman (1986) ISBN 0-7470-1403-5
  • Wildfowl - an identification guide to the ducks, geese and swans of the world by Steve Madge and Hilary Burn (1988) ISBN 0-7470-2201-1
  • A Handbook to the Swallows and Martins of the World by Angela Turner, illustrated by Chris Rose (1989) ISBN 0-7136-4206-8






External links[edit]