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Jonathan Elphick

Jonathan Elphick has worked for over 50 years as a writer, editor, consultant, lecturer and broadcaster, specialising in natural history, and especially ornithology. A passionate naturalist since childhood, he has travelled extensively at home and abroad to study birds and other wildlife, and promote conservation. Raised in rural North Wales, Jonathan gained a BSc in Zoology in 1968 from Swansea University. He was elected many years ago as a Scientific Fellow of the Zoological Society of London in recognition of his services to the popularisation of zoology and in 2006 was elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London.

The many books he has written include an award-winning field guide to the birds of Britain and Ireland, The Birdwatchers’ Handbook (BBC Worldwide, 2001); with John Woodward, RSPB Pocket Birds (Dorling Kindersley, 2003 and many subsequent editions); Great Birds of Europe (Duncan Baird, 2008), with his text celebrating 200 special birds of the region accompanied by images from David Tipling and other world-class bird photographers, the innovative best-selling audio-book Birdsong (Quadrille, 2012) and John Gould: The Family of Toucans (Taschen, 2011); his books for the Natural History Museum include Birds: The Art of Ornithology, a study of ornithological art through the ages, first published in 2004 and currently in its fifth edition; The Handbook of Bird Families (2019) and Bird Biology (2024). His latest book is Ferdinand Bauer’s Remarkable Birds (Bodleian Library Publishing, 2024). He is currently writing a memoir of loss, landscape and memory. For nine years Jonathan worked closely with author Mark Cocker as specialist researcher on both Birds Britannica (Chatto & Windus, 2005) the best-selling book on the cultural history of the birds of these islands and our changing attitudes to them, and Birds and People (Jonathan Cape, 2013), which explores the same theme worldwide.

Agent: Cara Jones
Jonathan Elphick Titles