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People all over Britain and Europe have long welcomed the arrival of swifts and swallows as a promise of summer being just around the corner. And with their similar long wings and dashing ight, it is perhaps understandable that we often confuse the two birds. After all, they have much in common: both feed on ying insects, both breed around buildings, and both are long-distance migrants that spend winter in Africa. But appearances can be deceptive. Swifts and swallows are completely unrelated birds that have adapted through evolution to survive in similar ways. In Spotlight: Swifts and Swallows, Mike Unwin reveals their fascinating lifestyles, explains how and why they have acquired their similarities, and suggests ways in which we can help protect them. The Spotlight series introduces readers to the lives and behaviour of our favourite animals with eye-catching colour photography and informative expert text.
Mike Unwin is the author of more than 30 books for both adults and children, including the RSPB Bird Encyclopedia, RSPB Spotlight: Eagles and A Parliament of Owls. A specialist in natural history and travel, he writes regularly for numerous publications, including The Independent, The Telegraph, BBC Wildlife and RSPB Nature’s Home. Mike was voted UK Travel Writer of the Year 2013 by the British Guild of Travel Writers.
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