Lars Svensson (ornithologist)

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Lars Gunnar Georg Svensson (born March 30, 1941 in Sweden ) is a Swedish ornithologist , graphic designer and editor and author of bird identification books. His research focus is the Palearctic avifauna .


In 1961 and 1966 Svensson was a bird ringer and keeper at the Capri ornithological station in Castello di "Barbarossa". From 1961 to 1965 he worked for the Ottenby fågelstation ( Ornithological Ottenby ) on the island of Oland . In 1964 he graduated as a graphic designer at DGI Grafiska Institutet in Stockholm. From 1971 to 1977 he was on the board of the Sveriges Ornitologiska Förening (SOF), the Swedish Ornithological Association. From 1971 to 1974 he was editor of the journal Vår Fågelvärld , the official SOF magazine. In 1972 he founded the Swedish Rarities Commission, where he was chairman from 1972 to 1987. From 1974 to 1983 he was a member of the SOF Nomenclature Commission. Svensson is both a member of the taxonomic commissions of the SOF and the BOURC (British Ornithologist's Union's Records Committee, Rarities Committee of the British Ornithologists' Union ) and the Association of European Records and Rarities Committees (Association of European avifaunistic and rarities commissions).

Svensson's ornithological interests include identification, age and sex determination, bird migration , taxonomy , nomenclature , bioacoustics, and studying international museum collections in Sweden, Denmark, England, and Russia. He is also a director of bird exploration tours and a lecturer.

Lars Svensson is the author of numerous bird guides and scientific articles. His most important standard work is Fågelguiden: Europäische och Medelhavsområdets fåglar i fält , which was first published in 1999 and a revised new edition appeared in 2010. The work, also known in specialist circles as "The Svensson Bird Guide", was created in collaboration with Peter J. Grant and the illustrators Killian Mullarney, Dan Zetterström and Larry McQueen. It has been translated into twelve languages, including German under the title Der Kosmos Vogelführer : all species of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East in 1999 and 2011. While 758 species were described and illustrated in the first edition, the number increased in the second edition in 900 ways.

Svensson described two new bird taxa, in 2013 the subspecies Sylvia cantillans iberiae of the white-bearded warbler and in 2015 the subspecies Fringilla coelebs harterti of the chaffinch . In 2008 and 2009 he wrote for the Journal of Avian Biology and the magazine BirdingAsia posts about the rediscovered between 2006 and 2008 in Thailand and Afghanistan large-billed reed warbler ( Acrocephalus orinus ).

Svensson lives with his wife, the designer Lena Rahoult , who was director of the Arkitektur- och designcentrum in Stockholm from 2009 to 2014 , in the city of Torekov in south-west Sweden.


In 1985 Svensson was made an honorary ringer of the British Trust of Ornithology . In 1994 he was awarded the Letterstetdska Författerpriset for authorship from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences . In 2004 Svensson received an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University . In the same year he became an honorary member of the Sociedad Española de Ornitología .

Works (selection)

  • with Hadoram Shirihai : Handbook of Western Palearctic Birds. Volume 1: Passerines: Larks to Warblers. 2018.
  • with Hadoram Shirihai: Handbook of Western Palearctic Birds. Volume 2: Passerines: Flycatchers to Buntings. 2018.
  • with Peter J. Grant: Fågelguiden : Europes och Medelhavsområdets fåglar i fält. Illustrations by Killian Mullarney, Dan Zetterström and Larry McQueen. 2010. (German: Der Kosmos Vogelführer: all species in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. 2011, ISBN 978-3-440-12384-3 ) (extended new edition)
  • with Jan Pedersen: Fågelsång. 2009. (German: Vogelstimmen: Our birds and their song. Translation: Einhard Bezzel . Malik Verlag, Munich 2012)
  • with Peter J. Grant: Fågelguiden : Europes och Medelhavsområdets fåglar i fält. Illustrations by Killian Mullarney, Dan Zetterström and Larry McQueen. 1999. (German: Der Kosmos Vogelführer: all species in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. 1999)
  • Collins Bird Guide. 1999. (English-language edition of Fågelguiden: Europa och Medelhavsområdets fåglar i fält )
  • with Benny Andersson and Dan Zetterström: Fågelsång i Sverige: 90 välkända fåglars lägen. 1990. (CD, cassette and book)
  • with Håkan Delin: Photographic Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe. 1988. (German: Der Kosmos-Vogelatlas: all European birds. 1989 and 1994)
  • Soviet Birds. 1984. (cassette)
  • Collins Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe. 1980.
  • as publisher: Sveriges fågler. 1978.
  • Fågellokaler i Sverige. 1972. (4th edition, 1985)
  • with Håkan Delin: The Hamlyn Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe. 1970. (revised new editions 1986 and 1992) (German: The Great BLV Bird Guide for On the Go: All Species of Europe. 2008)
  • Identification Guide to European Passerines. 1970. (New editions 1975, 1984 and 1992) (author and illustrator)
  • Bestämningsguide for vissa tittingar. 1964 (author and illustrator)


  • John E. Pemberton: Who's Who in Ornithology. Buckingham Press, 1997, ISBN 0-9514965-8-1 , p. 359.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The falcon . Volumes 47-48, Urania Verlag, 2000, p. 390.
  2. Lars Svensson, Robert Prys-Jones , Pamela C. Rasmussen , Urban Olsson: Discovery of ten new specimens of Large-billed reed warbler Acrocephalus orinus, and new insights into its distributional range. In: Journal of Avian Biology. 39 (6), 2008, pp. 605-610. doi: 10.1111 / j.1600-048X.2008.04634.x
  3. Robert J. Timmins, Naqeebullah Mostafawi, Ali Madad Rajabi, Hafizullah Noori, Stephane Ostrowski, Urban Olsson, Lars Svensson, Colin M. Poole: The discovery of Large-billed Reed Warblers Acrocephalus orinus in north-eastern Afghanistan . (PDF). In: BirdingASIA. (Oriental Bird Club) (12), 2009, pp. 42-45.
  4. Filosofie hedersdoktorer om intet annat Anges; teknologie hedersdoktorer markeras (TeknD) List of honorary doctorates from Uppsala University (Swedish)