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Field Guide to the Birds of Australia - Nicolas Day

Field Guide to the Birds of Australia

Paperback Published: 9th January 2019
ISBN: 9780670072316
Number Of Pages: 392

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Since it was first published in 1984, Simpson & Day's Field Guide to the Birds of Australia has been one of the most - if not the most - respected bird guide in the country. It has sold over 500 000 copies. The guide contains 132 superb full-colour plates showing all Australian bird species; key points of identification using the latest classification system; distribution maps for all species; over 900 black and white line illustrations; breeding information; a vagrant bird bulletin; a core library list; and easy-to-use indexes. This eighth edition has been revised and updated, including some beautiful new plates.


Welcome to our eighth edition. The radical changes in our seventh edition resulted in a thinner, lighter book, within the framework of a more traditional field guide. We have retained this structure, but throughout the book we have again revised the Family and species names in line with considerable, accelerating, genetic research. We have also revised many field descriptions and distribution maps.

Family sequence in this book is consistent with previous editions. The new taxonomic associations of the bird families are significant and follow the authorities used in our previous editions. However, because this research has now altered the fundamental organisation within the evolution of birds, it has not been possible, nor practical, to express this new understanding in the layout of our book. We have therefore followed our previous structure, save for adopting the nomenclature and incorporating minor adjustments to the Key to families section.

Field Information We have therefore chosen once again to present the Ostrich, Cassowary, Emu and mound­-building birds first, then true quails, introduced pheasants and button-quails, followed by all birds associated with marine and aquatic environments. Australia's non-passerine land-dwelling birds then follow. The passerines (perching or songbirds), in all their variety, round out the field information.

Distribution maps Our maps continue to set the standard for Australian field guides. They contain a wealth of information and are worth studying in detail when looking for breeding, non-breeding and wintering areas of Australia's many migrants and nomads (see Codes used in this book, p. x). The map captions list the majority of known subspecies (races), and their distribution is indicated on the maps, especially for the passerines. This will aid you in the interpretation of the variations in plumage and song dialects, which are well worth studying and recording to add interest to your birding. The boundaries on distribution maps always show indications rather than certainties. When floods or drought override the average weather conditions, some birds may move very long distances to breed, or to avoid starvation.

Line drawings Over 900 black and white illustrations provide extra information useful for identification in the field. In the eighth edition, 80 new line drawings have been added.

Vagrant bird bulletin This section discusses the vagrants, waifs, strays and overshoots which reach our shores and adjacent islands from overseas sources, and separates them from the residents and more frequent visitors. We think it is useful for beginners if the rarely seen vagrants are separated in this way. This section is ever-expanding as records of rarities increase. As sightings of some species grow in number, we may be able to place them on the main plates. In the eighth edition, the VBB contains descriptions and illustrations for 85 species.

Australian island territories checklists These are intended to give the best possible picture of what birds may be seen (or anticipated) should you visit any of these major islands, but with increasing numbers of visitors, these lists are expected to grow in the future. Several new birds for Australia are included in the various checklists (coded for each island). which include Norfolk, Lord Howe, Cocos-Keeling and Christmas islands; Boigu, Saibai and Duan islands in Torres Strait off northern Queensland; and the subantarctic Heard and Macquarie islands.

Endpapers In this edition, another page of drawings has been added to assist in identifying beach-washed birds. Remember that in the endpapers, the blue (not the white) surface on which the beaks are printed is waterproof - you can wipe off any undesirable fluids after testing your latest beach-washed seabird. Or rest your ice-cream there, when you are birding on a hot day.

Ken Simpson, Nicolas Day and Peter Trusler
January 2010

ISBN: 9780670072316
ISBN-10: 0670072311
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 392
Published: 9th January 2019
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 22.2 x 15.8  x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.85
Edition Number: 1
Edition Type: Revised

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