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Field Guide to Australian Birds [Paperback]

Michael Morcombe
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Steve Parish Publishing Pty Ltd; complete compact edition (1 Dec 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1740215591
  • ISBN-13: 978-1740215596
  • Product Dimensions: 22.2 x 10.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

Written and illustrated by one of Australia's most respected birding experts, Michael Morcombe. This slimline, compact edition contains the same information on mainland and Tasmanian birds as his best-selling handbook, the Field Guide to Australian Birds. Features include plastic jacket, QuickFind system of colour tags and Quick Index ensure durability and ease of use in the field.

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Field Guide Ever? 12 Jun 2009
I used this guide on my latest trip to Australia.
I used to go with the Field Guide to the Birds of Australia which is already excellent, so the fact that this guide has managed to beat that one says quite a lot!
It manages to pack an incredible amount of information into a small size.
To start with, the illustrations are brilliant, and there are always several of them for each species, showing different sexes, races, bird in flight etc. Arrows point out the key identification features. The text is truly detailed and comprehensive for a book of this size, noting size, abundance, habitat, voice, behaviour. But best of all, the maps not only show the distribution of various races clearly, using different colours for each, but even show where races overlap, and offer visual info on abundance in the various parts of the country using 3 different shades for each colour.
I could only make one tiny complaint: This book only shows distribution of each each species within Australia, so a glance at the map won't tell you which species are endemic to the country, and which ones occur in neighbouring regions like New Guinea, too. But this has no effect on its use within the country, I guess.
All in all, Morcombe sets a new standard for field guides indeed - get this book to see for yourself!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely portable field guide 24 May 2013
Verified Purchase
I had read a review that put me off by saying that some of the illustrations are not as good as other guides. They are good enough for identification in the field and the excellent maps, text, quick indexing and portability give this the edge for me.

Illustrations. These are on the same page as the text and rather than a detailed description repeating what you can see there are indicators and notes on key ID points.

Text. Describes habits and habitat, voice and status.

Maps. Show the main areas for each sub-species and the areas where they are still possible and those where the species is a vagrant. A real improvement over the solid black areas in other guides.

The quick index is aided by coloured tabs on the page edges, this greatly speeds up finding the right bit of the book.

The long and narrow format means that this guide slips easily into the leg pocket on my cargo trousers so it always close to hand.

I like this guide for the field and I have the other 3 to refer to when time allows.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must have book 12 Jan 2012
By holmsey
great book for your first trip,handy pocket size and all the help identifying that you could need,good distrbution maps and no needless information.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great practical book for non aussie birders 3 Dec 2011
Verified Purchase
As a pretty basic birder, not too hot on identification,I found this little book a gem for getting quickly first to the right species, then to the actual bird, in an unknown continent with a bewildering avian range. The whole layout is well thought out, easy to use and remarkably compact. I used a borrowed copy in Oz; I'm returning soon and would have loved to take this book with me, but Amazon don't seem too interested in stocking it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Field Guide Ever? 12 Jun 2009
By Laszlo Wagner - Published on Amazon.com
I used this guide on my latest trip to Australia.
I used to go with the Birds of Australia which is already excellent, so the fact that this guide has managed to beat that one says quite a lot!
It manages to pack an incredible amount of information into a small size.
To start with, the illustrations are brilliant, and there are always several of them for each species, showing different sexes, races, bird in flight etc. Arrows point out the key identification features. The text is truly detailed and comprehensive for a book of this size, noting size, abundance, habitat, voice, behaviour. But best of all, the maps not only show the distribution of various races clearly, using different colours for each, but even show where races overlap, and offer visual info on abundance in the various parts of the country using 3 different shades for each colour.
I could only make one tiny complaint: This book only shows distribution of each each species within Australia, so a glance at the map won't tell you which species are endemic to the country, and which ones occur in neighbouring regions like New Guinea, too. But this has no effect on its use within the country, I guess.
All in all, Morcombe sets a new standard for field guides indeed - get this book to see for yourself!
Note that while marked as out of print here, this book is still available on Amazon's UK site.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Small but comprehensive 16 Mar 2009
By S C - Published on Amazon.com
I bought this version of Australian bird guides, since it is a little bit smaller than the other in book shops. The problem is the book is not constructed in the traditional way like other guides. Because of the unorthodox organisatioi, at the first time, I feel quite worry about finding and identifying birds. But after really used it, I found it is very well organised and easy to follow. The family group plate, quick index and marking on the side of the book is very helpful to identify birds. It is very good for people who are not familiar with Australian birds like me.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very similar to Peterson's Field Guide 6 Sep 2011
By raginkestrel - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is a really good field guide to get you started. Very similar to the Peterson's Field Guide in America. Shop around, as the price for this guide varies a lot. Some sell it for as high as $120 all the way down to $60 for a new copy.
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