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The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia Paperback – 30 Jul 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Australia (30 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0207198217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0207198212
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 37.3 x 3.4 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,155,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"If you carry only one field guide [to Australia], take the Pizzey."--American Birds

"If you are planning to go to Australia, you must take this book!... For those who plan to stay behind, I recommend this book.... The birds are presented in a familiar, matter-of-fact format and ... their splendor comes through."--Florida Naturalist --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
The standard bird field guide for australia 20 Jun 2006
By Damon Andrew Ramsey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As with any bird watcher, I have all the field guides to the birds of Australia. There are many and they are all good. However, my favourite (for the last few years...it does change with different editions, etc), is this, the "Pizzey and Knight". As a biology and wildlife based guide and educator in Australia, I travel all over the continent with school groups, tours and for my own recreation, so I 'road test" a lot of different field guides. I have found the illustrations in this book to consistently be the best, especially with the waders and shorebirds where it is most important. It also covers the family groups very well at the end of the book, which is important to gain a wider perspective on our bird fauna.
Damon Ramsey
Author, "Ecosystem Guides Rainforest of tropical Australia"
[...]
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
An essential 9 Nov 2006
By Bruce Ramsay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
There are quite a number of Australian Bird field guides these days. they all have merit. This one is right up there with the best and is an indispensible, easy to use essential. The Family summaries and short summary of classifications are succinct and informative - they certainly whet the appetite to learn more if the user is so inclined.

I have used Pizzey extensively ever since the first edition in 1981 (illustrations were then done by Roy Doyle). I actually preferred that first edition but it is now long out of print and this seventh edition is a worthy successor. The illustrations are sound and do help identification. The book is too large to fit in a pocket for a field trip but is certainly packable and although I do not use it in the field, it seems robust enough in construction to handle that if the user wished it.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Quality, thick field guide with good plates and text 1 Nov 2008
By Jack Holloway - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
THE BASICS:
softcover, 7th edition; over 2,500 color illustrations of very good quality show the 780+ species found in the country; male, female, breeding, non-breeding, and some immature plumages are shown along with some subspecies; a range map is provided for each species; text for each bird covers description, voice, habitat, range, and breeding with just a little less supplied on identification as in other contemporary guides

THE REVIEW:
This 7th edition is dramatically improved over the book's first edition created more than two decades earlier. This field guide for all of Australia's birds is definitely in the top three books available for the country. It is also the thickest of the three which is a trade-off for allowing plates with larger illustrations and a more organized appearance.

The plates are of very good quality, color, and detail. Compared to the other two field guides, these plates are cleaner and less congested since fewer birds have been crammed into the plates. The plates contain 2-5 species each with anywhere from 5-20 different illustrations. Most of the plates contain only 5-10 illustrations, which makes them less busy than the other books. The various plumages of the genders, ages, races, and subspecies are illustrated very well. My only tiny critique is the birds sometimes look just a little too dark, but nothing that is too distracting or misleading for their identification.

The text, which is adjacent to the plate, consists of a long paragraph containing information on description, voice, habitat, breeding, nests and eggs, and range and status. There is less information to describe and to help identify the birds than I would like to see. I would gladly sacrifice the nest/egg information to expand the identification material to help compare the bird against similar species. Although still good, I think the identification text in the book is not as strong as the material found in the two other similar books (Morcombe and Simpson & Day).

The range maps use a single color to outline the bird's distribution in the country. For a few of the birds that have irruptive patterns, lighter shading is used to define the potential boundary of their dispersal.

This is a great book for use anywhere in Australia. Its quality is on par with two other books by Simpson & Day and by Morcombe. Any of these books will work just as well. My personal leaning is towards the other two books. -- (written by Jack at Avian Review with sample pages, October 2008)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
It worked very well for me 31 Oct 2009
By RH - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book and birded Australia for a month with it. This was my only field guide and it worked very well. It has excellent illustrations and very helpful range maps. However, I have not seen another Australian field guide. I recommend this book.
Beware of unscrupulous sellers of 1980 edition! 15 July 2013
By Amy M. Christel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
My daughter received a gift from her grandmother, who thought she was purchasing the 1987 edition, when instead the marketplace seller sent the 1980 edition, with all the plates in one section, half in black and white only, and no descriptive information on the same page or facing page. This format is useless in the field. The seller said the book was new and charged close to $100, but instead the book reeks of cigarette smoke and mildew.

We are hoping for a full refund and will return this book. If there is a way to corroborate the edition and copywright date with the seller before ordering, I'd do that.
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