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Birds of Australia: Eighth Edition (Princeton Field Guides) Flexibound – July 26, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This field guide's gorgeous new edition will whet your appetite for a trip down under. It covers all 780 of the continent's birds. For each species, you'll find authoritative text, range maps, and color illustrations. More than 900 black-and-white sketches--depicting nests, chicks, face patterns, bill profiles, flight styles, and more--accompany many accounts."--Birder's World

"All readers, whether beginning or experienced birdwatchers, ornithologists, students, or travelers, will find Birds of Australia an unrivaled companion for discovering the unique birdlife of this remarkable continent."--Ian Paulsen, Birdbooker Report

"Top-notch visual presentation, layout, and informational content, with a terrific size and durability for field use, this is a guide I'd recommend to any birder, as well as any birder visiting Australia."--Terry Sohl, Bird's Eye View

"An innovative example of a field guide. . . . [W]hat sets this book apart is its superb scheme of organization."--William P. Mueller, Bluebird's Laugh

"The Eighth Edition of Simpson and Day's guide to Australian birds performs the basic function of illustrating and describing Australian birds wonderfully well. When you think about all the information that this single volume contains; starting with the vast collective effort of birdwatchers paid and unpaid, decisions about what to include and what to leave out, and most importantly: drawing the pictures; it truly is a wonderful piece of work."--Adam Leavesley, Emu

"All-in-all this is an excellent guide and I look forward to giving mine a good field test in the near future."--Cyndi M. Smith, Canadian Field-Naturalist

"[O]verall, this is a very nice field guide to Australia and I highly recommend it. . . . The habitat information, something that's lacking in other Aussie guides, is worth the purchase by itself."--Michael Retter, South Dakota Bird Notes

About the Author

Ken Simpson is a well-known Australian birder and coauthor of "Birdwatching in Australia and New Zealand". He is a recipient of the Australian Natural History Medallion. Nicolas Day is a full-time wildlife artist and teacher. He exhibits regularly in galleries in Victoria, and his work has appeared in other books, including "Birds of the Solomons, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia".
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Product Details

  • Series: Princeton Field Guides
  • Flexibound: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Eighth edition (July 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691146926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691146928
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #701,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By P. Reese on August 25, 2010
Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
Fist, the good points. The price is right. Not overly expensive. Size of the book is very good. Not too large. Has a quick index to the bird families in both the front and the back. Index of common names is separate from index of scientific names. The print size in the index is large enough to see clearly. The book has a breeding month chart in the back for the breeding birds. A very nice addition I have not seen in any other bird book. Also has a glossary of birding terms used in the text. Text and map of range is opposite the picture of the bird. Commonality of the bird is shown clearly to the right of the bird name and whether it is endemic with a symbol indicating migratory movement. There is a series of check boxes by the bird names to check the bird off when you see it. First time I have seen that feature also. Vagrants are shown separately in the back.

Now for my main gripe. Some of the illustrations are of poses that do not show the features of the bird clearly. It appear the illustrator was more interested in showing his artistic ability than in properly illustrating the bird in question so that one might be able to see the identifying features. Now, there are not a lot of these done that way, maybe no more than 5%. Females illustrated posed behind the males, some posed facing the viewer so that the profile can not be seen (most common criticism). Final gripe. Dimensions are given only in centimeters. Sort of difficult for non-cm users to arrive at a size that is meaningful. I had to convert and hand write the size in inches.
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I choose this guidebook by checking from books' update version and customer comments, that seem to mentioned it on a positive way. That's why I had highly expect for its quality, the picture in this book is large & clear, has identified arrow for each species that help a lot when using in the field, information about subspecies in Australia, detail of biomes, migration, breeding season is excellence, maps is o.k. But many necessarily details are overlooked;
-Firstly, this book doesn't focus on Australian islands such as, Load Howe, Christmas, has only species list in these areas, which no picture and identified information.
-Unacceptable weakness are, no picture for some new-discovered species that able to identified by your bare-eye and some distinctive subspecies (like, Cape York brush-turkey), not show for some important plumage pictures; like, male of southern cassowary, adult plumage of royal penguin
-There has some line drawing pictures on opposite of species plate as supplement part, but not much help because it's not painting picture.
Sadly, I ever seen other Australian bird guide before, although it is not latest information update but it has more cover information than this guide. Dear tourists who want to have a backpack traveling in Australia and its territories, and looking for a cover information bird guide, please thinking before you buy this book.
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Even though I'm unable to use this field guide for its intended purpose, but also makes most interesting reading as is especially for me a hobby artist and bird lover who is curious about the fauna of Australia. An incredible number of illustrations and facts as one would expect from a field guide, a good buy!
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I liked this guide on a recent trip to Sydney. Its primary useful features are having pictures, maps, and description viewable without turning pages. The only improvements I can think of would be arrangement of the birds in the same order as the text and listing similar species and differences between them.
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Format: Flexibound
Although I liked this book, I didn't like that it was only available flexibound! the paper cover was in bad condition, a little ripped, scratched, and bent. The real cover is solid blue, so I was unsure whether to take the paper cover off or not. I also feel that most information and pictures are very useful, but the book is rather confusing, since the color plates end on page 281 of 381. The rest is all breeding information, like nest, eggs, care, and description of the nestlings, which could have been put into the color plates with the other information. Other than that, I found the book very useful and it will be put to use when I go to Australia.
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A bit large to carry in the field. Otherwise very satisfied. I like that firds are depicted in naturalistic poses in appropriate habitat. Lots of useful information re habitats, distribution, etc for newcomer to Australia.
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I used the book daily on a 3-week bird photo trip that began in Darwin and ended in Tasmania. The book filled all my expectations: durable plastic cover, relatively compact, one-page index for quick searches, and illustrations of birds in their natural habitat. I was able to identify every bird I photographed (200 species).
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This book was used constantly while we were on holiday in New South Wales. The text, descriptions and illustrations were extremely useful in assisting in the identification of the several species of birds - new to us.
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