Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Books for bird watchers

Here are some suggested reference books for the keen birdwatcher ....

HANZAB - Handbook of Australasian New Zealand and Antarctic Birds
Seven volumes, produced by Birds Australia 1993 - 2006
This is the serious Australian birdwatcher’s bible – unfortunately $3000 + for all seven volumes, but if you can afford it you’ll never be sorry. Superbly illustrated by leading artists. The text presents all there is to know about every bird in our region,
Limited volumes available from in Melbourne.

Handbook of Western Australian Birds 
by R E Johnstone and G M Storr
Two volumes published by The Western Australian Museum. Lavishly illustrated with detailed distribution maps, habitat photographs, egg plates and text figures. The text includes all offshore islands including Ashmore Reef, Christmas Island and Cocos Keeling Island. High quality and extremely good value – available directly from the Western Australian Museum.
ISBN 0 7307 1208 7 (Volume 1)
ISBN 1 920843 11 6 (Volume 2)

The Directory of Australian Birds
- by R.Schodde and I J Mason
Volume 1 – Passerines   (Volume 2 in preparation)
A base line reference for the systematics of Australian birds. For anyone interested in birds beyond the species level, this book lists all regionally recognisable forms of Australian birds, diagnoses each of these forms for ready identification, maps the distribution and summarises the habitat of each form.
Published by CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne
ISBN 0 643 06456 7

Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds
- by Les Christides and Walter E Boles
277 Pages, includes the standard Australian bird checklist and covers the systematics and taxonomy
Published by CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne
ISBN 9780643065116

The Atlas of Australian Birds
- by M Blakers, SJJF Davies and P N Reilly
This is the first atlas published in 1984 which contains more than 700 large maps and importantly a concise text for each species with many references to the literature. An extremely useful reference.
Published by Melbourne University Press
ISBN 0 522 84285 2
Now out of print but generally available second hand for about $50 - $80.

A New Dictionary of Birds
by A Landsborough Thomson
Anything to do with birds – a classic dictionary, so detailed it is really more like an encyclopaedia.
Published by Nelson (London) in 1964, 927 pages
Still available second hand for about £20 Stg.

Reader’s Digest Complete Book of Australian Birds Second Edition
640 pages, 745 colour photographs and 654 distribution maps this is the most comprehensive and popular reference guide to Australian ornithology. If you have only one book on Australian birds, this should be it! The list of contributors reads like a whos who of Australian ornithologists.
Published by Reader’s Digest - approximately $70
ISBN 0 949819 99 9


Monographs and family treatises

Australian Parrots – 3rd edition (2003) 
- by Joseph M Forshaw. Illustrated by William Cooper
ISBN 9780958121200

The Fairy-wrens – a monograph of the Maluridae
- by Richard Schodde, illustrated by Richard Weatherley
A must-have for any Fairy-Wren or Grasswren devotee, this superb book published in 1982 by Lansdowne Editions, Melbourne is now a collectors piece.
ISBN 0 7018 1051 3 - generally available second hand for about $180

Waterfowl in Australia
- by H J Frith
The classic work on waterfowl, largely a result of studies conducted by members of the CSIRO Division of Wildlife Research.
Published in 1967 by Angus and Robertson

Pigeons and Doves of Australia
- by H J Frith
Another classic work resulting from studies by members of the CSIRO Division of Wildlife Research.
Published in 1982 by Rigby Publishers, Adelaide
ISBN 0 7270 1498 6

- by Veronica A Parry
An early account of a two year study into the social system of the Laughing Kookaburra
Published by Lansdowne Press, 1970

Kookaburra – King of the bush
- by Sarah Legge
Published by CSIRO Publishing 2004
ISBN 9780643090637

Glimpses of Paradise
- by Penny Olsen
A history of the Paradise Parrot beginning with John Gilbert’s sighting in 1844.
A superb, good value book which should be in everyone’s collection.
Published by the National Library of Australia, 2007
ISBN 9780642276520

Bowerbirds – Nature – Art – History
- by Clifford and Dawn Frith
An attractive and up to date account of all the bowerbirds in both Australia and New Guinea.
Published in 2008 by the authors, Frith & Frith P O Box 581 Malanda Q 4885
ISBN 978187643631

Fairy Wrens and Grasswrens
- by Ian Rowley and Eleanor Russel
Oxford University Press 1997
ISBN 0 19 854690 4

The Galah
- by Ian Rowley
The results of a six year long study of Galahs in W.A. by CSIRO.
Published by Surrey Beatty & Sons Pty Ltd 1990
ISBN 0 949324 27 2

Australian Finches
- by Klaus Immelman, with paintings reprinted from Neville W Cayley’s book of the same name published in 1932.
Published by Angus and Robertson, 1965

The Mallee Fowl
by H J Frith
Published by Angus and Robertson, 1962

Bird Life
by Ian Rowley
A compendium if Ian Rowley’s and other pioneering studies into bird behaviour in Australia, largely on colour-banded birds.
Published by Collins, 1975
ISBN 0 00 216436 1

Shorebirds of Australia 
- by Andrew Geering, Lindsay Agnew & Sandra Harding
Published by CSIRO Publishing, 2007
ISBN 978 0 643092 26 6

The Lyrebird
- by L H Smith
Lansdowne Press, 1968

Kingfishers and Kookaburras
by David Hollands
Published by Reed/New Holland, 1999
ISBN 1 876334 32 0

- by Matt Cameron
Insights into the ecology and conservation of cockatoos
CSIRO Publishing, 2007
ISBN 9780643092327

Australian Bustard
- by Mark Ziembicki
First complete overview of the biology of the Australian Bustard
CSIRO Publishing
ISBN 9780643096110

Mound Builders
- by Darryl Jones and Ann Goth
CSIRO Publishing, 2008
ISBN 9780643093454

Herons, Egrets and Bitterns
- by Neil McKilligan
Their biology and conservation in Australia
CSIRO Publishing, 2005
ISBN 0 643 09133 6

- by Peter Rowland
CSIRO Publishing, 2008
ISBN 9780643094208

The Handbook of Australian Sea-Birds
- by D L Serventy, Vincent Serventy and John Warham
Published by AH & AW Reed, 1971
ISBN 0 589 07079 7

Birds of the Night - Owls, Frogmouths and Nightjars of Australia
by David Hollands
A presentation of David’s superb photographs together with an informative and interesting narrative
Reed Books, 1991
ISBN 0 7301 0325 0

Nocturnal Birds of Australia
- by Richard Schodde and Ian Mason. Illustrated by Jeremy Boot.
A limited edition book with superb illustrations
Lansdowne Editions, 1980, Melbourne

Hawks in Focus
- by Jack Cupper and Lindsay Cupper
Excellent photographs and an interesting narrative
Published by Jacklin Enterprises Mildura, 1981
ISBN 0 9593975 0 7

The Black Robin
- by David Butler and Don Merton
The story of saving the world’s most endangered bird.
Oxford University Press Auckland, 1992
ISBN 0 19 538260 8

Bird song
- by Catchpole and Slater
The latest authoritative text on the subject
ISBN 978 – 0 521 87242 3


Books on bird photography

The Art of Bird Photography
- by Arthur Morris
A complete guide to professional field techniques with superb supporting photographs
Published by Amphoto Books New York, 1998
ISBN 0 8174 3303 1

Masterpieces of Australian Bird Photography
- by Peter Slater
A selection of photographs and biographical notes on some of Australia’s most outstanding bird photographers over the years.
Rigby Publishers Adelaide, 1980
ISBN 0 7270 1164 2

Exposing Nature
by Frank Greenaway
A Guide to wildlife Photography – Superb photographs from around the world
CSIRO Publishing, 2006
ISBN 0 643 09290 0


Field Guides

The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds
by Peter Slater, Pat Slater and Raoul Slater.
My favourite field guide.
Reed New Holland, 2009
ISBN  9781877069635

Field Guide to the Birds of Australia (Eighth Edition)
Graham Pizzey and Frank Knight
Harper Collins, 2007
ISBN 9780207199356

Field Guide to the Birds of Australia (Eighth Edition)
by Ken Simpson and  Nick Day
ISBN 9780670072316

Field Guide to Australian Birds
by Michael Morcombe
Steve Parish Publishing
ISBN 1 876282 10X

Birds of the Greater South-west Western Australia
by Simon Nevill
A photographic field guide to the birds of SWA with detailed texts and excellent "where to find" sections.
Simon Nevill Publications,  2008
ISBN 978-0-9803481-2-5