A very useful pointer to urban corvids too.
My short synopsis of then book is here:
The new CSIRO Australian Bird Guide is out, it has now even reached north
Queensland, after having been sighted in the UK and Japan some time earlier!
This is now the state of the art guide for Australia, being authoritative, more
or else up-to-date with IOC taxonomy (5.4 was the cut off so they seem to think
that did not include Hornbill Friarbird for some reason, I must check back as I
think it did), and with very good illustrations by 3 artists.
It's a heavy beast, it weighs more than Pizzey and Knight, so not one to slip
in the pants pocket unless you want to lose 'em.
Text is compact but good and opposite the plates, with the maps at the bottom
of the text page- this causes some issues as they are necessarily very small,
so reading and seeing which subspecies becomes hard, though it works well
enough with monotypic species or those with just a couple of taxa.
Rarities from the various offshore islands (Christmas, Cocos etc) are scattered
throughout but are not too intrusive, and do make for handy comparisons.
I found the omission of body length strange, we now have to learn how to
compute relative size by wing length, all very scientifically rigorous no doubt
but a pain in the butt in practical terms. I am sure this was discussed at
length but it will take some getting used to....
So, it's up in the same general league as the Collins Guide for European
species and the Sibley guides to North America, now the gold standard for field
guides. Well done to the authors Peter Menkhorst, Danny Rogers, Rohan Clarke
and the artists Jeff Davies, Peter Marsack and Kim Franklin.
ornithological writer/tour leader/tour facilitator
Field Guides / Sicklebill Safaris / Cassowary House / Cassowary Tours
PO Box 387
Ph: +61 7 40 937 318
Website1: http://www.sicklebillsafaris.com <http://www.sicklebillsafaris.com/>
OR www.birder.travel <http://www.birder.travel/>
Website 2: http://www.cassowary-house.com.au
Website 3: http://www.cassowarytours.com.au <http://www.cassowarytours.com.au/>
> On 8 May 2017, at 12:49 PM, John Tongue <> wrote:
> Perhaps the Corvid Table being referred to is the one on p440?
>> On 8 May 2017, at 11:24 AM, Tony Ashton <> wrote:
>> No marked diff in print intensity any pages my copy, but typography overall
>> rather jammed and layout ugly.
>> Among major mistakes, pointer from crow/raven pages to table on P410. Not
>> only no table re IDs, on 410, but no table anywhere that I can find.
>> Another letdown is lack of description and/or illustration of subspecie
>> diffs, in spite of promises otherwise beforehand.
>> Some variability in quality of artists' work also apparent.
>> Perhaps too much pre-release hype is rebounding on the reality of what is
>> overall pretty good value for money.
>> Tony Ashton
>> On Mon, May 8, 2017 at 7:55 AM, Dave Torr <> wrote:
>>> Reasons for a second edition?
>>> On 8 May 2017 at 07:12, Phil Gregory <> wrote:
>>>> This great new field guide has finally reached North Queensland, I am
>>>> impressed overall but three things struck me as odd:
>>>> 1. The decision to use wing length rather than overall length. Now this
>>>> may be scientifically rigorous and all that, but it means old dinosaurs
>>>> like me have to recalibrate relative size, and that is very hard and will
>>>> take some getting used to.
>>>> I like the weight being included, it’s great that this data is actually
>>>> available as I sure couldn’t do it for many New Guinea species, but wish
>>>> had the length to compare it with!
>>>> 2. The index is based on the first name, so when i went to look up
>>>> Shrike-tit i couldn’t find it, it’s there under Crested Shrike-tit. This
>>>> way of doing it also seems idiosyncratic.
>>>> 3, No Hornbill Friarbird, that’s an IOC species and has been for ages,
>>>> they have just about everything else but not this one. Anyone know why
>>>> that got omitted? I think they base the list on IOC 5.4 but I’m pretty
>>>> it was on that as it predates Naretha Bluebonnet for example by some
>>>> It’s a nuisance for us as we are always on about it here when it comes to
>>>> feed, and it’s not been in any of the books.
>>>> Phil Gregory
>>>> ornithological writer/tour leader/tour facilitator
>>>> Field Guides / Sicklebill Safaris / Cassowary House / Cassowary Tours
>>>> PO Box 387
>>>> QLD 4881
>>>> Ph: +61 7 40 937 318
>>>> Email: <>
>>>> Website1: http://www.sicklebillsafaris.com <http://www.sicklebillsafaris
>>>> com/> OR www.birder.travel <http://www.birder.travel/>
>>>> Website 2: http://www.cassowary-house.com.au <http://www.cassowary-house
>>>> Website 3: http://www.cassowarytours.com.au <http://www.cassowarytours.
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