Simpson & Day's Australian Field Guide, 5th Edition

To: (birding-aus posts)
Subject: Simpson & Day's Australian Field Guide, 5th Edition
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 96 22:08:26 +1000
Hello all

I have been off the list for a few months so apologise if this matter has 
already been discussed.

Viking (Penguin Books)  have recently published Simpson & Day's 5th edition of 
their Field Guide to the Birds of Australia; on the reverse title page the year 
of publication is given as 1996.  The authors state that it contains major 

begin quote
For this fifth edition we have replaced 10 colour plates and modified two 
others, making many improvements and adding more images, particularly of 
younger birds.  Field information text entries have been rewritten or modified 
for a third of the species.  Some 154 extra or replacement black-and-white 
drawings are included.  There are changes to 180 distribution maps.
end quote

They go on to explain how the book now follows (in the main) Christidis & 
Boles' checklist and English names;  codes for relative abundance and 
sedentaryness/nomadism are included;  new species added;  and the Handbook 
updated and restructured to follow Christidis & Boles' families.

The book is visually delightful and (as in the previous edition) well made:  it 
is a beautiful example of the book designer's craft.

The previous editions were criticised by some people for errors in text and 
distribution maps, and some poor illustrations.  Has anyone looked closely at  
this new 5th edition and formed a judgement on it?  I, for one, find it 
excellent, and would probably now recommend it, over the Slater guide, to a new 
birder who wanted two books in one, and was willing to cart it around.  But I 
continue to prefer Slater as a field guide, leaving Simpson & Day in the car 
for reference, since half of it (the Handbook) just isn't field guide material.

David McDonald                  Voice:        +61-6-231 8904 (home)
PO Box 1355             Voice:        +61-6-260 9231 (work)
WODEN  ACT  2606        Facsimile:   +61-6-260 9201 (work)
AUSTRALIA               E-mail:       (home)
                        E-mail:  (work)

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