RFI: 20thC Australian bird books

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: RFI: 20thC Australian bird books
From: Andrew Hobbs <>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 17:28:11 +0900

This doesn't answer your question but may be useful. One internet site which I have found to be of value in trying to find older books or finding how much they would cost, is

Unfortunately it won't tell you whether they have ornithological value.



Paul Jacobson wrote:
Hi All,

I've been browsing a few local second hand book shops, and was curious about the value of some of the older Australian bird books.

My inital impression is that many are of historical value only. On cursory examination the two volume Slater "A Field Guide to Australian Birds" and "What Bird Is That?" seem to fall into this category.

Several other books looked to be worth further consideration: H. J. Firth's "Waterfowl in Australia" looked pretty interesting, but seemed to be from the late 60's, so I was unsure of it's value as a contemporary reference. One tome that really caught my eye was J. D. MacDonald's "Birds of Australia" which looked to be quite interesting. Peter Slater's detail drawings were better than anything I've seen in the current crop of field guides, and I'm very tempted to buy this volume on that basis alone.

I'm curious if anyone has any recommendations on which volumes published last century are still worth adding to a new birders library.


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