Re: RFI: 20thC Australian bird books

To: <>
Subject: Re: RFI: 20thC Australian bird books
From: "Peter Woodall" <>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 12:51:23 +1000
Just a couple of comments on this.

Virtually all books are out of date (in some respect) as soon as they
are published.  Nevertheless, HANZAB is a tremendous source of
information about our avifauna and it will be many, many years before it
is replaced.

...and just because a book is old has never stopped me trying to get it
but then I'm addicted to collecting books!


-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Paul Jacobson
Sent: Thursday, 15 March 2007 12:09 PM
To: Robert Inglis
Cc: birding-aus
Subject: Re: RFI: 20thC Australian bird books

Even the earliest HANZAB is some 15-20 years newer than say "Birds of
Australia" or the two volume Slater, so I wasn't intending to dismiss
the series with my somewhat tongue in check comment about last century.

That said I have come across a comment made by Don Roberson claiming
that Volume One was out-of-date at publication. It seems fairly
uncharitable to dismiss the entire volume on the basis of updated
information being published on some of the petrels. For the record
I've appended the comment and a link to the site it is taken from.


"There is a handbook series on-going (Marchant & Higgins 1991 et al.)
entitled Handbook of Australian, New Zealand, and Antarctic Birds. It
is modeled closely after the Birds of the Western Palearctic (Cramp &
Simmons 1978 et al.), published by the same publisher, and of the
same general high quality. Alas, the first volume appeared in 1991
and therefore just missed incorporating all the new identification &
distributional information on small Pterodroma petrels published by
me and others (Roberson & Bailey 1991, Spear et al. 1992). Since many
of these originate in New Zealand or vicinity, the first volume was
immediately out-of-date when it appeared. I admit it turned me off to
read numerous errors in the Pterodroma sections, and I ended up not
buying this set (it is also incredible expensive, even for a
handbook). I have used other folk's copies for research since,
though, and the more recent volumes seem quite good."

(1991 Cookilaria petrels in the eastern Pacific Ocean: Identification
and distribution. Part I: Am. Birds 45: 399-403. Part II: Am. Birds
45: 1067-1081; as senior author with Stephen F. Bailey.)

On 15/03/2007, at 12:38 PM, Robert Inglis wrote:

> I just thought I would point out that half the volumes in HANZAB
> were published last century.
> Volume I was published in 1990.
> I will leave it to others to decide if the information therein is
> "out of date" or still relevant but my set will be remaining within
> easy reach for the foreseeable future.
> Cheers
> Bob Inglis
> Sandstone Point
> Qld

Paul Jacobson

mob: 0434 534 161

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