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Pigeons and Doves in Australia

Art / PhotobookFlora / Fauna
  • Unique work of reference by two of Australia’s leading authorities
  • Outstanding artwork

By: Joseph M Forshaw(Author), William T Cooper(Illustrator), Stephen Davies(Foreword By)

332 pages, colour & b/w illustrations, colour distribution maps, 34 tables


Hardback | May 2015 [2015 reprint] | #198107 | ISBN-13: 9780643096332
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £185.00 $238/€202 approx

About this book

This is a reprint that uses a heavier paper stock and includes an In Memorium celebrating the life of artist William T. Cooper (1934-2015).

Possibly the most successful urban birds, pigeons and doves in the Order Columbiformes are one of the most easily recognised groups. They are an ancient and very successful group with an almost worldwide distribution and are most strongly represented in tropical and subtropical regions, including Australia. In most species simple plumage patterns feature mainly grey and brown with black, white or dull reddish markings, but the highly colourful fruit-doves include some of the most beautiful of all birds.

From dense rainforests of north Queensland, where brilliantly plumaged Superb Fruit-Doves Ptilinopus superbus are heard more easily than seen, to cold, windswept heathlands of Tasmania, where Brush Bronzewings Phaps elegans are locally common, most regions of Australia are frequented by one or more species. For more than a century after arrival of the First Fleet, interest in these birds focused on the eating qualities of larger species. In addition to contributing to declines of local populations in some parts of Australia, excessive hunting brought about the extinction of two species on Lord Howe Island and another species on Norfolk Island.

In Pigeons and Doves of Australia, Joseph Forshaw and William Cooper have summarised our current knowledge of all species, including those occurring on Christmas, Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands, and with superb artwork have given readers a visual appreciation of the birds in their natural habitats. Historical accounts of extinct species are also included. Detailed information on management practices for all species is presented, ensuring that Pigeons and Doves in Australia will become the standard reference work on these birds for ornithologists and aviculturists.

"[...] Australia is often dubbed ‘The Land of the Parrot’. This book, coming after three editions of Australian Parrots by Forshaw and Cooper, is a wonderful reminder of the unique, beautiful, and diverse pigeons and doves that can also be found throughout the continent. The book is also particularly well balanced, combining science with historical and contemporary observations, and beautiful illustrations. Pigeons and Doves in Australia is a magnificent work that will be a cherished addition to any ornithological library collection."
– Damien Farine, Ibis (158), 2016


Australian pigeons and doves in aviculture

Tribe MACROPYGIINI Bonaparte
Tribe PHABINI Bonaparte

Appendix: Vagrants

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Joseph M. Forshaw is one of Australia’s foremost ornithologists. Prior to his retirement, he held a senior position with the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service. He is a Research Associate in the Department of Ornithology at the Australian Museum, Sydney, and is a Corresponding Fellow of the American Ornithologists Union. In 1977 he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal for his services to ornithology and conservation. It was in the early 1960s, while working as a biologist with the then CSIRO Division of Wildlife Research, that he turned a lifelong fascination with birds into a serious academic interest, and his efforts were rewarded in 1964 when he was granted a Frank M. Chapman Memorial Fellowship by the American Museum of Natural History to study specimens of Australian parrots in collections at that institution. In partnership with the eminent Australian bird artist William Cooper, he has produced a number of widely acclaimed books.

The late William T. Cooper AO was Australia’s leading natural history artist. In collaboration with Joseph Forshaw, he illustrated several ornithological books including Parrots of the World, The Birds of Paradise and Bower Birds, Australian Parrots, Kingfishers and Related Birds and Turacos. In 1990 he was awarded the Philadelphia Academy of Science (USA) Gold Medal, and in 1994 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for his contribution to art and to ornithology. In 2014 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the Australian National University. A collection of Cooper’s original paintings is owned by the National Library of Australia, another two collections are owned by the State Library of NSW (Mitchell Library), and many others are in private collections around the world.

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