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This second edition of Australian Bird Names is a completely updated checklist of Australian birds and the meanings behind their common and scientific names, which may be useful, useless or downright misleading!
For each species, the authors examine the many-and-varied common names and full scientific name, with derivation, translation and a guide to pronunciation. Stories behind the name are included, as well as relevant aspects of biology, conservation and history. Original descriptions, translated by the authors, have been sourced for many species.
As well as being a book about names, this is a book about the history of the ever-developing understanding of birds, about the people who contributed to this understanding and, most of all, about the birds themselves. This second edition has been revised to follow current taxonomy and understanding of the relationships between families, genera and species. It contains new taxa, updated text and new vagrants and will be interesting reading for anyone with a love of birds, words or the history of Australian biology and bird-watching.
Introduction to the First Edition
Introduction to the Second Edition
Index of common names
Index of scientific names
Ian Fraser is a naturalist, conservationist, author, ABC broadcaster, natural history tour guide, environmental consultant and adult educator, who has lived and worked in Canberra since 1980. He was awarded the Australian Natural History Medallion in 2006 and a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2018 for services to conservation and the environment, and is the author of A Bush Capital Year and Birds in Their Habitats.
Jeannie Gray is a retired teacher and counsellor with a lifelong passion for the study of languages and natural history.
"The authors examine every Australian species: its often many-and-varied common names, its full scientific name, with derivation, translation and a guide to pronunciation. Pricey for what it is unless you have a particular interest in the derivation and etiology of Australian bird names."
- BTO book reviews
"[...] These few shortcomings do not detract from the overall quality of the book and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in the birds of Australia. Because the country’s bird list contains many Palaearctic and Asiatic migrants, it should also appeal to a much wider audience."
- Richard Mearns, Ibis 156, 2014