CSIRO Publishing, September 2019. 368 pages, Octavo, paperback, black and white illustrations.
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.
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, for services to conservation and education, and is the author of A Bush Capital Year.
Jeannie Gray is a retired teacher and counsellor with a lifelong passion for the study of languages and natural history.