Directory of Australian Birds: Passerines

eBook - October 1999 - eRetailers Kobo

Fills a huge gap in ornithological knowledge by separating out and listing 340 species of song-birds.

Recent classifications of Australian birds have been limited to lists of "species" which are inadequate as biodiversity indicators. The Directory of Australian Birds: Passerines fills a huge gap in ornithological knowledge by separating out and listing not only 340 species of song-birds but also the 720 distinct regional forms. + Full description

Covering about half the national bird fauna, the Directory provides science and the community with baseline information about what bird it is and where it lives in an Australia-wide context. Identity is taken down to the level of distinct regional population. No other compendium on Australian birds does this.

- Short description


No longer available in a print edition.


"This work represents a wonderful advance in our knowledge of Australian birds which have never been so carefully treated."
Professor Walter Bock, Professor of Evolutionary Biology, Columbia University, New York, and President-elect, 23rd International Ornithological Congress

"It should be held in every university, museum, bird club and public library. It is a landmark reference book, the first to cover all variation in Australian songbirds since Gregory Mathews' pioneer work (Mathews 1910-1927). . .It is therefore an essential tool for ornithologists. . . I congratulate the authors on the huge amount of research they have undertaken, and for addressing a desperate need for information on regional differentiation in Australian songbirds."
Philippa Horton (South Australian Ornithologist Vol. 33)

“Although an outstanding reference work for anyone with slightest interest in the Australian avifauna, I can recommend it to everyone from bird watchers and conservation specialists to scientific ornithologists in all fields as the baseline for the systematics and distribution of Australian passerines. Richard Schodde and Ian Mason are to be congratulated for their several decades of hard work collecting the data needed to write this volume and for producing such as outstanding work.”
Walter J. Bock, Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University (Auk 117(3) July 2000)

“The Directory is quite simply the most detailed work describing the morphology of Australian bird species and sup-species that has yet emerged. All students of the Australian avifauna will need to consult it.”
John Leonard (British Birds 93:407 August 2000)

‘… the authors have presented a solid and extensive foundation for future work in these aspects of Australian ornithology and an invaluable basis for considerations about bird conservation in this country.’
Walter E. Boles, Australian Museum (Nature Australia Summer 2000-2001)

“It is essential reading for ornithologists and those concerned with the conservation of Australian birds.”
Stephen Debus (Australian Bird Watcher, v.18(8) December 2000)

"“This comprehensive and beautifully produced checklist catalogs all the Australian passerine bird species, providing large-scale maps, designation of main habitat categories, and major geographic forms. The layout and descriptions are a delight to see and the contents are highly accessible. … CSIRO and the authors are to be congratulated on this outstanding work."
Allen Keast, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada (The Quarterly Review of Biology, v.76 no.1 Mar 2001)

“This Directory will be a must for any library or individual seriously interested in the birds of Australia and their conservation.”
Tim Crowe, Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch (Ostrich, 71(3&4) Sep 2000)

“As usual with CSIRO publications, content is detailed, comprehensive and accurate and presentation excellent. Without doubt, this large and comprehensive handbook will be referred to for many years to come.”
Andrew Bennett (Ibis 144, 2002)

"… a detailed reference work of lasting importance, this volume should be on the shelf of every personal and institutional library. Avian systematists and bioresource managers, especially Australian professionals, will find it indispensable for decades.
Ned K. Johnson, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, USA
(The Condor 103: 200-202, 2001)


ePDF | October 1999
ISBN: 9780643100862
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • lists all regionally recognisable forms of Australian birds
  • diagnoses each of these forms for ready identification
  • maps the distribution and summarises the habitat of each form
  • assesses the conservation status of each form
  • pinpoints centres of diversity and endemism



Rationale – the Ultrataxon Concept
Taxonomic Definitions and Concepts
English Names
Format of Text
Vagrants and Introductions
Closing Date
General Abbreviations
The Families of Australian Perching Birds

The Major Groups
Circumscription and Criteria
  • Conspectus of Species and Ultrataxa
    (with official numbers and conservation status)
  • Checklist of New and Re-circumscribed Taxa
  • Newly Described Subfamilies
  • Newly Described Subgenera
  • Newly Described Ultrataxa
  • Re-combined Species
  • Re- or Newly-split Species
  • Newly Added Species
  • The Taxa
Family PITTIDAE, Pittas
Family MENURIDAE, Lyrebirds
Family ATRICHORNITHIDAE, Scrub-birds
Family CLIMACTERIDAE, Treecreepers
Family MALURIDAE, Fairy-wrens and Grasswrens
Family PARDALOTIDAE, Pardalotes
Family ACANTHIZIDAE, Scrubwrens, Thornbills
and allies
Family MELIPHAGIDAE, Honeyeaters and
Australian Chats

Family PETROICIDAE, Australasian Robins
Family ORTHONYCHIDAE, Logrunners
Family POMATOSTOMIDAE, Australasian Babblers
Family EUPETIDAE, Whipbirds, Quail-thrushes and Jewel-babblers
Family NEOSITTIDAE, Sittellas
Family PACHYCEPHALIDAE, Whistlers, Shrike-thrushes and allies
Family DICRURIDAE, Fantails, Drongos and Monarchs
Family PARADISAEIDAE, Birds-of-Paradise
Family ARTAMIDAE, Butcherbirds, Currawongs and Woodswallows
Family CAMPEPHAGIDAE, Cuckoo-shrikes, Trillers and Minivets
Family ORIOLIDAE, Old World Orioles and Figbirds
Family CORVIDAE, Crows and Jays
Family CORCORACIDAE, Australian Mudnesters
Family MUSCICAPIDAE, Old World Flycatchers and Thrushes
Family STURNIDAE, Starlings and Mynas
Family HIRUNDINIDAE, Swallows and Martins
Family PYCNONOTIDAE, Bulbuls
Family ZOSTEROPIDAE, White-eyes
Family SYLVIIDAE, Old World Warblers
Family ALAUDIDAE, Larks
Family DICAEIDAE, Flowerpeckers
Family NECTARINIIDAE, Sunbirds and Spiderhunters
Family PASSERIDAE, Old World Sparrows
Family MOTACILLIDAE, Pipits and Wagtails
Family ESTRILDIDAE, Grass Finches
Family FRINGILLIDAE, Old World Finches
Supplementary List – VAGRANTS
Geographical, Ecological and Geological Time-Scale Terms
Taxonomic, Phylogenetic, Genetic, Methodological, Conceptual and General Biological Terms
Morphological, Osteological, Anatomical and Related Terms
Index of Scientific Terms
Index of Common Names