The Australian Bird Guide
The most comprehensive and beautifully illustrated field guide to Australia’s unique birdlife.
Australia’s avifauna is large, diverse and spectacular, reflecting the continent’s impressive range of habitats and evolutionary history. With specially commissioned paintings of over 900 species, The Australian Bird Guide is the most comprehensive field guide to Australian birds ever seen. + Full description
The guide features around 4700 colour illustrations, with particular emphasis on providing the fine detail required to identify difficult groups and distinctive plumages. Comprehensive species accounts have been written by a dedicated team of ornithologists to ensure identification details, distribution and status are current and accurate.
The Australian Bird Guide sets a new standard in field guides, providing an indispensable reference for all birders and naturalists looking to explore Australia’s magnificent and unique birdlife.- Short description
The Australian Bird Guide sets a new standard in field guides, providing an indispensable reference for all birders and naturalists looking to explore Australia’s magnificent and unique birdlife.
Sample pages are available to view here: (PDF 4.23MB).
Follow hashtag #ausbirdguide on social media.This title is available in North and South America through Princeton University Press and in Europe through Bloomsbury Publishing.
View the media release for The Australian Bird Guide (PDF)
"the plates are exceptionally good, and of high quality throughout. Postures and aspects are well chosen to illustrate salient features and in the main, the colours are true to life. The species accounts are also extremely good... When not lying open on my desk, my copy of this invaluable tome will reside on that special bookshelf reserved for those frequently consulted books that I need to reach easily and frequently — a treatise that I will be able to quote with confidence knowing that it will quickly become 'the authority' on the occurrence and identification of Australian birds."
Mike Carter, Australian Birdlife, June 2017, pp. 80-81
"Birds are illustrated in poses that best highlight diagnostic features. Seabirds are depicted almost exclusively in flight, precisely as most will encounter them at sea. The text is detailed without being too over-the-top, featuring all of the expected information and including helpful notes on recent taxonomic changes, distributional information that might be too granular to identify on the maps, and behavioural notes which might assist finding the bird and separating it from confusing species. The maps are clear and show all subspecies."
Chris Watson, Australian Birdlife, June 2017, p. 81
"Complemented by the engaging and inclusive text, the artwork will succeed in helping novices identify species, while still allowing the fully-fledged birder to identify subspecies, sex and age... A brilliant guide with sublime illustrations, I hope The Australian Bird Guide finds its way into plenty of car sear pockets, for the next generation of bird and nature lovers to find and fall in love with."
Catherine Cavallo, Australian Birdlife, June 2017, pp. 81-82
"The illustrations are amazing. Each is the purest and most accurate depiction of a species possible: the absolute platonic ideal of itself... [This book] makes me yearn — to see more birds, to note obscure plumage details, to plan holidays to see farther-flung species. This book reinvigorates my love of birds and birding and makes clear how lucky we are to have such amazing riches. And that is some powerful art."
Kate-Gorringe-Smith, Australian Birdlife, June 2017, p. 82
"This new guide is a must-have book for anyone interested in the birds of Australia. There are more illustrations of each species showing more colour variations. The text is excellent and includes a considerable amount of new information on how to identify similar species. I like the key ID features next to the illustrations. And as a twitcher I very much like the inclusion of the birds from the Australian territories and the vagrants."
Frank O'Conner, Australian Birdlife, June 2017, p. 82
"For me, poring over the pages of The Australian Bird Guide was akin to looking through a new set of binoculars — long familiar birds are rendered afresh, as if you are seeing them again for the first time.
Not only does The Australian Bird Guide successfully provide a rich, contemporary bird identification book, it has the potential to play a far more significant cultural role – in cataloguing the full extent of the glorious variety of Australian birds it becomes a palpable celebration of the wonder of nature."
Sean Dooley, Sydney Morning Herald online, 28/7/17
"If you are looking at getting a field guide to the birds of Australia, the ABG is undoubtably the best."
Michael Szabo, Birds New Zealand (14), June 2017, p. 19
"The Collins is frequently held up as a paragon of the field guide form and The Australian Bird Guide—in the quality of the artwork, in the fullness of the text, in the accuracy of the maps and information—in my assessment, stands shoulder-to-shoulder with it. In its comprehensiveness, it may even give it a nudge."
Chris Watson, The Grip (blog), 25/4/17
"Compared with all other Australian bird guides, the text and most of the illustrations are on a higher level... The cornucopia of high quality illustrations – including numerous smaller sketch-ups illustrating such things as foraging behaviours, honeyeater corroborees, and size comparisons with similar possible species – puts the guide in the upper echelon of bird guides globally... For me, this volume by Menkhorst and colleagues has become my new favourite."
Eliot Miller, Emu - Austral Ornithology 117(3), July 2017, pp.299-300
"the collaborative work of authors Peter Menkhorst, Danny Rogers and Rohan Clarke has transformed what could have been a standard working field guide to an exemplary collection of ornithological information, completely up-to-date with the latest findings. In particular, the distribution maps are remarkable. It can certainly be said that one will not find a more comprehensive, thoroughly researched field guide on Australian birds anytime soon."
Rachel Fetherston, Andrew Isles Natural History Books: News & Reviews, 8/4/17
"It is bold and beautiful, it's meaty, beaty, big, and bouncy and, as promised, it boldly goes where no guide has gone before... it will almost certainly be the guide to which I turn first."
Harvey Perkins, Canberra Bird Notes 42(2), July 2017, p. 223-227
DetailsPaperback | May 2017 | $ 49.95
ISBN: 9780643097544 | 576 pages | 245 x 170 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Colour Paintings, Maps
- Superb, specially commissioned artwork that provides a level of fine detail not found in any other Australian guides
- 4700+ detailed paintings illustrating species variations
- Coverage of all species and distinctive subspecies recorded in Australia and its external territories, using the latest taxonomy
- Indexed by both the common and scientific names
Alphabetical quick reference to bird groups
Constructing the guide
Birding in Australia
A guide for birders to the evolution and classification of Australian birds
Key to abbreviations and symbols
Checklist of species