The Complete Guide to Finding the Birds of Australia

eBook - February 2011 - eRetailers Google Books Kobo

A complete guide to locating every resident bird species in Australia.

First published in 1994, The Complete Guide to Finding the Birds of Australia was the first ever book of its type in Australia – a complete guide to locating every resident bird species in Australia, plus supplementary information on where to find rarities, migratory species and logistical information. + Full description

This fully revised second edition expands on the best-selling appeal of the first, describing the best-known sites for all of Australia’s endemic birds, plus vagrants and regular migrants such as seabirds and shorebirds. It covers all states and territories, and is the first guide to include all of Australia’s island and external territories. A comprehensive Bird Finder Guide details site information on all Australian bird species, and the authors provide valuable travel advice, including transport, climate and accommodation.

Profusely illustrated with colour photographs of interesting, unique or unusual Australian birds, this book is a must-have for all birdwatchers living in Australia or visiting from overseas.

- Short description


This title is no longer available in print format, but can still be purchased as an eBook.


"This new edition with its added two highly experienced birdwatcher authors will once again set the standard. This book is loaded with essential information for anyone planning to sort out Australian birds on their own, or planning research on a specific group of birds or in a particular area. This is a comprehensive guide, well-written and well-illustrated. I cannot imagine planning a trip to Australia and not having a copy of this book."
William E. Davis JR, Wilson Journal of Ornithology, p. 195, 2012

"...this is a very useful book to all levels of interested naturalists and makes a valuable addition to ones 'birding kit'..."
John Hutchison, The Victorian Naturalist, Vol 129 (1), Febraury 2012

"...latest bible for Australian bird watching...In amongst the extraordinary wealth of information, over 60 high-quality coloured photographs of unique Australian birds grace the cover and pages of the guide. Readers must be warned that viewing such images may induce a strong desire to drop everything for a caravan and a 6-month trip around Australia to chase down the big 700. However, with a copy of The Complete Guide to Finding the Birds of Australia (2nd edition) this dream can become reality because the knowledge of where to find over 700 Australian species will be at their disposal! This 480-page book is unbelievably compact...certainly small enough to take into the field and, at the astonishingly low retail price this book is a necessity for all Australian birdwatchers and researchers alike."
Kurtis Lindsay, Corella 35 (2) 60, 2011

"Even though changes will continue in technology, taxonomy and access I would heartily recommend this book as a valuable addition to any birders library, but especially to overseas visitors and those new to birding."
Brian Walker, South Australian Ornithologist, Volume 37 (2), pp. 98-99, Sept 2011

"This impressive book is a must-see for all birders..."
Mike West, Wildlife Australia Magazine, Winter 2011, pp. 44

"This very popular guide is a boon to bird-watching travellers on the Australian continent."
David Rounsevell, Sunbird 41 (1) 7 July 2011

"The book’s four appendices, which should be regarded as essential reading, provide a wealth of information for visiting birdwatchers: advice on planning trips, including timing, transport, local contacts, and a range of useful websites to visit. The greatest contribution this new edition makes is in its availability. After 15 years of irreplaceable dog-eared copies of the original ‘Thomas and Thomas’ being begged, stolen or borrowed, we now have a readily available, colourful and up-to-date version of the definitive guide to finding all of Australia’s unique and highly sought-after birds. I warmly recommend it to anyone planning some birding in Australia – reading and using it should help to ensure a memorable journey to ‘The Lucky Country’."
Damien Farine, Ibis, 2011

"This is a great book to have on hand when travelling... Used in conjunction with a good field guide or smart phone app for identification, this is a must-have birding resource."
Deborah Metters, Land for Wildlife South East Queensland, January 2012

"... an excellent field guide and is full of precise information that has taken a myriad of birders a number of years to collect and is well collated by the authors. It will be most useful for birders operating in new areas".
Peter Coyle, WA Naturalist News, September 2011

"Profusely illustrated with colour photos of interesting, unique or unusual Australian birds, this book is a must have for all birdwatchers living in Australia or visiting from overseas."
Talking Birds, July 2011, p.9

"The guide should appeal to the travelling birder, both international visitor and anyone on a visit to an unfamiliar area...This is an important addition to the collected knowledge of Australian birds, and a volume that is easy to justify adding to any collection."

"Virtually all sites have been checked, new ones added, damaged or inaccessible ones removed, bird taxonomy updated. If you know and use the first edition, it’s well worth while updating. If you don’t, and birds are a reason for your travels, add this to the car library."
Ian Fraser, Natural History Book Reviews,, June 2011

" indispensable addition to the library of anyone looking for a general introduction to bird finding on the continent. This guide isn’t any old book, it’s part of Australian birding history.

It has been the influence for a whole generation of birding newbies and Australian visitors and the 2nd edition comes at a time when popularity of birdwatching in Australia is gathering momentum. It will almost certainly reinvigorate interest in birding for years to come."
Simon Mustoe,, March 2011


ePDF | February 2011
ISBN: 9780643097865
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • Easy-to-read, up-to-date information augmented with easily understood maps
  • Divided by geographical area according to ease of finding each species
  • Covers all endemic and resident species plus migratory species that can be reasonably expected most years
  • Occupies a unique niche in that it covers every Australian species and all Australian territories. This is not a site guide describing every birding location in the country; rather it tells the reader the best places to see each species.
  • A full list of rarities (vagrant species) is provided
  • Colour photos of interesting or unusual birds


How to use this guide
States and Territories
1. Victoria
2. Tasmania
3. New South Wales
4. Australian Capital Territory
5. Queensland
6. Northern Territory
7. Western Australia
8. South Australia
9. Australia’s islands and external territories
10. Pelagic birding
Bird Finder Guide
Colour plates
Appendix A: Vagrants and accidentals
Appendix B: Introduced birds
Appendix C: Glossary of vegetation, landscape and general terms
Appendix D: Directory
Common name index
Scientific name index
Site index


Richard and Sarah Thomas moved to Canberra, Australia, so Richard could take up a Post-Doctoral position at the Australian National University. During their 4 years in Australia, Richard and Sarah travelled widely throughout the continent, recording a large number of endemic species. When they left Australia in 1994, Richard was credited with holding the biggest Australian list for a non-resident. Today the couple live near Cambridge, UK, but regularly travel abroad birding. Sarah manages the Royal Society of Chemistry’s international development program in Asia, while Richard is Communications Co-ordinator for TRAFFIC: the wildlife trade monitoring network.

David Andrew was fortunate enough to arrive in Australia just as birding started to grow in popularity. Inspired by ‘the land of milk and honeyeaters’, he started the country’s first ornithological magazine – the Whitley Award-winning Wingspan, for the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union (RAOU – now Birds Australia) – and Australian Birding – the country’s first magazine for birders. After a spell as Editor of Wildlife Australia magazine, he joined Lonely Planet, where he authored or co-authored 12 books. He currently works for the Australian Government in Canberra, latterly in the Migratory Birds section, but also in the development of threatened species policy.

Alan McBride has been birding from his early days spent in his native Lancashire, England to his arrival in the Antipodes 30-odd years ago. Apart from Britain, Alan has birded in much of Europe, Asia, bits of Africa, North and Central America, Australasia and New Caledonia. Alan has also led bird tours for international operators and private clients around Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, India and Nepal. Alan has served as President of the NSW Field Ornithological Club (now Birding NSW), as NSW representative or committee member for many RAOU groups, and as a Country Representative for the Oriental and Neotropical Bird Clubs.