Grassfinches in Australia
By: Joseph M Forshaw, Mark Shephard OAM, Anthony Pridham
An up-to-date, fully illustrated monograph on all Australian species of grassfinches.
It is not surprising that Australian grassfinches are highly popular with ornithologists and aviculturists, for included among the species are one of the most beautiful of all birds – the Gouldian Finch Erythrura gouldiae – and one of the most familiar cagebirds – the Zebra Finch Taeniopygia guttata. + Full description
Despite a scarcity in published works on finches, interest in the species is growing, leading to a dramatic advancement in our knowledge of many species. For example, we have gained new information from field observations carried out on little-known species, including the Blue-faced Parrot-Finch Erythrura trichroa and the Red-eared Firetail Stagonopleura oculata. Significant advances in taxonomic research, largely as a consequence of the development and refinement of biochemical analyses, often involving DNA-DNA hybridisation, have given us a new insight into relationships among species, with some unexpected alliances being determined. Additionally, dramatic changes have taken place in avicultural practices, and in virtually all countries aviculture has taken on a new professional approach, with the most notable results being increased productivity and success with a wider variety of species.
After a lapse of almost half a century since publication of Klaus Immelmann’s eminent work on finches, based on extensive field studies, the time has come for a new examination of Australian grassfinches. In Grassfinches in Australia, Joseph Forshaw, Mark Shephard and Anthony Pridham have summarised our present knowledge of each species, and have given readers a visual appreciation of the birds in their natural habitats and in aviculture. The resulting combination of superb artwork and scientifically accurate text ensures that this volume will become the standard reference work on Australian grassfinches. In addition to enabling aviculturists to know more about these finches in the wild as a guide to their own husbandry techniques, detailed information on current management practices for all species in captivity is provided. The book also includes colour plates depicting some of the more common mutations held in Australian and overseas collections.
2013 Whitley Award Commendation for Illustrated Zoology.- Short description
This book is no longer available in print
"This book is a compendium of everything you could possibly want to know about Australian grassfinches. It's a delightful book, worthy of perhaps the most unassuming of all our fine-feathered friends."
Aaron Flanagan, Wild, pp. 73, March-April 2013
"Grassfinches in Australia is a substantial, large-format book comprising over 300 pages and a mixture of text and beautiful artwork by Tony Pridham. Indeed, the book is worth buying for the images alone, and my guess is that many people will do just that."
T. R. Birkhead, IBIS - British Ornithologists' Union, pp. 214, 2012
"Overall this book will become the authoritative text on Australian grassfinches and is a must for the bookshelf of any serious finish enthusiast. It is excellently written, beautifully illustrated, and is a book you will delve into regularly... Believe me, it is worth every cent."
Gary Fitt, Australian Aviculture, pp. 262-263, November 2012
"The illustrations by Anthony Pridham are, with one exception, superb... I have no hesitation in recommending this book as a very worthy addition to the library of anyone interested in Australia’s birds."
Mark Clayton, Canberra Bird Notes, pp. 233-235, Vol 37 (3), December 2012
"As both an ornithologist and aviculturist, I was keen to get my hands on Grassfinches in Australia – and I was not disappointed. Joseph Forshaw, in collaboration with Mark Shephard and Anthony Pridham, has produced a lavishly-illustrated, thorough monograph on these delightful birds. It is detailed yet easily navigable."
Ashley Herrod, Australian Birdlife, pp. 73, December 2012
"The combination of scientifically accurate text and superb artwork ensures that this book will become the standard reference on Australian grassfinches. It is a credit to all involved in its production: authors, artists and publisher."
Cage & Aviary Birds, pp. 17, October 3 2012
"I have no doubt that this volume will become the standard text on our grass finches and it should have a place in the library of every Australian finch keeper."
Lloyd Marshall, Talking Birds, pp. 8, September 2012
"A comprehensive study of Australian grassfinches has been published as a magnificent new book, written by two of Australia’s pre-eminent ornithologists... It’s believed the work may go on to be the definitive text on the subject of Australian grassfinches, such is the authoritative quality of the writing and the excellent colour illustrations."
Graeme Hyde, Cage & Aviary Birds, pp. 5, September 19 2012
"The combination of superb artwork and scientifically accurate text ensures that this volume will become the standard reference work on Australian grass finches."
Talking Birds, p. 2, August 2012
"A weighty and beautifully illustrated tome - a complete review of all the species of Grassfinch (estrildid finches) found in Australia and nearby archipelagos. Of interest both to scientists, keen bird watchers with a particular interest in the group and aviculturalists... From rigorous accounts of behaviour in the wild to detailed accounts of captive breeding and artificial colour variants this book really does cover all bases. Perhaps the highlight is the truly beautiful full-page illustrations by Australian bird artist Tony Pridham, which capture the personalities of these little birds and the quality of light in their natural homes."
Su Gough, BTO, November-December 2012, http://www.bto.org/about-birds/book-reviews/grassfinches-australia
"For those seriously interested in the grassfinches of Australia this book is highly recommended for a place in your library. Not only are the illustrations beautifully done but the wealth of information all in the one place makes it a reference book of notable usefulness and enjoyment."
Gil Porter, Warbler (Southern Queensland BirdLife e-newsletter), Vol 5(1), March 2016, pp. 27-28
DetailsePDF | August 2012
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
- The only up-to-date, fully illustrated monograph on all Australian species of grassfinches.
- Line drawings and text figures by Frank Knight
ContentsForeword by Walter Boles
Australian Grassfinches in Aviculture by Mark Shephard
Painted Finch E. pictum
Beautiful Firetail S. bella
Red-eared Firetail S. oculata
Diamond Firetail S. guttata
Red-browed Finch N. temporalis
Crimson Finch N. phaeton
Star Finch N. ruficauda
Plum-headed Finch N. modesta
Masked Finch P. personata
Long-tailed Finch P. acuticauda
Black-throated Finch P. cincta
Zebra Finch T. guttata
Double-barred Finch T. bichenovii
Blue-faced Parrotfinch E. trichroa
Gouldian Finch E. gouldiae
Yellow-rumped Mannikin L. flaviprymna
Nutmeg Mannikin L. punctulata
Pale-headed Mannikin L. pallida
Black-headed Mannikin L. malacca
Java Sparrow L. oryzivora
Pictorella Mannikin H. pectoralis
Gazetteer and Locality Map
Index of English and scientific names