In a previous issue, Building a Good Avian Library, we covered in detail the books which should be contained in the Basic, Advanced and Breeder Level Avian Libraries. We also included a list of recommended avian books, including reviews and ratings. However, due to time and space limitations, we did not address the genus/species oriented books. And of course there are many more books which deserve mentioning. In this issue we present our first set of recommended genus/species specific books as well as two additional general books.
Recommended books are shown below in alphabetical order. Each listing includes information such as title, author, number of pages, publisher, year written and cost. In addition, you will find our reviews and ratings. Books are given a rating of from one to four feathers, four feathers being the best.
Books are further classified into categories such as: general reference, bird care or husbandry, training and behavior, health and medicine, species or genus specific and legislation. We also indicate whether they are easy to understand or require the reader to have some technical background. These levels are Easy, Intermediate and Technical.
Australian Parrots by Joseph M. Forshaw and William T. Cooper, Second Edition, ISBN 0-7018-1035-1, 312 pages with over 80 illustrations, Lansdowne Editions. Approx. $66.00-$75.00 Can., $50.00-$55.00 U.S. Category: General Reference, Level: Easy.
This book contains over 80 illustrations by William Cooper which are very true to life, unlike some of his illustrations in Parrots of the World, published in 1973 and 1978 with Joseph M. Forshaw as well. The one detail which won my heart in this book is that it does not include Moluccan Cockatoos or Umbrella Cockatoos, for example, which many people mistakenly believe come from Australia but in fact are from the Moluccan Islands. The book does include birds from the island of New Guinea, which is a branch of Australia. Gives a great understanding of distribution and information for all species mentioned, with a geographic diagram shown by each specie’s monologue. (Longo)
Bird Owner’s Home Health and Care Handbook by Gary Gallerstein, 1984, ISBN 0-87605-820-9, 292 pages, photographs, hardcover, Howell Book House. $39.95. Category: Bird Care, Health, Level: Intermediate
This book is outdated 13 years but the only flaw I saw with it was the chapter on “Feeding for Health”. They focus primarily on seed diets as well as fruits, berries, vegetables and nuts. The evolution of aviculture has taught us now there are many pelleted diets which make the seeds pretty much obsolete. One other minor flaw is all the photographs are black and white. Covers all aspects of Care, First Aid and Medicine. (Longo)
Encyclopaedia of Macaws by Werner Lantermann, 1995, ISBN 0-7938-2183-5, 208 pages, T.F.H. Publications. $49.95 Category: Genus/Species Specific, Level: Easy
This is a very comprehensive book on all seventeen species of Macaws. Topics include basic description, geographical origins and distribution, breeding, their descriptions and 217 or so colour laminated photos of all representatives of this genus. What I liked about this book is the focus on the Species threatened with extinction and now extinct species of Macaws as well which not many of us had the opportunity to view or learn about when they were present. This book would be an asset to any library. (Longo)
Genus Amazona, By John and Pat Stoodley, 1990, ISBN 0-947756-02-7, 135 pages, many color photographs, hardcover, Bezels Publications. $69.95. Category: Genus/Species Specific, Level: Easy.
John Stoodley is a well-known photographer, lecturer, aviculturist and author. This book is worth having for his photographs alone. Color reproduction is near perfect. The first half of the book is devoted to descriptions, ranges, and a commentary of each species’ and subspecies’ character as a pet and characteristics as a breeder. The descriptions that are given for each Amazon species and subspecies add to and enhance the photographic material. The second half of the book is devoted to the care and breeding of these talented and enjoyable birds. Chapters are written by contributing experts on Chromosome Analysis, Marc Valentine; Amazon Parrot Personality, Risa Teitler; Preventive Medicine for Amazons, Greg J. Harrison; Nutrition of Psittacines, Peter W. Scott; and, Amazon Parrots of the Caribbean, Peter G. H. Evans. Note should be taken of the fact that true experts in their fields are confident enough in their knowledge to utilize other people in those areas where they can contribute best. Although expensive, this book is an investment that pays dividends in sheer enjoyment of the photographs and details specific information down to the subspecies level for Amazons. (Tucker)
The Grey Parrot by Wolfgang de Grahl, 1987, ISBN 0-86622-094-1, 256 pages with colour photos, T.F.H. Publications. $23.95/Can.$32.95. Category: Genus/Species Specific, Level: Easy
This is an excellent book written for all lovers of African Grey Parrots. I found that the book is based on many documented reports of Grey Parrots’ breeding, care, and talking capabilities. The impression I recieved from this book was that it was more oriented to African Greys than other publications. Other books I’ve seen usually contain more general knowledge and little Grey specific information. This one stands out and has a wealth of information on everything you could encounter with Greys, as well as recorded information dated back as far as 1799. (Longo)
The World of Cockatoos, by Karl Diefenbach, 1985, ISBN 0-86622-034-8, 160 pages with index, 107 full-color photos, school & library binding, hard cover, T.F.H. Publications, Inc. $35.95. Category: Genus/Species Specific, Level: Easy.
This old classic was first published in German in 1982 by Horst Muller-Veriag Walsrode. The TFH English translation edition has some additional material and photographs. The first half of the book deals with general cockatoo information beginning with the anatomy of a bird. This is very useful when reading the descriptions of various cockatoo species and subspecies in the second half of the book. The book is outdated especially in the areas of breeding and proper nutrition. It was written before birds were commonly bred in captivity and before formulated diets (pellets) were available. However, the description of each species’ life in the wild is very interesting. The many color photographs are very good. This is still one of the best books on cockatoo species and subspecies identification available. It does include cockatiels. (Tucker)