Birds of Prey of Australia
This book is the leading guide to Australian birds of prey. Birds Of Prey Of Australia is a mixture of field guide and handbook.. It is separated into two parts: one focusing just on identification and one dedicated to exploring the behaviour and characteristics of a species in more detail. The field guide section is brilliant. It goes beyond the basic images provided in typical field guides. The images show:
- how different morphs, gender and age can influence the birds physical appearance.
- examples of worn plumage
- what the bird looks like in moult.
- what the birds look like from different perspectives including in flight, from above, from below and perched.
It also has a section on difficult species. These pages provide split images of similar species so you can directly compare them. The second part is a handbook. Debus provides a brief overview of a species distribution, food and hunting, breeding and threats and conservation. I recommend it for all stages of your birdwatching journey. Beginners will get the most out of it.
Australian Birds of Prey in Flight
Australian Birds of Prey in Flight is a photographic guide to the eagles, hawks, kites and falcons flying high above you. Individual species profiles describe distinguishing features and the text is supported by detailed images showing the birds at six different angles and poses, using photographs from many of Australia’s leading bird photographers. Annotated multi-species comparison plates highlight key features that can help differentiate birds of prey in flight. This book will be of value to anyone who wants to learn more about Australia’s birds of prey, and will provide a useful reference for identifying soaring birds in the field, and also while trying to identify images from your own camera. It isn’t a necessary guide. The above field guide will suffice for many beginners. It is useful for many of the trickier angles of birds in flight.
Australasian Eagles and Eagle-like Birds
Australasian Eagles and Eagle-like Birds is an illustrated record of sea-eagles, harpy eagles, booted eagles and eagle-like hawks in Australasia. The guide covers six Australian species:
- White bellied sea eagle
- Wedge tailed eagle
- Little eagle
- Square tailed kite
- Black breasted buzzard
- Red goshawk
It’s the result of years of research by Stephen Debus. Stephen goes beyond the information found in field guides. He shares the latest research about species habitat, population, movements, food, social organization, social behaviour, breeding, measurements, weights and sexing.
The tone and information is quite scientific. I wouldn’t recommend the book for most beginners. I would recommend it to anyone who is passionate about birds of prey and wants to further their knowledge.
Australian High Country Raptors
Australian High Country Raptors covers raptor species that regularly breed in the high country above 600 metres, from Goulburn in New South Wales down to the hills outside Melbourne, Victoria. Comparisons between these high country raptors and lower-elevation breeders are also provided, in addition to comparisons with raptors found overseas, especially from North America and Europe.
The book begins with a description of habitats and vegetation types in the high country, and which raptors are likely to be seen in each habitat type. It continues with sections on finding and watching raptors, raptor identification, hunting styles, food, breeding and behaviour, and conservation. Appendices provide species accounts for diurnal breeding species in the high country, with basic information about their ecology, distribution and conservation, as well as detailed instructions about handling an injured or orphaned raptor.
Australian Predators of the Sky
Australian Predators of the Sky comprises over 200 striking paintings, lithographs and engravings of all 34 Australian species—25 diurnal birds of prey and nine owls. From odd-looking first depictions to stunning, detailed portrayals of the species, the illustrations cover more than two centuries of bird art, selected from the National Library of Australia’s collection. This book is more for collectors.
The book is out of print. You can track it down through second hand bookshops.
Pocket Guide: Raptors of Southern Queensland
This pocket sized companion covers almost 50 species of raptors living in Southern Queensland.