|Illustrator||Roy Doyle and with extra plates by Frank Knight in the 1997 and later editions|
|Cover artist||Roy Doyle|
|Media type||Print (hardback)|
|Pages||iv + 460|
A Field Guide to the Birds of Australia was first published in 1980 by Collins, Sydney. It was authored by Graham Pizzey with illustrations by Roy B. Doyle. The first edition was issued in octavo format, 220 mm in height by 140 mm width, with a foreword by Dr D.L. Serventy. It contained 460 pages of text with 32 black-and-white and 56 colour plates illustrating nearly all species of birds recorded in Australia at the time of publication. The plates were bunched between pages 300 and 301, while there were 725 maps of breeding distribution on pages 411-442 between the main text and the indexes, as well as maps of Australia in the end papers. Its success was such that it was followed by several further editions.
In the preface to the seventh edition, Sue, Caroline, Sarah and Tom Pizzey explain some of the background to the work:
"The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia was first published in 1980, after more than fifteen years in the making. While it has continued to evolve through numerous reprints and revised editions, taking in new information, taxonomic changes, and changes in the way information has been presented, the voice throughout has remained resolutely that of its author, Graham Pizzey.
"Following the death of Graham, our husband and father, in late 2001 it soon became clear that we were all keen to see the Guide continue. After all, the entire family was there at its inception and development: travelling to various corners of the continent as Graham took countless photographs and recorded observations in the field. An article in the Herald in July 1967 shows the three Pizzey children sprawled on the living-room floor, poring over a map as we traced the journey we were about to make up through the Centre and down the west coast. The ‘Big Trip’ was to form the basis of the research for the first edition of the Guide, and was to give us an indelible appreciation of the natural world. And we’ve been involved in various ways ever since: looking at proofs, being asked for an opinion on an illustration or cover, or listening to an attempt to capture the call of a bird on paper. Responsible for providing his own children with an extraordinary childhood, this Guide is now being enjoyed by Graham’s small grandchildren. Its continuing relevance underpins our desire to see it remains in print, updated and augmented regularly."
The striated pardalote is the least colourful and most common of the four pardalote species. Other common names include pickwick, wittachew and chip-chip. It is a very small, short-tailed bird that is more often heard than seen, foraging noisily for lerps and other small creatures in the treetops.
The little wattlebird, also known as the brush wattlebird, is a passerine bird in the honeyeater family Meliphagidae. It is found in coastal and sub-coastal south-eastern Australia.
The sacred kingfisher is a medium-sized woodland kingfisher that occurs in mangroves, woodlands, forests, and river valleys in Australia, New Zealand, and other parts of the western Pacific. In New Zealand the species is also known as kotare.
Graham Martin Pizzey AM was a noted Australian author, photographer and ornithologist. He was born and grew up in Melbourne and was educated at Geelong Grammar School. After leaving school he worked in his family's leather business, while studying part-time and publishing articles and photographs on natural history. In 1960 he resigned from the family business to become a full-time freelance writer and photographer.
The little friarbird, also known as the little leatherhead or yellow-throated friarbird, is the smallest of the friarbirds within the Philemon genus. It is found throughout northern and eastern Australia as well as southern Papua New Guinea. It lives a very prominent life, whereby it can easily be seen chasing other honeyeaters, and also it is very vocal. However, the little friarbird is usually spotted high up in trees, rarely being seen on the ground.
The pied heron, also known as the pied egret is a bird found in coastal and subcoastal areas of monsoonal northern Australia as well as some parts of Wallacea and New Guinea.
The yellow-bellied glider, also known as the fluffy glider, is an arboreal and nocturnal gliding possum that lives in native eucalypt forests in eastern Australia, from northern Queensland south to Victoria.
The Australasian pipit is a fairly small passerine bird of open country in Australia, New Zealand and New Guinea. It belongs to the pipit genus Anthus in the family Motacillidae.
The beautiful firetail is a common species of estrildid finch found in Australia. It has an estimated global extent of occurrence of 1,000,000 km2. The species inhabits temperate shrubland habitats in Australia. The IUCN has classified the species as being of least concern.
The Papuan harrier is a bird of prey native to New Guinea which belongs to the harrier genus Circus. It was classified as a subspecies of the eastern marsh harrier of eastern Asia.
The Papuan frogmouth is a species of bird in the family Podargidae.
The grey honeyeater is a species of bird in the honeyeater family. It is an uncommon and little-known bird, an often overlooked endemic of remote areas in central Australia.
The chirruping wedgebill is a medium-sized member of the genus Psophodes, which consists or four to five songbirds endemic to Australia. Commonly found in low shrublands in south-eastern inland Australia, the species is distinguished by its distinctive, chirruping call. The chirruping wedgebill and chiming wedgebill were considered to be a single species until as late as 1973, when they were separated due to marked differences in their calls.
The emu-wrens (Stipiturus) are a genus of passerine birds in the Australasian wren family, Maluridae. They are found only in Australia, where they inhabit scrub, heathland and grassland. They are small birds, 12–19 cm long with the tail accounting for over half of their length. The tail has only six feathers which are loose and coarse in structure, rather like the feathers of the emu. Three species are recognised, of which the mallee emu-wren is endangered.
The Australian swiftlet is a small bird belonging to the genus Aerodramus in the swift family, Apodidae. It is endemic to Queensland in north-eastern Australia. It was formerly included in the white-rumped swiftlet but is now commonly treated as a separate species. It has two subspecies which are occasionally regarded as two separate species: A. t. terraereginae and A. t. chillagoensis.
Frank Knight is an Australian wildlife artist and ornithologist. He was born in Port Hedland, Western Australia. He worked as a field and laboratory assistant for the CSIRO from 1959 to 1966, and was the illustrator for the CSIRO's Division of Wildlife Research from 1966 until 1989. He was the illustrator of The Graham Pizzey and Frank Knight Field Guide to the Birds of Australia and A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia, as well as of many other scientific and natural history texts and children's books. He has had several solo exhibitions in Australia.
The Reader's Digest Complete Book of Australian Birds is a book first published by Reader's Digest Services Pty Ltd of Sydney, Australia in 1976 and reprinted several times, with a completely revised edition issued in 1986.
The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds is one of the main national bird field guides used by Australian birders.
The Australian Bird Guide was published by CSIRO Publishing in 2017 and took almost 8 years to produce. The lead author is Peter Menkhorst along with Danny Rogers and Rohan Clarke. Original illustrations are by Jeff Davis, Peter Marsack and Kim Franklin.