Part history book, part field guide, part taxonomic discussion, and all check list: this book is a complete list of all species ever recorded in Australia, native and exotic, and including extinct species. The checklist includes the history of how each species was described and the etymology of each name. It is organized taxonomically beginning at the family level and continuing through species and subspecies or races. Discussions on taxonomy and how genetic analyses have contributed to species designations are also included.

The introduction gives an interesting history of ornithology in Australia through a summary of how names arose and who originated them. It covers the various origins of names, from British names applied to behaviorally and morphologically similar Australian birds, to keeping with the original Aboriginal names. The authors then give the history of the ornithologists most influential in naming species. John...

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