The Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic birds (HANZAB) is multi-award winning seven-volume encyclopedia summarises the knowledge at that time about Australian birds.

Not since Gould and Buller in the 19th century or Mathews in the 1920s has anyone been so audacious as to attempt to comprehensively cover so many of Australasia’s birds in a publication.  HANZAB has become a classic of modern ornithology.  Compiled by a dedicated team of ornithologists at Birds Australia, these books are a font of knowledge about the ecology, behaviour and morphology of each of the 952 species ever recorded in our region – even extinct species, introduced birds and rare visitors to our offshore islands are dealt with in detail.  All breeding species of our region have texts which cover the following aspects of their lives:

  • Field Identification
  • Habitat
  • Distribution and Population
  • Relations with humans
  • Movements
  • Food
  • Social Organisation
  • Social Behaviour
  • Voice
  • Breeding
  • Plumages and related matters

Each text was compiled after a comprehensive and painstaking search of a wide range of sources (ornithological literature, unpublished data, university theses and personal communications), and dozens of the world’s finest ornithological experts were consulted to confirm the accuracy and reliability of all accounts.  Each species is captured in all its plumage variations in specially commissioned colour plates (over 400 plates in all), each of which is exquisite, yet scientifically accurate.  There are also many black-and-white illustrations to show specific details of behaviour, morphology and the like, as well as a distribution map for each species, and sonagrams (pictorial representations) of many songs and calls.

Because all of the information in HANZAB is presented in comprehensive but concise species accounts, it has become a vital tool in bird research and conservation work.  It summarises all that is known about each species, but also clearly states areas which are poorly understood, and that makes it an even more valuable resource.  Each account is fully referenced to aid further study.

If you would like a copy of your own, contact reputable bookshops, such as Andrew Isles Natural History Books.

Contents of each volume

  • Volume 1: Ratites to Ducks
  • Volume 2: Raptors to Lapwings
  • Volume 3: Snipes to Pigeons
  • Volume 4: Parrots to Dollarbird
  • Volume 5: Tyrant-flycatchers to Chats
  • Volume 6: Pardalotes to Shrike-thrushes
  • Volume 7: Boatbill to Starlings
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