Book Review ''Parrots of the World - An Identification Guide''


Almost everyone is familiar with Joseph Forshaw's most famous book, "Parrots of the World" (1973, 1981, 1989). Initially, his newest book, "Parrots of the World -An Identification Guide" seemed to be another revision of his seminal text. Not so. Mr. Forshaw's approach to creating this book is focused less as a generalized text than as a reference for identification in the field as well as close quarters. Given the weight and bulk of the book, one may be less inclined to carry it through South American rain forests or the Outback, but is definitely a wonderful addition to any avian library.

This book is a comprehensive guide to identifying all known species of parrots. The birds are separated into two groups - Old World and New World. Each species description includes the Latin name; common name(s); geographic distribution; habitat and status; habits, including behaviors, flight silhouette and wing beats; calls and vocalizations; and similar species. A pleasant bonus at the end of each species description is a notation of locations that one might be most likely to observe the particular bird. The color plates contain a brief summary of the physical description, range and map highlighting the habitat of each species and subspecies.

At first glance, this book might not appeal or be useful to the novice bird keeper; it is an excellent reference for serious aviculturists, conservationists, ornithologists and birders. That said, the section describing the 'plan of the book' contains copious information regarding basic avian anatomy, habitat descriptions, parrot vocalization, physical features of parrots, taxonomy, and conservation. "Parrots of the World -An Identification Guide" is a 'must have' book for any avian enthusiast.

The American Federation of Aviculture is pleased to offer this book for sale and you can order it from the AFA on-line store at Click on the left navigation bar "AFA Store" tab and go to the drop down menu for Books. •