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Bird Life  
Author Ian Rowley
Language English
Series The Australian Naturalist Library
Subject(s) Australian birds
Genre(s) Zoology
Publisher William Collins (Australia): Sydney
Publication date 1975
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 284
ISBN 0-00-211438-0

Bird Life is a book authored by Australian ornithologist Ian Rowley and published by Collins (Australia) in 1975 in its Australian Naturalist Library series. It was issued in octavo format (224 x 150 mm), containing 284 pages, bound in brown cloth with a dust jacket illustrated by a painting of a Superb Fairy-wren. The book is illustrated with numerous photographs, drawings and diagrams and is dedicated by the author: “To my father Duncan Rowley who kindled my interest in birds”.[1]

It was reviewed in the Emu by Richard Zann, who says:

”The book is divided into three sections. Part One has five chapters in which the reader is introduced to ornithology and the Australian environment. Australian birds are first put in an evolutionary and zoogeographical perspective and then the physiography, climate and main habitats of the continent are concisely described. A chapter on the general aspects of bird behaviour follows in which the basic methods of locomotion, foraging, drinking, grooming and communication are introduced. This leads to a general consideration of breeding in birds and the ecological factors that initiate and control it. The section concludes with a chapter on the way the habitat is shared out among competing individuals in time and space. Concepts such as competitive exclusion, territorialism and population regulation are painlessly introduced. Lastly, birds are classified into three basic life-styles depending on the distances they travel between breeding seasons: residents, migrants and nomads.

"The remainder of the book is devoted to accounts of the ways in which particular Australian birds have adapted to their habitats. Despite the limited amount of published information available Rowley has made a discerning selection of species. They illustrate all the main variations within the three basic lifestyles and illustrate with great clarity the concepts and principles established in Part One. In Part Two Rowley provides detailed insights into the ecology and social relation of the Superb Blue Wren, Australian Raven, Australian Magpies, White-winged Chough, Laughing Kookaburra, Noisy and Bell Miners, Tasmanian Native-hen, Malleefowl, Eastern Rosella, Galah, Satin Bowerbird and Superb Lyrebird. This is the best part of the book."[2]




  1. ^ Rowley (1975).
  2. ^ R. Z. (1976).


  • Rowley, Ian (1975). Bird Life. Sydney: Collins. ISBN 0-00-211438-0.  
  • R. Z. (1976). "Review of “Bird Life” by Ian Rowley". Emu 76: 93.  


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