Parrots of the World by Joseph M. Forshaw

I love birds! And I would love to go on an extended birding holiday seeing as many birds as I possibly can… a year, two? I would LOVE that… but alas it is not possible quite yet. So, the next best thing is to go through all the bird field guides I can and prepare for the day I can… read about all the lovely birds and choose the path I will one day take to see as many interesting birds as I can. So, in my journey towards a birding paradise holiday, I am reading (and reviewing) as many bird field guides as possible! =) I’ve been reading them for months but I thought I should share them with you as well. Why not? It is all amongst bird lovers, right?

Today, I will share with you Parrots of the World by Joseph M. Forshaw (illustrated by Frank Knight). This is another Princeton Field Guide and it does not disappoint. Parrots are loveable birds. MANY people appreciate parrots, even if they are not bird lovers in general. They are often colorful, charismatic and some can talk! What is not to like about them? These were some of my favorites…

Parrots of the World covers 356 species and subspecies of parrots. It is unique in the way it organizes it, rather than by taxonomy, it is set up by geographic location. They chose to do it this way because it is a field guide and thus meant to be used in the field. And this way you can flip to the specific sections of the book that cover the parrots in the region you are visiting. This makes it handy as a field guide. The author includes some examples of principal flight silhouettes for parrots as well. This is really helpful! If you’ve ever seen a bird in flight, they look very different than when they are standing about or perched. This can make a big difference in helping identify the various parrots.

The author spends one page giving his plan for the book. This is a helpful way of setting up a field guide. This way you know what to expect and can learn to use the guide most efficiently. Joseph M. Forshaw is one of Australia’s foremost ornithologist and an expert on parrots and Australia is nicknamed the “land of the parrots.” So, he easily collates the information in a way that makes most sense. Parrots of the World includes the standard diagram with all the parts of a bird identified by name giving a clear guide how to identify it with the all of the parrot outward physical characteristics labeled.

As with the other Princeton Field Guides I have read, each page contains a beautiful color illustration, English and Scientific names of each parrot, vocalizations (song/call), physical descriptions of each, distribution, subspecies, similar species and specific habitat and status for each parrot. The left side pages have the descriptions and colorful distribution maps. The right side has the vibrant illustrations. This field guide also includes the physical differences between male and female and juveniles.

Anyone who loves these quirky birds will love this guide. It is informative, vibrantly illustrated and well-worth the investment!

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