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The flight of the emu : a hundred years of Australian ornithology 1901-2001 / Libby Robin
Bib ID 2781934
Format BookBook
Robin, Libby, 1956-
Description Carlton, Vic. : Melbourne University Press, 2001 
xi, 492 p. : .ill. (some col.), maps, ports. ; 27 cm. 
ISBN 0522849873

The Flight of the Emu tells the story of Australian birding in the twentieth century. The Emu is the journal of the former Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union, now known as Birds Australia. In this engrossing book, Libby Robin describes the achievements and the increasing importance of ornithology in Australia-both amateur and professional-over the past hundred years. From Bass Strait to the Kimberley, collectors have searched for and identified hundreds of species of Australian birds. This is a discipline in which exceptional amateur contributions have helped to shape science. Libby Robin explores the tensions between amateur and professional ornithologists, and discusses issues of conservation and environmental management, scientific collecting, smuggling and bird protection. She tells stories from campouts, expeditions and congresses derived from oral history, letters and 'reading between the lines' of published reports. The search for the Night Parrot, the protection of the Lyrebird, the identification of the Noisy Scrub-bird, have all involved enthusiastic bird lovers as well as scientists. Ornithological research takes place in museums, universities, government agencies, community groups and the CSIRO. Bird-banding has introduced many people to the passion of ornithology, as well as providing a method of valuable data-collection about birds. The Flight of the Emu also details international scientific expeditions and the influences of Australian birds on international debates. 'Birdos' have a great sense of humour, and the pleasure and fun of bird watching, whether it be serious scientific observation, 'twitching' or just a relaxing hobby, comes through strongly in this clear, friendly and richly-illustrated book.

Full contents
  • Preface: a century of ornithology in Australia
  • 1. A National ornithological union: birds and the Australian national interest
  • 2. From Bass Strait to the Kimberley: collectors, collections and the ornithological discovery of Australia
  • 3. What's in a name? Gregory Mathews and the 1926 checklist
  • 4. An improving science: education, protection and the collecting controversy
  • 5. Beyond Marlo: conservation and ornithology reunite
  • 6. Migratory paths and life histories: a national bird-banding scheme
  • 7. New ornithology professionals: CSIRO, museums and universities in the post-war era
  • 8. The 1968 revolution: confrontation and change at the RAOU
  • 9. Going international: the International Ornithological Congress of 1974

Includes index.

Bibliography: p. 453-472.

Subjects Ornithology -- Australia -- History -- 20th century.


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    NL 598.0994 R655
    Copy: hbk
    Main Reading Room
    N 598.0994 R655
    Copy: hbk
    Main Reading Room

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