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Estrildid Finches in the Picture
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Estrildid Finches in the Picture

By Tony Jochem

500 Colour Pages, Hard Cover $199 + P&H

This 500-page hard cover A4 size book was written to serve as a source of information, a reference work for all who wish to become more knowledgeable about that wonderful branch of the family of finches known as Estrildid finches. It aims to be a useful aid for aviculturists who keep and breed their birds with the goal of preserving the species. For detailed specific information on how to keep these birds and achieve breeding success, the reader is referred to Breeding Estrildid Finches, also by this author.

This book is organised into one introductory chapter, followed by 19 topical chapters, each describing one or more genera.

Chapter 1 consists of two main parts: General notes on birds and bird keeping (with special reference to Estrildid finches), plus a discussion of the anatomy, nomenclature and taxonomy of birds in general; and Description of the main geographical elements, vegetation types and climate characteristics of the continents where Estrildid finches are found in the wild.

After this introductory chapter comes the main body of the book. In each of Chapters 2–20, one or more genera are grouped together according to what aviculturists consider to be the most logical system. The genera comprised in a particular group may or may not be closely related ie mannikins and munias are treated as a single group.

In view of the rapid developments in DNA research, several birds may be expected in the near future to be assigned to other genera than those to which they belong according to the present view. Such re-classifications would then be reflected in changes in scientific nomenclature.

It should be noted that popular names may be subject to change. The bird descriptions in this book include common names in seven languages (English, German, French, Spanish, Danish, Czech and Dutch), according to the authoritative Avibase Internet website as per January 2008.

The emphasis is on the patterns of life of Estrildid finches in their original habitat, together with photographic illustrations and particulars on the various species and subspecies.

The descriptions were taken from English, German and Dutch literature and from various Internet sites. These were supplemented by the author’s own observations and photographs, made during his travels through several African countries, covering thousands of kilometres of savannah. The photographs show birds in the wild as well as typical habitats.

Despite all efforts, it was not possible to obtain clear and original photographs in each individual case. Sometimes the only solution was to reproduce a painted image, while in other cases the available photographs had to be edited. Every effort has been made to achieve as natural a representation as possible, based on the available descriptions.

I hope this book will offer bird lovers many pleasant hours of reading.

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A Guide to Australian GrassfinchesA Guide to Gouldian Finches (Revised Edition)Encyclopedia of Estrildid FinchesThe Finch-A Breeder's Companion
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