Estrildid Finches in the picture A reference with a description of all estrildid finches.
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This 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 does not pretend to be a scientific treatise, but 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 written by the present author. To get a realistic feeling of the habitiats I visit therefore Africa.
Structure of the book The book is organised into one introductory chapter, followed by nineteen topical chapters, each describing one or more genera. Chapter 1 consists of two main parts. At first there are some 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. Then a description followes 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. It should be noted that in much of the English-speaking world the groups in Chapters 16 – 19 (manikins and munias) are treated as one single group.
Scientific nomenclature Generally speaking, the scientific nomenclature of bird species follows that of the 2003 edition of The Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World, Edited by E.C. Dickinson, up to and including part 8 of the corresponding Corrections, published October 2008 (actual on 1th January 2013) and The Birds of Africa, Vol. VII, edition 2004 by Hilary Fry, Stuart Keith, Emil Urban and Martin Woodcock.
Re-classifications 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 as well. 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.
Resources The emphasis is on the patterns of life of Estrildid Finches (Estrildidae) 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. Among the many others who contributed facts and illustrations, I like to thank in particular Mike Fidler and David Myers from Australia, Howard Robinson from the UK, Pieter van den Hooven, Henk van den Berg, Wim Koster and Betty van Hof-Wever from the Netherlands for their kind co-operation.
I also wish to express my gratitude to my translator Jaap van Braam Houckgeest for his careful work and for the many useful suggestions he made to improve the text, and to Howard Robinson who was so kind as to review the entire contents of the book.
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.
Supporting Save the Gould Fund It would not have been possible to compose this book if these birds wouldn’t occur as wild animals too. Out of respect for those ‘free birds’ of each sold book an amount will be donated to a foundation which makes an attempt to keep the birds in their habitat. For the time being the author/publisher has allocated this amount to the ‘Save the Gouldian Fund’ in Australia, founded by Mike and Elisabeth Fidler. With a team of enthusiasts, they do all the possible to prevent Gouldamdines being extinct in their habitat. For more information see www.savethegouldian.org.
Comment by bird breeders who have ordered the book before you:
“Books arrived here in perfect condition. I never have seen such wonderful publications in the form of books, before. I have no words to explain how much I love your books about this wonderful finches. Your knowledge of Estrildid Finches of the whole world is enormous. I am completely stunned to see the most, least known and rare species and subspecies of these family. I like booth of your books: Estrildid Finches in the Picture is a bible on the subject. In fact, the most comprehensive work of these finches in the world!
Breeding Estrildid Finches will be no dubt a valuble source for a lover of these beautiful finches, like me. I like your suggestions and remarks on every aspect of breeding different species along witg your guide of setting up breeding cages and other important categories of a complete birdhouse.”
“Really an encyclopedia. All Estrildid finches are pictured and described. More complete than Finches and Sparrows by Clement, Harris, Davis and Prachtfinken by Horst Bielfeld. Even the last discovered estrildids are present. Beautiful book, logical layout with lots of pictures from birds and their habitat.”
“The only book I know, in which all Estrildid finches are pictured and described.” “Waw. There are species pictured of which I did not know even the existence.”
“Wonderful books with very nice pictures! Nice layout, good font and very pleasant to read.”
“The first book with a structured layout. All information is systematically described.”
“The books are great, new informations for me and two excellent books!! Thank you !!!”
“I am very exciting about your books, i have already learn tips and nesseccery conditions for my estrilds…”
“Sir, your work is awesome.”
Nobody has given negativ comment………..