Birder's Guide

MAR 2016

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 13 of 75

12 Birder's Guide to Travel | March 2016 ustralia, the island continent, kingdom of reptiles, and home- land of marsupials, also abounds with many unusual species of birds—so many, in fact, that whittling down the Red Continent's avian diversity to a mere 20 species was a real challenge. But with tough decisions come also great joy and celebration. Birding in Australia is unlike anything the other continents can offer. Isolation and unique ecosystems have led to the evolution and preser- vation of several major bird lineages not found elsewhere. Poor soils, fre-prone forests and grasslands, and harsh deserts have long shaped Australian birds and their behaviors. For example, cooperative breeding and nomadism is unusually common among Australia's avian denizens. Today, Australia harbors a fascinating mixture of ancient and modern bird families. In order to curtail the diffculty of selecting the top 20 species from dozens of great candidates, I limited myself to Australian endemics. Though several bird A Budgerigar fock. Photo © Peter Knott

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