With the original introduction by C.J. Dennis and a new foreword by Sean Dooley.
Ninety years on, A.H. Chisholm’s classic Mateship with Birds is still as fresh and inspirational as an early-morning walk in the bush, the air resounding with birdsong. His account of the secret lives of birds — their seasonal doings and their complex relationships — reflects his patient and detailed observations, and his deep enjoyment of the Australian bush and all its inhabitants.
This is not just a book for bird-lovers. Chisholm’s charming and often humorous prose reveals a man who loves words as well as birds. His style of writing and the historical photographs accompanying his text provide a gentle record of a period that already feels like ‘the old days’.
But Chisholm wrote with an urgent message to the future. He could clearly see the threat that ‘the moving finger of Civilisation’ posed to birdlife, and his account of the tragic demise of the Paradise Parrot ends with this passionate exhortation: ‘What are the bird-lovers of Australia going to do about this matter of vanishing Parrots? Surely it is a subject worthy of the closest attention of all good Australians.’
With the reissuing of this book, we honour these words, and offer his delight in ‘the loveliest and the best of Nature’s children’ to a new generation.
“[H]is final passage—an epilogue to the fate of the magnificent paradise parrot—was as timely a reminder then as it is now, that we can never take the extraordinary avian heritage we have in this country for granted.”
Heather Catchpole, Cosmos
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“To look to the future we must look to the past, but…Mateship with Birds tells us humans do not necessarily learn from experience when it comes to wildlife…Chisholm was a wonderful writer, combining the journalist’s grasp of detail with a flourish of the poetic”
Don Knowler, Mercury
“A must-read book for all Australians, all bird lovers, and all who enjoy luxurious prose and sumptuous storytelling.”
“Mateship with Birds…was the bible for birdwatchers before we became “birders”…[it] has been out of print for too long and Scribe is to be congratulated for producing this new edition…If you take the time to live with this classic bird book, it will enrich your life.”
Robert Adamson, Weekend Australian