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|Estrildid Finches of the World (Top 10)
(1982) This out-of-print book is still one of the best reference books you can have in your bird library. A guide for ornithologists with specific information on many of the species in aviculture. Not a picture book. Packed with information instead.
|Munias and Mannikins (Top 10)
(1997) THE reference book for mannikins. A must have for any lover of mannikins or munias. Restall is also a master painter and shows the subtle differences of the many subspecies well.
|Keeping and Breeding Finches and Seed-Eaters (Top 10)
(1998) Lots of finches covered with an Australian twist on aviculture. Excellent resource. Many species are covered and most importantly, lots of information on breeding. The only drawback for me is the lack of information on cage breeding. Everything reads as "breeds well in a large planted aviary". Even Society finches are given this treatment.
|Finches and Sparrows-An Identification Guide (Top 10)
Peter Clement, Alan Harris and John Davis
(1993) Can't figure out what that bird is? This is the book that will tell you. General info, but lots of identification plates. Some of the scientific names are out of date, but no blatant errors. Illustrations are good enough to make identifications of subspecies. Information on aviculture is nonexistent
|Keeping and Breeding Zebra Finches (Top 10)
(1988) For those serious about their Zebra finches and have an interest in showing them, this is the book for you. All the mutations that had standards at the time of writing are covered with complete descriptions along with insights to improving quality.
|Zebra Finches. A Complete Pet Owners Manual (Top 10)
(1984) Probably one of the best beginner's books for those just starting with Zebra finches. Good starting place for those who have just purchased their first pair of pet Zebra finches with just a hint of the mutations available to the Zebra enthusiast.
|Australian Finches (Top 10)
(1965) A comprehensive study of the finches of Australia. A study of each species in the wild, feeding habits, breeding and notes on avicultural success with each species. Has two color plates of Australian finch hybrids.
|The Zebra Finch-A Synthesis of Field and Laboratory Studies (Top 10)
(1996) Want to know about mate guarding at the Danaher colony or the effects of domestication on distance calls? This is a great collection of studies of the wild, and domesticated zebra finch and how they relate to the wild populations. For the serious Zebra finch fanatic. Very little and no direct information for the aviculturist.
|Varieties and Genetics of the Zebra Finch (Top 10)
Print on demand from author - www.zebrafinch.com/other/Book.html
(1997) The only book of its kind. All the mutations available in the US are covered in a manner that is easy to follow. Picture format shows the crosses needed to achieve many of the most popular combinations of Zebra finch mutations.
|Finches and other Seed-eating Birds
(1975) Light coverage for a great number of birds. No bird is really discussed in any detail, but they are all there. If you can't find any avicultural information on a particular species in other books, check here. You're sure to find a little.
|The New Finch Handbook
(1985) If you didn't start with Zebra or Society finches, but still need a beginner's book, this one may be right for you. It has great pictures of many of the most popular species. However, with many of them, if you need this book for information, you do not have the necessary experience to keep those more exotic and fragile species shown.
|The Complete Book of Finches and Softbills-Their care and Breeding
(2000) Good overview of modern aviculture. The information is not specific for individual species but covers a number of subjects from housing, feeding and breeding. Covers up to date subjects such as DNA sexing, aviary security and artificial incubation. So while the title is something of a misnomer, it is a good general reference for the modern aviculturist and a reflection of today's attitudes towards bird keeping.
|A Guide to Zebra Finches
Milton, John, Joan Lewis
(2000) First half of the book is a good general reference on the care of Zebra finches. Some of the information has a more Australian twist to aviculture in general, such as the use of live food (I don't use any with my zebras). Second half is about the color varieties available in Aus. For those varieties available here in the US, it is an interesting perspective and does give some historical information.
|A Guide to Gouldian Finches
John Sammut and Rob Marshall
(1991) A good step up from the general bird care book with specific information on care for Gouldians. The topic of Gouldian mutation genetics is covered, but breeders outside of Australia should be cautioned that not all the information applies to the mutations available in the US and Europe. Disease prevention and diagnosis is discussed with specifics for the Gouldian.
|The World of Zebra Finches
(1986) The first book devoted to Zebra finches and show standards. Some of the genetic information was a bit preliminary at the time of writing and has later proven to be quite different. While I don't refer to it much and find Chris Blackwell's book a better book on the subjects of mutations and showing, it is a worthwhile addition to the Zebra enthusiast's book collection.
|Guide to Owning a Zebra Finch
(1997) A average beginner's book on Zebra finches. You'll find Hans-Jurgen Martin's book a better buy. This book does have an occasional photo that is beautiful and made the book tolerable and all the photos have a high-gloss UV coating that gives an impressive look even if some of the photos do not warrant such treatment.
Mervin F. Roberts
(1988) One of two books by Mr. Roberts on the Zebra finch (the second is Breeding Zebra Finches). A decent beginner's book with some photos of some popular mutation available here in the US. This book has a major error that seems to just get perpetuated with each reprinting and brings many questions from those new to Zebra mutations. There is a photo of a white zebra near a yellow flower. Due to some bad printing an an editor's stupidity, the caption now reads 'This yellow Zebra is one of many mutations that can occur in this species' WRONG! There is no yellow zebra.
|The Zebra Finch-An Owner's Guide
Dr. Mathew Vriends
(1997) This book show a finch in hand with the caption "Spend quality time with your Zebra finch. This one is enjoying relaxing in his owner's hand." Except for the rare hand raised finch, I would never recommend this. Talk about stressing a bird! Other than that, there are mislabeled photos in the book and careless proofing allowed photos to switch locations in the book. (a photo of a planted aviary was labeled 'A pair of Star finches') Seems this beginner's book somehow got a hold of some Eumo images as well (a relatively new and rare mutation in Europe). Not much to recommend.
|Breeding Zebra Finches
Mervin F. Roberts
(1988) A continuation of his first book 'Zebra Finches', this book deals with breeding the Zebra finch. A much better book than the first. Touches on genetics and gives a description of some of the color varieties, but does not give their method of inheritance. Makes it hard to connect the two chapters.
|A Beginner's Guide to Zebra Finches
(1986) A pamphlet really. This is the kind of beginner's book that offers no real information on care, housing or breeding. It acts as sales material for those that have not purchased a bird, but are thinking about it. A pet store clerk might send this home with someone, but I would never recommend it.
|Your Zebra Finch
My first zebra finch book. It does a surprisingly good job in its 32 pages. Correctly labeled photos was my first exposure to CFWs, silvers, fawns and whites. Also covers Society finches and their care.
|Zebra Finches. A Complete Introduction
(1987) Another of T.F.H.'s beginner's books. Nothing new here. Same general care and the same photos that they must have rights to. While the photos and descriptions are the same as the M.F. Roberts books, the color varieties does at least tie in the method of inheritance.
|Howell Beginner's Guide to Zebra Finches
(1984) It is often difficult to provide any real detail or in-depth information in under 50 pages. Half of this booklet is devoted to the usual general bird care and the remainder covers the known color varieties of the time in the UK. Actually, some good descriptions for such a general book.
|Breeding Society Finches
Mervin F. Roberts
(1979) Similar to M.F. Roberts other book on breeding Zebra finches. There are more original photos of breeding Societies, but that's where the appropriate photos stop. Most of the photos are 'stock' photos from the T.F.H. library and are out of place with photo captions that don't correspond to the chapters they are placed. They seem like filler for the book. The genetics section is superficial for a species that has some genetics that is not fully understood. All in all, if you need help breeding Society finches, you'll never notice its shortcomings.
|A Guide to Australian Grassfinches
(1997) Another in the Australian Birdkeeper's "A Guide to" series. It is really an abridged version of Kingston's book 'Keeping and Breeding Finches and other Seedeaters', and focuses on just the Australian Grassfinches. If you can't afford the big book, this is a decent substitute until you sell enough birds to buy the big volume.
|The Complete Book of Australian Finches
(1990) Lots of really nice color photos of the Australian finches. Using an encyclopedia format (alphabetical listings) many different topics are discussed from Accomodations to Zebra finches. Excellent photos show some of the mutations available for the various finches, including some nice ones of Star finch mutations.
|The Gouldian Finch
Stewart Evans and Mike Fidler
(1986) Lots of specifics and thought provoking information on the Gouldian. From general info like stock selection to more advanced genetics and thoughts on selection and the effects of fostering.
(1991) With the domestication of the Gouldian and its availability at a reasonable price, it was only a matter of time before a beginner's book came out on these beautiful birds. If you can't be convinced to start with Zebra or Society finches or are moving from hookbills or canaries to Gouldians, this will give you a start with Gouldians. Like many of the books in the Barron's series, the information is general and somewhat superficial, but a not misleading.
|Finches and Soft-billed Birds
Henry Bates and Robert Busenbark
(1970 reprint) A classic from 30 years ago, but the information on many of the species still applies. Written during a time when imports were far more common than they are today. Some of the species are no longer available or highly restricted. Most of the entries are limited to descriptions with chapter headings being more specific on what to feed to keep your imports from dropping off the perch. Still has a place in every aviculturist's library though.
Curt Af Enehjelm
(1979) One of my earliest finch books. I purchased it for $3.59 and had to save to do that. General care, housing and breeding information with the second half of the book being devoted to descriptions of the various Australian finches. Plenty of photos to help identify the birds. As a kid I used to look at all the Gouldian photos and wish that I could add them to my collection.
|Introduction to Finches and Soft-bills
Hank Bates and Bob Busenbark
(1968) An abridged version of the larger book.
Curt Af Enehjelm
(1996) An updated reprint of Australian Finches printed in 1979. More pictures and some changes to the text, but really just another general finch care book.
|Keeping Softbilled Birds
(1980) This is the Softbill version of the beginner's guide. It covers their neeeds in particular rather than an afterthought of most of the seedeaters books. Ideal for the estrildid finch breeder who is looking to move into the more challenging softbills.
|The Proper Care of Finches
Phillip St. Blazey
(1999) Lots of pictures. One of the few to not only show, but properly label the Timor Zebra finch. (not to say that there aren't errors though). It follows the general bird book format. First half is genral care with the second half half-heartedly trying to cover every finch species in aviculture.
|Finches in Color
(1969) A beginner's booklet that I purchased 20 years ago. Interesting to read how breeding did not appear to be a priority with finches then. Reads as finches as "pets".
|Enjoy Your Finches
A pet booklet I purchased 20 year ago. Not much interest today other than the perspective it offers.
|Star Finches-Their Care and Breeding
(1992) Nice little booklet that deals exclusively with the Star finch. Some of the information has an Australian slant on bird care, but it's still nice to read something specifically for this species rather than a general book with no specifics.
|Finches, Bowerbirds and Other Passerines of Australia
(1996) Not a lot to offer the aviculturist other than really great pictures of birds in the wild. Short description and distribution information.
|Stroud's Digest on the Diseases of Birds
(1964) Originally written in the late 1930's by the "bird man of Alcatraz", it has some interesting views, but uses outdated terminology and much of modern care conflicts with the book. However, much of the book is common sense bird care.
|Foreign Bird Keeping
(1956) This 375 page book covers finches and hookbills. It offers a post-war look at aviculture in England. Example: "the zebra is not yet classed as a domesticated species...it is widely and universally bred in captivity as to render aviculturists independent of imported supplies." Those were the days.
|Practical Incubation (Top 10)
(1990) Goes beyond the usual chicken incubation book. Includes information on parrots and other altricial species as well as precocial birds that are usually covered.
|The Incubation Book
Dr. A.F. Anderson Brown
(1982) A classic in the field of incubation. Sections describe the structure of the egg, development and artificial incubation.
|The Life of Birds (4th Edition)
Joel Carl Welty and Luis Baptista
(1988) A student text book on ornithology and a great source of information on what makes a bird and why they do what they do. A really good reference book to add to your book shelf.
|Building an Aviary
Carl Naether and Dr. Mathew M. Vriends
(1978) If you're thinking of building an aviary, I challenge you to read this book and not get at least one new idea for your new aviary. Covers designs, construction and accessories. Lots of extraneous pictures of of birds that I'm sure the publisher thought would help sell the book. Restriction to the pictures of the aviaries that are shown or more photos of other aviary designs would have made for an easier read.
|The Beak of the Finch-A Story of Evolution in our Time (Pulitzer Prize)
(1996) After reading this book, I took a hard look at the birds I selected to keep for my breeding program. After reading this, you'll certainly have greater respect for the power of selection, both natural and unnatural (you the keeper).
|Society Finches as Foster Parents
Robert G. Black
(1987) A step-by-step guide to fostering finches under Society finches. Covers care of the Society fosters and discusses techniques for fostering 'easy' species such as Gouldians and Tri-colored Nuns to more difficult species such as Red Headed finches and Cordon Blues.