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Birds of Australia – Where Song Began by Tim Low

Birds of Australia – Where Song Began by Tim Low

Birds of Australia and how they changed the world.
By Tim Low

We fell for!

Renowned for its unusual mammals, Australia is a land of birds that are just as unusual, just as striking, a result of the continent’s tens of millions of years of isolation.

Compared with birds elsewhere, Australia’s birds are more likely to be intelligent, aggressive and loud, to live in complex societies, and are long-lived.

They’re also ecologically more powerful, exerting more influences on forests than other birds.


But unlike the mammals, the birds did not keep to Australia; they spread around the globe.

Australia provided the world with its songbirds and parrots, the most intelligent of all bird groups.

Tim Low has a rare gift for illuminating complex ideas in highly readable prose, and making of the whole a dynamic story.

Here he brilliantly explains how Australia’s birds birds came to be so extraordinary, including the large role played by the foods they consume (birds, too, are what they eat), and by our climate, soil, fire, and Australia’s legacy as a part of Gondwana.

The story of its birds is inseparable from the story of Australia itself, and one that continues to unfold, so much having changed in the last decade about what we know of our ancient past.



Where Song Began also shines a light on New Guinea as a biological region of Australia, as much a part of the continent as Tasmania.

This is a work that goes far beyond the birds themselves to explore the relationships between Australia’s birds and its people, and the ways in which scientific prejudice have hindered our understanding.