A fascinating, in-depth account of New Zealand’s birds, which spans their discovery, their place in both Pākehā and Māori worlds, their survival and conservation, and the illustrations and art they have inspired. In 1872, the first instalments of Walter Buller’s A History of the Birds of New Zealand appeared.
When completed, this became a landmark publishing event that described the place of New Zealand’s birds in the Māori world, the first encounters Europeans had with our birds, the arguments over their classification, and provided a snapshot of their status at the time. Through Buller’s books, the rest of the world got to know about New Zealand’s unusual and distinctive birds, and New Zealanders, too, began to appreciate them.
Geoff Norman’s Birdstories carries Buller’s publishing legacy through to the present day. He covers a range of our bird families and individual species, and provides an up-to-date picture of how these birds are regarded by both Māori and Pākehā, the backstory of their discovery, and their current conservation status. Extensively illustrated with historic illustrations and contemporary artwork, this is a beautiful, comprehensive publication that will help New Zealanders realise what a taonga we have in our birds.