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People Helping Parrots by Rosemary Low

Spreads for web 2

No. 12 – Joseph Forshaw – Celebrating his 80th birthday

Can there be anyone in the world of parrots who does not know the name of Joseph Forshaw? His contribution to the literature and science of this wonderful group of birds is without parallel. His four publications and editions entitled Parrots of the World have provided the first line of reference for scientists, field workers, customs and law enforcement officers (for identification) and, of course, for parrot keepers.

As an Australian, he could not fail to be aware of these beguiling creatures that were everywhere. As a child, he kept an aviary containing common Australian species, including Zebra Finches, Budgerigars and King Quail.

At university in the 1950s, he studied pharmacy, but to study ornithology as a profession was not possible at that time. Then in 1962, at a meeting of an amateur ornithological society, he was invited by the then Chief of the Division to join the staff of the Division of Wildlife Research at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Canberra. Also at this time he was asked by Lansdowne Press to write the text for a book on Australian parrots, and this marked the commencement of a life-long association with parrots.

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