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The joys of being an author!

Spreads for web Parrots 278 4

By Rosemary Low

Someone asked me recently, “How many books have you written?” Good question! I had to go to my website, look under “Bibliography” and count them and excluding short books, I counted 31. My first books were published when I was in my twenties and, since then, I have usually published at intervals of two or three years.

The first book that I wrote without a commission was The Parrots of South America, published in 1972. At that time no book, anywhere in the world, had been published solely about the parrots from that region. Aviculturists preferred Australian parakeets, and there were several books about them. I had kept few Australian species. It was the parrots from the Neotropics that had won my heart. I loved their personalities, so different from the often more aloof Australian species.

An inveterate note taker, also a keeper of index-cards for parrot articles, I had a lot of information to hand that had never been collated previously. In 1971, during one week’s holiday, or possibly longer than that, I went to the Natural History Museum in South Kensington every day. That was before the bird collection moved to Tring. I was allowed to study, unsupervised, any skin specimens I wished to see. I had a great time opening drawers and encountering species I had never set eyes on before, because they were not in captivity. I described their plumage and measured them. This was sheer enjoyment!

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