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Ninety years on, A. H. Chisholm’s classic Mateship with Birds is still as fresh and inspirational as an early-morning walk in the bush, the air resounding with birdsong. His account of the secret lives of birds—their seasonal doings and their complex relationships—reflects his patient and detailed observations, and his deep enjoyment of the Australian bush and all its inhabitants. This is not just a book for bird-lovers; Chisholm’s charming and often humorous prose reveals a man who loves words as well as birds. His style of writing and the historical photographs accompanying his text provide a gentle record of a period that already feels like “the old days.” But Chisholm wrote with an urgent message to the future. He could clearly see the threat that modern life posed to birdlife, and the reissue of this classic book offers his delight in “the loveliest and the best of Nature’s children” to a new generation.

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