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Books about Emus

This page lists books that are totally or partially about Emus. The books are listed in order of publication date with the most recent at the top.


Family: Dromaiidae

Dromaius novaehollandiae

There are three extant subspecies.

D. n. novaehollandiae
D. n. woodwardi
D. n. rothschildi


Something about Emus: Bininj Stories from Western Arnhem Land

Editor: Murray Garde

Aboriginal Studies Press


"The emu is an iconic Australian bird of significance to all Australians, but especially so to Indigenous Australians who have had a special relationship with this curious animal for thousands of years. In this bilingual, highly illustrated, full-color publication Something about emus reveals valuable ecological knowledge in a collection of essays by senior members of the Bininj Kunwok language group from Kakadu National Park and Western Arnhem Land. Something about emus goes beyond biology and ecology to encompass other culturally important domains such as the visual and verbal arts, music, ritual and the relationships between humans and animals. Whilst Indigenous ecological knowledge is increasingly acknowledged as a valuable part of Australia's cultural heritage, such knowledge is most richly expressed in Australia's Indigenous languages which have largely remained inaccessible to those outside their communities."

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Ratites and Tinamous:Tinamidae, Rheidae, Dromaiidae, Casuariidae, Apterygidae, Struthionidae

Stephen Davies

Colour plates: Michael. J Bamford

Oxford University Press


336 pages, 12 colour plates, numerous maps and tables

"The book covers the evolution, biology and natural history of the group of flightless birds that includes ostriches, emus, cassowaries and kiwis - the Ratites and their relatives, the Tinamous. It reviews the scientific studies that have been made of their ecology, behaviour, physiology, husbandary, evolution, mythology and conservation. Each of the 55 species is described in detail, with maps of the present known distribution, accounts their food and nesting habits, calls, field identification, habitat and relationship with humans, including farming. It is the first such comprehensive account of the groups since 1877, and the first to bring together comprehensive information about the tinamous, little known birds of the America. It reviews the long debated subject of the evolution of these groups, highlighting new evidence that has turned many old theories on their head."

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Handbook of Western Australian Birds, Volume 1: Non-Passerines: Emu to Dollarbird

R.E. Johnstone and G.M. Storr

Western Australian Museum


"The first bird book to cover the whole of Western Australia, this major new book will become the definitive work on Western Australian birds for many years to come. It is an indispensable reference for birdwatchers, naturalists and also for environmental and conservation studies."

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Handbook of the Birds of the World, Vol. 1: Ostrich to Ducks

Edited by Josep Del Hoyo, Andrew Elliott and Jordi Sargatal

Lynx Edicions


640 pages, 67 colour plates, 200 colour photos, 550 distribution maps.

"This volume covers: ostrich, rheas, cassowaries, emu, kiwis, tinamous, penguins, divers, grebes, albatrosses, petrels & shearwaters, storm- and diving-petrels, tropicbirds, pelicans, gannets & boobies, cormorants, darters, frigatebirds, herons, hamerkop, storks, shoebill, ibises and spoonbills, flamingos, screamers, ducks, geese and swans."

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Handbook of Australian, New Zealand, and Antarctic Birds: Volume 1: Ratites to Ducks

Editors: S. Marchant and P. J. Higgins

Illustrations: Jeff Davies

Oxford University Press


"Volume 1 (in 2 parts) covers emus to ducks - 196 species of which 162 breed in the region. The text for each bird includes field identification, habitat, distribution, movements, food, voice, social organization and behaviour, breeding, and plumage. There are superb colour illustrations of every species, showing developmental and seasonal changes in the plumage and bare parts. Distribution both within and beyond the range is shown on maps. Line drawings of displays and other postures, diagrams of the annual cycle of each species, and sonagrams of important calls are also included."

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The Life of the Emu

Maxine Eastman

Angus and Robertson


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Catalogue Of The Chenomorphae, Crypturi and Ratitae In The Collection Of The British Museum

Catalogue Of The Birds In The British Museum, Volume XXVII

T. Salvadori

19 colour plates: J. Smit, J.G. Keulemans

Printed By Order Of The Trustees

Sold by: Longman & Co.; B. Quaritch; Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.; and at the British Museum (Natural History)



"The numbers of the species of Birds treated of in this Volume, and of the specimens at present in the Collection, are as follows: Chenomorphae, 205; Crypturi, 65; Ratitae. 26. In none of the preceding volumes has the number of desiderata been so small as in the present; only eight species of the Anseres, seven of the Tinamous, and four of the Ratitae being entirely unrepresented by specimens in the Museum. Beside the 67 types of recognized species, the Collection contains 25 other typical specimens which are now regarded as referable to species previously named and described. The unrivalled collection of Tinamous formed by Messrs. Godman and Salvin, and supplemented by the loan of numerous specimens from Continental Museums, has enabled the author to discriminate considerably more species than his predecessors were inclined to admit. The Hon. Walter Rothschild, whose collection of Apteryx far surpasses that in the British Museum, has given most valuable assistance in the preparation of this Catalogue by lending these as well as other specimens to the author. The present volume concludes the series of the 'Catalogue of Birds.' Thanks to the energy with which Count Salvadori has applied himself to the work, its publication precedes that of Volumes 24, 25, and 26. However, it will be followed immediately by Volume 25, which contains the Gulls and Petrels, while it is a matter of regret that no such prospect can be held out as regards the other two volumes. In a final volume it is intended to give a supplementary list of the species described since the publication of the several volumes, and an Index to the whole work."
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Last updated September 2017