Joseph M Forshaw

on 6th February 2007

Joseph M. Forshaw, one of Australia’s foremost ornithologists and a world renown expert on parrots, was in town last month on a private visit. While here, he had time to go bird watch and meet up with old birding friends. And a possible visit to the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research at the National University of Singapore.

Joseph has always been fascinated with parrots. After all, there are more than 50 species of parrots in Australia alone and about a sixth of all the world’s parrots are endemic to this island-continent. However, his passion for these birds took a turn when he was awarded a fellowship by the American Museum of Natural History in New York to study specimens of Australian parrots in its Mathews Collection in 1964. This led to the publication in 1969, of his immensely successful book, Australian Parrots (Lansdowne Press).

His next major work was in 1973 when he brought out Parrots of the World (Lansdowne Editions). These were followed by a series of bird book monographs on Birds of Paradise and Bowerbirds, Kingfishers and Related Birds, Turacos, Cockatoos…

Many of Joseph’s books are lavishly illustrated by his long-standing artist friend, William T. Cooper, the pictures of which are now collectors’ items.

YC Wee
February 2007

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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