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Click here to view or download the Pacific Birds Bibliography (A - L) as of March 2013 [.doc file]
Click here to view or download the Pacific Birds Bibliography (M - Z) as of March 2013 [.doc file]
Purpose and usage:  For the past two decades I have been compiling a bibliography of references on birds of the tropical Pacific (including the Hawaiian Islands, Micronesia, tropical Polynesia east to Easter Island and South to Rapa, Fiji, and the surrounding oceans). This is the area covered by my 1987 field guide except for Easter Island (Rapa Nui) which will be covered in the next edition. It does not include any of Melanesia (unless you consider Fiji part of Melanesia). At the end of most entries are two-letter codes that put the reference into a subject category. So, by using the Find command in Word, one can locate all the references on a given broad subject. My hope is to provide scholars in the region with an easy access to the literature. For my own work, I use this bibliography every time I write a paper and just use cut-and-paste to assemble a Literature Cited with minimal work.

Coverage:  I have taken a broad view as to what to include. For example, I list books such as field guides or family monographs if any of the species are found in the region. I also include field identification references covering tropical Pacific species, even if the papers themselves do not reference the Pacific. I have not, however, included studies of tropical Pacific species that were done outside the region (I would not include, for example, a study of Sooty Terns done in the Indian Ocean). Nor have I included papers that were simply cited in a listed paper, such as those dealing with research methods, if they do not pertain directly to the region. I also exclude the so-called gray literature of unpublished internal reports to government agencies and NGOs, although some of those have crept in. Such things are often cited in research papers, and justifiably so, but they are not readily available to other researchers and cannot really be considered publications. An exception is that I include master’s theses and doctoral dissertations because those can be obtained from the libraries of the institutions where they were done. Some scholars regard things published only on the internet to be part of the gray literature, but I have tried to include those because of their wide availability. However, I have myself run into problems with websites that ‘”go extinct” because the owner dies or simply can no longer maintain the site. One should cite only references that were actually consulted. For non-scientific articles from the popular press and blogs, the coverage is catch-as-catch-can. I list all such things that I know about, but make no effort to keep up with all the popular magazines, newspapers, bird club newsletters, and other possible sources.

Format:  Format for the entries is fairly standard for American journals, but inconsistencies occur because I often use cut-and-paste to add entries from a variety of sources, and I sometimes forget to reformat them. The main author is listed by surname then initials (i. e. Pratt, H. D.), but subsequent authors are listed as one would write the name (H. D. Pratt). Publications with more than two authors (cited as Pratt et al.) are listed in chronological order rather than alphabetically, as has come to be standard practice. I have used full titles for journals in English, but when I have an abbreviated name in another language, I may not know what the abbreviations stand for, so have left it as it was in my source. Any help in fleshing out these names will be appreciated. I note a recent trend to delete as many spaces as possible in literature citations. I was taught to put 2 spaces at the end of sentences, and a single space after periods that indicate abbreviations (such as authors’ initials). I can’t get out of the habit, but have decided not to try to be consistent in this regard because every journal has its own rules. I do not italicize journal names, but do italicize titles of books. Major words in book titles are usually capitalized throughout, but only the first word and proper names are capitalized for titles of journal papers. I also routinely capitalize the English names of birds, as is now customary in ornithology, but papers cited in journals that do not do so may still retain lower-case bird names. I have not designated an order of publication for multiple papers in the same year for the same author (i. e. Smith 2010a, 2010b, etc.) because I do not usually know the order, and the letter suffixes change depending on how many from a given year are cited.

Call for contributions:  The selfish reason for making this compilation available to the public is to encourage scholars to assist me in making it as complete as possible. Importantly, I hope authors will make sure all of their own appropriate publications have been included. I make additions and changes to this bibliography on an almost daily basis. Every time a new paper is published, I find references cited, often longstanding ones, that I have overlooked despite all my efforts. Also, with the proliferation of online and increasingly specialized journals, one person simply cannot keep up. You can assist by sending me any missing older references, and especially recent publications. As of October 2011, I have not completed listings from Vols. 19-34 and 49-55 of the journal Te Manu, published in Tahiti in French, and any help in completing those entries would be appreciated. Additions and corrections should be sent to me at

Application:  The bibliography through October 2011 is in two MS Word files, A-L and M-Z. Feel free to download them for personal use. However, for the most up-to-date version, email me at I can send them as either .doc or .docx files.