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A Bird in the Bush: A Social History of Birdwatching
     

A Bird in the Bush: A Social History of Birdwatching

by Stephen Moss
 

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These days the RSPB (the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) has over a million active members. Watching birds is one of the most popular of all leisure pursuits. For many people it offers a tranquil day out at a picturesque nature reserve with a nice tea shop; for many more - the fabled 'twitchers' beloved of media jokes - it is a fiercely competitive sport

Overview

These days the RSPB (the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) has over a million active members. Watching birds is one of the most popular of all leisure pursuits. For many people it offers a tranquil day out at a picturesque nature reserve with a nice tea shop; for many more - the fabled 'twitchers' beloved of media jokes - it is a fiercely competitive sport that requires a pager, a fast car and enormous stamina. It is a hobby that has spawned a big and lucrative industry, to supply anything from birding holidays in South America to state-of-the-art telescopes and even bird-call ringtones for a mobile phone. Kenneth Clarke is a birdwatcher, so, apparently, is Jarvis Cocker. Why, and how, have people watched birds through the ages? Stephen Moss's book is the first to trace the history and development of this singular pastime, on both sides of the Atlantic, all the way from Gilbert White, the country parson who wrote The Natural History of Selborne in the eighteenth century, through the British servicemen who studied black redstarts from their German prisoner-of-war camp, to today's driven 'life-listers' and twisters who think nothing of hurtling the length of the UK by planes, automobiles and even boats in pursuit of a Grey-Tailed Tattler temporarily landfallen in the Shetland Isles. Both authoritative and readable, and directed at the general reader just as much as the dedicated birder, What Makes Us Tick is written by an author with extensive media contacts in television, radio, newspapers and the birding press.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781781310090
Publisher:
Aurum Press, Limited
Publication date:
06/23/2005
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Stephen Moss is a writer and broadcaster who has written the monthly Birdwatch column in the Guardian since 1993. He worked for many years at the world-famous BBC Natural History Unit in Bristol, where his award-winning TV series included Birding with Bill Oddie, Bill Oddie Goes Wild and Springwatch. He is also a regular voice on BBC radio. He has authored a number of books for Aurum, including This Birding Life: The Best of the Guardian’s Birdwatch, A Bird in the Bush: A Social History of Birdwatching, A Sky Full of Starlings: A Diary of the Birding Year and Wild Hares and Hummingbirds. He lives in Somerset with his wife Suzanne and five children.

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