Golden Wings and Other Stories about Birders and Birding

Overview

Dubbed the "Bard of America's Bird-Watchers" by the Wall Street Journal, Pete Dunne knows birders and birding—instinctively and completely. He understands the compulsion that drives other birders to go out at first light, whatever the weather, for a chance to maybe, just maybe, glimpse that rare migrant that someone might have spotted in a patch of woods the day before yesterday. And yet, he also knows how . . . well . . . strange the birding obsession becomes when viewed through the eyes of a nonbirder. His dual...

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Overview

Dubbed the "Bard of America's Bird-Watchers" by the Wall Street Journal, Pete Dunne knows birders and birding—instinctively and completely. He understands the compulsion that drives other birders to go out at first light, whatever the weather, for a chance to maybe, just maybe, glimpse that rare migrant that someone might have spotted in a patch of woods the day before yesterday. And yet, he also knows how . . . well . . . strange the birding obsession becomes when viewed through the eyes of a nonbirder. His dual perspective—totally engrossed in birding, yet still aware of the "odd birdness" of some birders—makes reading his essays a pure pleasure whether you pursue "the feather quest" or not.

This book collects forty-one of Dunne's recent essays, drawn from his columns in Living Bird, Wild Bird News, the New Jersey Sunday section of the New York Times, Birder's World, and other publications. Written with his signature wit and insight, they cover everything from a moment of awed communion with a Wandering Albatross ("the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen") to Dunne's imagined "perfect bird" ("The Perfect Bird is the size of a turkey, has the wingspan of an eagle, the legs of a crane, the feet of a moorhen, and the talons of a great horned owl. It eats kudzu, surplus zucchini, feral cats, and has been known to predate upon homeowners who fire up their lawn mowers before 7:00 A.M. on the weekend."). The title essay pays whimsical, yet heartfelt tribute to Dunne's mentor, the late birding legend Roger Tory Peterson.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292716216
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2003
  • Series: Corrie Herring Hooks Series
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 136
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface
Eye of the Beheld 1
All You Need is $ 3
Directions, Please! 6
Listening with Longing, Settling for Beauty 9
Birding Tough 11
Words to Lead By 13
The Best Yard in the Neighborhood 16
Crusader's Banner 18
Donna and the Right Stuff 20
Of Kids and Model Airplanes 22
Going to the Bird Store. Hoping for a Guide 25
The Take-Home of Going Away 28
Want to Go for a Walk? 30
Birding in Shadowland 32
Stuff E'nuf? 34
A Six-Pack of Fame 37
Explorers (of the Lost World) Club 40
Earl's Journal 45
A Flicker Day for Sure 47
The Errors We're Known By 50
Talkin' around a Sighting 53
Truth and Consequences 57
Something Stringy about This 60
Binocular Reality 63
Circus genitalia 66
Almost Ivory 68
Hearing 70
New Eyes 72
Intimate 74
Birding Products for the Twenty-first Century 76
Peenter Pan 79
The Trust of Jay 81
Ghost Writing 83
Golden Wings 85
Meet the New Age ... 101
Birdin' in the Rain 105
A Life without Birding? 108
Understanding Wren 110
A Chat about the Rules 112
Passing the Pen 115
The Perfect Bird 120
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