On Rare Birds: A Lamentation on Natural History's Extinct and Endangered

Overview

Weaving together natural history and investigative reporting with mythological and cultural material, On Rare Birds tells the compelling stories of ten rare or extinct bird species—from the tragic demise of the once-abundant Passenger Pigeon to the shooting death of the last Carolina Parakeet in the wild, and from the startling natural defenses of the "willful Nightjar" to the diverse cultural significance of the Kingfisher. Some stories bear sad witness to precious species we have lost, but they are all ...
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Overview

Weaving together natural history and investigative reporting with mythological and cultural material, On Rare Birds tells the compelling stories of ten rare or extinct bird species—from the tragic demise of the once-abundant Passenger Pigeon to the shooting death of the last Carolina Parakeet in the wild, and from the startling natural defenses of the "willful Nightjar" to the diverse cultural significance of the Kingfisher. Some stories bear sad witness to precious species we have lost, but they are all fascinating and often heartwarming or humorous depictions of the unique lives and loves of birds. On Rare Birds is a visually stunning volume illustrated by author Anita Albus's own superb artwork and by images ranging over five centuries. It will delight anyone who loves birds, laments the depletion of their populations by human hands, and cares about the survival of those species that still stand a chance. With knowledge, devotion, and a true artist's eye, Albus explains in graceful, precise prose why the decline of these bird species is a great loss both to the natural world and, unavoidably, to culture. With each species lost, a world is lost to human understanding—to our arts, our mythology, and our environment.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A twinkle of humor and a twist of wit illuminate the stories of these birds and the human figures that go with them. Life is really a series of stories, and Anita Albus is a superb storyteller." --ROBERT BATEMAN"In Anita Albus's pictures we see things in a way that we've either unlearned or forgotten." --CLAUDE LÉVI-STRAUSS "Anita Albus has created a thoroughly researched text using historical sources and glorious art to produce a fascinating book for bird lovers." --RICHARD CANNINGS, author of An Enchantment of Birds
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762788057
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/3/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 678,262
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

ANITA ALBUS is a writer and artist based in Munich and Burgundy. She is known for her detailed nature paintings—particularly of plants, birds, and butterflies, which enjoy frequent exhibits—as well as for her essays, short stories, and art history studies. Her books include The Art of Arts, The Botanical Drama, The Garden of Songs, The Botanical Spectacle, and the translation into German of Flashlights by Jules and Edmond de Goncourt. She has illustrated The Passionate Gardener by Rudolph Borchardt and The Jealous Potter by Claude Levi-Strauss and has been a member of the German Academy of Language and Literature since 2004. Albus received the highest achievement prize of the Federal Republic for her work as an artist living in France and has received many other awards, including:• Medal of Honor from the Federal Government of Germany, 2001• Friedrich-Märker Prize for her writing, 2002• Johann-Heinrich-Merck Prize for her literart criticism and essays, 2004• Prize for Environmental Literature from the State of Brandenburg, 2008.
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