Birdmania: A Remarkable Passion for Birds

Birdmania: A Remarkable Passion for Birds


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Birdmania: A Remarkable Passion for Birds by Bernd Brunner

"An exquisitely beautiful book ...These stories about birds are ultimately reflections on the curious nature of humanity itself"
— Helen Macdonald, author of H Is for Hawk

There is no denying that many people are crazy for birds. Packed with intriguing facts and exquisite and rare artwork, Birdmania showcases an eclectic and fascinating selection of bird devotees who would do anything for their feathered friends.

In addition to well-known enthusiasts such as Aristotle, Charles Darwin, and Helen Macdonald, Brunner introduces readers to Karl Russ, the pioneer of "bird rooms", who had difficulty renting lodgings when landlords realized who he was; George Lupton, a wealthy Yorkshire lawyer, who commissioned the theft of uniquely patterned eggs every year for twenty years from the same unfortunate female guillemot who never had a chance to raise a chick; George Archibald, who performed mating dances for an endangered whooping crane called Tex to encourage her to lay; and Mervyn Shorthouse, who posed as a wheelchair-bound invalid to steal an estimated ten thousand eggs from the Natural History Museum in Tring.

As this book illustrates, people who love birds, whether they are amateurs or professionals, are as captivating and varied as the birds that give flight to their dreams.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781771642774
Publisher: Greystone Books
Publication date: 10/24/2017
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 498,001
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Bernd Brunner's work has been published in Lapham's Quarterly, the Paris Review , the Wall Street Journal Speakeasy , Aeon , and the Huffington Post , and he has lectured at New York's Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts and Culture, the Bancroft Library of the University of California at Berkeley, and the Goethe Institute in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. He is the author of an eclectic array of books, including Bears: A Brief History and Inventing the Christmas Tree.

Pete Dunne is the author of numerous books about birds, including Hawks in Flight. He is the vice president of the New Jersey Audubon Society and director of its Cape May Bird Observatory.

Jane Billinghurst’s career has been in book publishing in the UK, the US, and Canada, as an editor, publisher, writer, and translator. She is the translator of the international bestseller The Hidden Life of Trees by German forester Peter Wohlleben.

Table of Contents

Foreword Pete Dunne vii

What's That Sound? 1

1 Early Enthusiasts 7

2 Bedazzlement 19

3 Strutting Someone Else's Stuff 31

4 Laying the Groundwork for Science 41

5 A Bird in the Hand 57

6 Lost in the Mists of Time 67

7 Championing Birds 73

8 In the Company of Birds 89

9 A Walk on the Wild Side 127

10 Is Bird Love a One-Way Street? 141

11 To Kill or Not to Kill? 151

12 Flight Trackers 179

13 The Lure of the Egg 187

14 Focus on Feathers 199

15 Mad for Bird Watching 205

16 Tracking Dodos and Their Ilk 223

17 Recording Nature 237

18 Deadly Obsessions 247

19 Fantasies of Flight 253

Epilogue 259

Acknowledgments 265

Selected Bibliography and Sources for Quotes 267

List of Illustrations 274

Index of Birds 282

Index of People 288

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Brunner's lively prose and provocative imagery discovers that birds and people have had deep and important connections for millennia."— John Marzluff, author of Welcome to Subirdia and GIfts of the Crow

"A delightful exploration into the enduring allure of one of nature’'s most charismatic creatures."— Mark Barrow, author of A Passion for Birds

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