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Nature Birds

Birdmania

A Remarkable Passion for Birds

by (author) Bernd Brunner

foreword by Pete Dunne

translated by Jane Billinghurst

Publisher
Greystone Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Oct 2017
Category
Birds, Essays, Birds
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781771642774
    Publish Date
    Oct 2017
    List Price
    $39.95
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781771642781
    Publish Date
    Oct 2017
    List Price
    $29.95

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Description

"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 at Tring.

About the authors

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.

Bernd Brunner's profile page

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.

Pete Dunne's profile page

Jane Billinghurst holds an M.A. in German and Philosophy from Oxford University and is the author of numerous nonfiction books, including Temptress: From the Original Bad Girls to Women on Top. She is also an editor and has been the director of Simon Fraser University's Summer Book Editing Workshop. She lives in Anacortes, Washington, where she can often be found tending her foxgloves and forget-me-nots or relaxing in a garden chair.

Jane Billinghurst's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"In his lively tour de bird obsessive, Bernd Brunner captures the antics and agonies of the human longing to connect with our feathered brethren, encounters that usually reveal even more about ourselves than the bird in hand."
—Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix
"A delightful exploration into the enduring allure of one of nature’'s most charismatic creatures."
Mark Barrow, author of A Passion for Birds
"There are more of us bird crazies out here than you know. Birdmania will make you want to become one, too. As always, Bernd Brunner's writing is scintillating and comprehensive as he explores another mysterious aspect of human obsession."
David Rothenberg, author of Why Birds Sing and Survival of the Beautiful
"Like bird watching itself, reading Birdmania is filled with surprises and a sense of discovery. But in this collection it is the watchers, not the birds, who are on display —ornithologists and bird lovers of every description, revealed in sketches and anecdotes that are quirky, intriguing, and always affectionate. Highly enjoyable."
Thor Hanson, author of Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle
"Birdmania delves into the extraordinarily wide range of people who have observed and documented these beautiful and fascinating creatures. Read this book and be inspired."
Bernd Heinrich, author of One Wild Bird at a Time
"Brunner's lively prose and provocative imagery reveal that birds and people have had deep and important connections for millennia."
John Marzluff, author of Welcome to Subirdia and Gifts of the Crow
"An exquisitely beautiful book, Bernd Brunner's survey of our historical and cultural relationship with birds is packed with anecdote and interest, and populated with a cast of fascinating and memorable figures who helped forge how we think of birds today, from adventurers to bird-keepers, artists to ornithologists. These stories about birds are ultimately reflections on the curious nature of humanity itself."
Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk
"Our knowledge of science and natural history is built on the images and writings of those that came before us. Birdmania is a beautiful tribute to the pioneers who immersed themselves in the world of birds."
Gerrit Vyn, author of The Living BirdBirdmania is a fascinating kaleidoscope of colorful stories that illustrate the great variety of connections between humans and birds throughout time. Sit back and enjoy these tales of falconers, explorers, egg collectors, scientists, musicians, artists, criminals, doting bird owners, bird watchers, and people who have devoted their lives, and sometimes lost them, in their efforts to learn more about avian life. You will be well rewarded.”
Jo Miles Schuman, co-editor, with Joanna Bailey Hodgman, of A Spicing of Birds: Poems by Emily Dickinson

Other titles by Bernd Brunner

Other titles by Jane Billinghurst

The Secret Network of Nature

Trees, Animals, and the Extraordinary Balance of All Living Things— Stories from Science and Observation

by (author) Peter Wohlleben
translated by Jane Billinghurst

Ancient Bones

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Forest Walking

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The Heartbeat of Trees

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Ancient Bones

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translated by Jane Billinghurst
foreword by David R. Begun

Winterlust

Finding Beauty in the Fiercest Season

by (author) Bernd Brunner
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translated by Jane Billinghurst

The Secret Wisdom of Nature

Trees, Animals, and the Extraordinary Balance of All Living Things -— Stories from Science and Observation

by (author) Peter Wohlleben
translated by Jane Billinghurst

Papa Goose

One Year, Seven Goslings, and the Flight of My Life

by (author) Michael Quetting
foreword by Stacey O'Brien
translated by Jane Billinghurst

The Inner Life of Animals

Love, Grief, and Compassion—Surprising Observations of a Hidden World

by (author) Peter Wohlleben
foreword by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
translated by Jane Billinghurst

The Hidden Life of Trees

What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from A Secret World

by (author) Peter Wohlleben
foreword by Tim Flannery
translated by Jane Billinghurst
contributions by Suzanne Simard

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