The Fever Pitch of birdwatching- the story of an obsession, and of the peopIe who share it, by one of Britain's leading birdwatchers.
Mark Cocker is one of Britain's foremost writers on nature and contributes regularly to the Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, as well as BBC Radio Four. His six other books deal with modern responses to wilderness, whether found in landscape, human societies or in other species. They include a biography, Richard Meinerzthagen, shortlisted for the Angel Prize and the hugely acclaimed bestseller Birds Britannica (with Richard Mabey). He recently won a Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship to study the cultural importance of birds in West Africa.
Cocker (Rivers of Blood, Rivers of Gold) presents a witty, entertaining look at the subculture, lifestyles, adventures, and misadventures of the consuming hobby of birding, as distinguished from the passive, idle pursuit of bird watching. His birders are bright, active, often quirky people who are aggressive, adventurous, and obsessive about their avocation. Written from a British perspective, yet worldwide in focus, Cocker's tales describe the birder's lust for achieving long lists of species seen as well as the never-ending search for rarities. He shows how birders are highly knowledgeable about geography, ecology, and botany, and in many respects their familiarity with birds often surpasses that of professional ornithologists. Top birding personalities are portrayed, sometimes ruthlessly. An appendix listing "useful information, addresses and organizations" is heavy on Old World loci. A delightful, well-informed read for all with a bent for listing in nature. Henry T. Armistead, Free Lib. of Philadelphia Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
At last! An up to date examination of what makes birders tick. And
about time too! Wonderfully written * Bill Oddie *
A natural history version of Fever Pitch... Reading it may even make you want to try out this strangely addictive past time for yourself * Guardian *
Intensely readable, very funny and highly enlightening * New Scientist *
With a mixture of well-chosen anecdotes and self-deprecating humour, Cocker succeeds in making event he most hardened cynic appreciate his passion. Birders is a stylish work in a long tradition of fine writing on the subject * Guardian *
The best account yet of the "tribe" and its wonderful, unworldly passions * The Times *