I don’t really consider myself a birder. Though I suppose by the loose definitions that some employ I might count as such. My Grandmother Carter used to save the stale heels of bread and give them to me to put outside for the birds. I suppose what interest I have was sparked by her. I like having a bird feeder in my backyard. I like to know the names of the birds I see there and elsewhere. But I have no real desire to go track down new species or to spend hours and hours wandering through a swampy wetlands or a dense forest just for the purpose of watching birds. I’m curious about my immediate surroundings but wouldn’t go far out of my way to pursue a bird.
Still, this was a book I thoroughly enjoyed. Definitely a living book. Scott Weidensaul is passionate about the material, an avid birder himself and has firsthand knowledge of most of the contemporary characters. His historical research was probably my favorite part, though. This is the sort of science reading I enjoy most, full of colorful characters and interesting anecdotes.
Oh I wish I hadn’t taken this book back to the library yet. There were a few things I wanted to quote from it. I have found myself citing it in conversations with Dom; but of course I can’t think of anything interesting now that I’m sitting down to write about it. So much for writing a rave review. But don’t attribute my lackluster book report as a fault of the book. Just a distracted mommy writer whose reach exceeds her grasp when it comes to checking books out from the library.