Since 1972 Mark Cocker has been a member of a community of people who sacrifice most of their spare time, a good deal of money, sometimes their chances of a partner or family, and even occasionally their lives to watch birds. There is the record-holding husband and wife who cross continents to "twitch" (spot rare birds); the disgraced "stringer" who takes desperate measures to falsify a spotting of the coveted black lark, leading hundreds on a fruitless search; and a group of friends who go birding in America only to be plagued by car trouble, drunk drivers, robbery, and an encounter with the border police. Birders is also an inspiring and heartwarming account of the author's lifelong love for his hobby, and the way it transforms him -- from his fetishistic love affair with his notebook and "bins" (binoculars) to his deep mourning for a friend who went missing when he followed the call of an elusive pheasant in the Himalayan mountains. Informative, touching, and astoundingly funny, here is the layman's invitation to share in an unlikely obsession. "Birders: Tales of a Tribe reveals the drama, thrills, and swashbuckling excitement of birdwatching." -- Stuart Winter, The Daily Star (London) "Fascinating ... He has written the best account yet of the 'tribe' and its wonderful, unworldly passions." -- Derwent May, The Times (London) "A stylish work in a long tradition of fine writing on the subject." -- Stephen Moss, The Guardian
About Mark Cocker
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Published May 1, 2002
by Grove Press.
Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math.