Birdscapes by Jeremy Mynott
Birds in Our Imagination and Experience

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 5 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

What draws us to the beauty of a peacock, the flight of an eagle, or the song of a nightingale? Why are birds so significant in our lives and our sense of the world? And what do our ways of thinking about and experiencing birds tell us about ourselves? Birdscapes is a unique meditation on the variety of human responses to birds, from antiquity to today, and from casual observers to the globe-trotting "twitchers" who sometimes risk life, limb, and marriages simply to add new species to their "life lists."

Drawing extensively on literature, history, philosophy, and science, Jeremy Mynott puts his own experiences as a birdwatcher in a rich cultural context. His sources range from the familiar--Thoreau, Keats, Darwin, and Audubon--to the unexpected--Benjamin Franklin, Giacomo Puccini, Oscar Wilde, and Monty Python. Just as unusual are the extensive illustrations, which explore our perceptions and representations of birds through images such as national emblems, women's hats, professional sports logos, and a Christmas biscuit tin, as well as classics of bird art. Each chapter takes up a new theme--from rarity, beauty, and sound to conservation, naming, and symbolism--and is set in a new place, as Mynott travels from his "home patch" in Suffolk, England, to his "away patch" in New York City's Central Park, as well as to Russia, Australia, and Greece.

Conversational, playful, and witty, Birdscapes gently leads us to reflect on large questions about our relation to birds and the natural world. It encourages birders to see their pursuits in a broader human context--and it shows nonbirders what they may be missing.

 

About Jeremy Mynott

See more books from this Author
Jeremy Mynott has been watching, listening to, and thinking about birds--and birders--for much of his life. He is the former chief executive of Cambridge University Press and is a fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge.
 
Published March 1, 2009 by Princeton University Press. 392 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Nature & Wildlife, Sports & Outdoors, Science & Math, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Birdscapes

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

Birdwatchingwatching by Alex Horne 378pp, Virgin, £12.99 While Flocks Last by Charlie Elder 330pp, Bantam, £14.99 Birdscapes: Birds In Our Imagination and Experience by Jeremy Mynott 384pp, Princeton, £17.95 This latest flock of birding books is perhaps another manifestation of the "Springwatch e...

Apr 18 2009 | Read Full Review of Birdscapes: Birds in Our Imag...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

losing sense of humour (or job or partner)."" Though Mynott provides ample references for further reading, this leisurely, thoughtful, generous book provides ample information and amusement.

| Read Full Review of Birdscapes: Birds in Our Imag...

Open Letters Monthly

That burly roller-type bird on a distant dead tree makes a little foray after some large flying insect and reveals the distinctive white spots on the wings – ah, yes, the dollar bird;

| Read Full Review of Birdscapes: Birds in Our Imag...

Bookmarks Magazine

Each chapter takes up a new theme--from rarity, beauty, and sound to conservation, naming, and symbolism--and is set in a new place, as Mynott travels from his "home patch" in Suffolk, England, to his "away patch" in New York City's Central Park, as well as to Russia, Australia, and Greece.<p...

Apr 19 2009 | Read Full Review of Birdscapes: Birds in Our Imag...

City Of Tongues

At first glance there’s not a lot to connect them – the Monthly piece is about the trip I took in late June to go diving with whale sharks at Ningaloo, while the Australian Book Review piece is a review of Jeremy Mynott’s delightfully omnivorous book about birds and birdwatching, Birdscapes – but...

Sep 01 2009 | Read Full Review of Birdscapes: Birds in Our Imag...

Rate this book!

Add Review
×