BIRDMANIA

A Remarkable Passion for Birds

Bernd Brunner

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;

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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.

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  • Greystone Books
  • Hardcover
  • October 2017
  • 288 Pages
  • 9781771642774

Buy the Book

$39.95

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About Bernd Brunner

Bernd Brunner’s work has been published in Lapham’s Quarterly, the Paris Review, the Wall Street Journal SpeakeasyAeon, 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.

Author Website

Praise

“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

“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 Bird 

Birdmania chronicles avian obsession in its myriad forms… A delightful exploration into the enduring allure of one of nature’s most charismatic creatures.”Mark Barrow, author of A Passion for Birds