Monday, December 19, 2005

"A Bird in the Bush"

Subtitled "A Social History of Birdwatching", written by Stephen Moss, and published by Aurum Press of London, it tells the story through from the early days, largely of the British scene, where it all started, and includes later American involvement. It does dispel my long held and uncharitable view that the reverend gentlemen who seem to have played a major part in its' beginnings, had too much time on their hands! Apparently the countryside in 18th century England was a "no go" area for most people, but the local vicar was off limits to highwaymen, footpads and the like and could wander at will. It goes on to also recount the collectors, taxidermists, oologists, the use of birds feathers in the fashion industry and the more recent improvements in optics, and many other topics. Worth a read.

NB I seem to recall reading that there was a local industry catching birds for the millinery industry. It included, if my memory is correct, catching, by netting, Azure Kingfishers in the creek that runs through Cambridge into Barilla Bay. Perhaps there's someone reading this who can verify that.

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