Book Review – Featherings


Featherings edited by Vernon RL Head (Jacana) ISBN: 9781431425792

In this charming collection of birding stories, the search for that rare sighting birdwatchers and ornithologists dream of, forms the essence of the book.

The language of feathers and the freedoms that come on wings beyond walls is Head’s lyrical description of the fascination we have for birds. His words read like poetry. The other contributors all inspire with their very personal stories.

Like an important event in history, each contributor remembers exactly the first time they saw or heard a bird that they had been looking for, sometimes for their whole life. Like the landmark find of Rudd’s Lark’s nest after 70 years. Or the 20 000 drinking sandgrouse.

When reading these memorable birding experiences, I feel the same excitement as the ornithologist who managed to ring a African Crowned Eagle or another one who finally spotted the Congo Peacock. One bird lover describes a sighting as breathing pure helium from well inside seventh heaven. All of them possess enormous patience and perseverance, just to tick that rare bird off their bucket list and they all know how to convey their love and passion for birds in these stories.

Featherings will appeal to everyone: from avid bird observers to readers who love stories about birdlife and wilderness. Recommended!

Pauline Vijverberg
3/5