fileg (fileg) wrote,


I just finished reading To See Every Bird on Earth: A Father, a Son, and a Lifelong Obsession by Dan Koeppel

It sounded like a good bet for me, but it turned out to be ... I'm almost embarrassed to say this ... neither fish nor fowl.

While it was interesting enough, it was not what I expected or hoped for. The book is not so much about the travel, adventure or obsession of big list birding as a biography of his father and a dry history of modern birding with the occasional bird sighting used to anchor the the chapters.

His understanding of his father's need to build a giant life list eventually served as a means of father and son coming to - well, actually I hesitate to say understand each other, but to find some common ground to rebuild their connection. Perhaps if there had been any indication that either father or son actually *liked* the birds, I would have liked it better.

There is one incident that I thought some of you would find interesting. In a section about how difficult it is to have some sightings verified, they talk about a young birder who reported seeing the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (round about 2000.) This led to various recordings being made in the area, one of which seemed to verify that distinct tok-tok call. The expert dismissed this as distant gunfire, and the consensus was basically that the sighting was a well intentioned mistake as you can't see an extinct bird in it's old range. I'm wondering how they feel about that now!
Tags: birds, books

  • it's raining, it's pouring

    Jim just said -what's with all this precipitation? Since I had just moments before read my email from the NJ Patch, I was able to reply - Tropical…

  • where are we going

    Jim often talks to me in his sleep, but only occasionally actually gets up and moves around. Last night, I had to prevent him from getting out of…

  • knob

    Jim had to go in to work Saturday, a special project that needed him to go in early. When he was getting ready to go, I woke up and found him doing…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.