By: Simon Barnes
Rated 4.5 Stars
Recommended by Julie
Look out the window.
See a bird.
You are now a bad birdwatcher.
In this refreshingly irreverent introduction to the subject, Simon Barnes makes birdwatching simple—and above all, enjoyable.
Anyone who has ever looked up at the sky or gazed out the window knows a thing or two about birds. Who doesn’t know the brisk purpose of a sparrow, the airy insouciance of the seagull, the dramatic power of the hawk? Birds are beautiful, you can encounter them anywhere, and they embody one of the primal human aspirations: flight.
Birdwatching starts, simply, with a habit of looking. You let birds into your life a little at a time. You remember bird names as you would the names of people you’ve enjoyed meeting. And if you share your looking and listening with other people, so much the better. Birdwatching might even help you get along with the father who never approved of anything you did—as it did for Barnes.
As Barnes shares his relaxed principles of birdwatching, he also shows us the power of place: the elation of spotting kingfishers in Kashmir, hawks over the Great Lakes, or the birds closest to home. And he shows how, no matter where you live, birds can connect you to the greater glory of life.
Funny, enthusiastic, and inspiring, How to Be a Bad Birdwatcher demonstrates why you don’t have to have fancy binoculars or lifetime checklists to discover a new world. So, begin the habit of looking. See that bird . . . Enjoy it!