Birdstories: A History of the Birds of New Zealand

Birdstories: A History of the Birds of New Zealand by Geoff Norman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you are a visitor to New Zealand and you are underweight for your return home, you could do worse than grab a Potton & Burton published book as a souvenir. They are invariably lavishly illustrated, well designed & impeccably copy edited.

This particular title is no exception.

And the text is also marvellous. Norman (who looks to have been involved in pretty much every aspect of producing this book), is sympathetic to our ancestors past mistakes, (and some of them are just heartbreaking,) but also makes us aware of what we need to do for the future. We have lost so much!

The pictures are gorgeous. Just a couple of examples, because I really want you to buy or borrow this book!

My favourite, the Kea. No I’m not a Mainlander – how could you tell!😉 (Keas are from the South Island and are notorious for their vandalism & for attacking sheep)

The charming tui;

One question I still have (I would be grateful for an answer) is why the Māori didn’t use the Sacred Kingfisher’s stunning, beautiful feathers in their cloaks. I guess the answer is in their name.

Some of our most beloved birds are our most vulnerable. Our present cat will be our last one, as I don’t want to own an indoor cat. Juno sure didn’t help her case by biting me – twice- last night! The aim in our area is to have a kiwi in everyone’s backyard in my lifetime. I think our town is too large for this shy bird, but if we don’t make changes, then it definitely won’t happen.…

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