By the turn of the 20th century, hundreds of thousands of middle and upper-class devotees in America were rushing to join Audubon societies, purchase field guides, and keep records of the species they encountered in the wild. The author reconstructs this story not only through the experiences of birdwatchers, collectors, conservationists, and taxidermists, but also through those of a relatively new breed of bird enthusiast: the technically oriented ornithologist. In exploring how ornithologists struggled to forge a discipline and profession amidst an explosion of popular interest in natural history, this book provides the history of American ornithology from the death of John James Audubon to the Second World War. `Mark Barrow has written an admirably comprehensive, penetrating and very readable treatment of the history of ornithology, one that fills a gaping hole in the history of science as well as ornithological literature. This book will surely be the standard account for years to come.' David E. Allen, author of The Naturalist in Britain: A Social History.