202 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour & b/w illustrations
From one of the foremost authors and naturalists in the USA comes a compulsively readable natural and social history of the most fascinating bird in the world – the eagle – with an introduction by Annie Proulx. Author Stephen J. Bodio traces our love-hate relationship with these "living dinosaurs," from Neolithic rock art and Native American religion through the practices of Kazakh falconers who use them to hunt wolves, all the way to contemporary art and popular culture. He examines the natural history, evolution, and habits of eagles, as well as such contemporary threats as habitat loss and pesticides.
An Eternity of Eagles is an abundantly illustrated celebration of all things eagle, by a naturalist who has kept eagles himself and ridden with the eagle tribes of Central Asia.
"His vivid description of an eagle, if it could imagine itself, is of a 'carnivorous Buddhist.' Through Bodio's insights we get a strange glimpse of these other minds that share the earth with us."
– Annie Proulx, author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain
"There is so much brute wisdom, sophisticated science, blood magic, and flat out terrific prose in Stephen Bodio's writing that he makes me think of Merlin, educating Arthur by turning him into other animals for a while. An Eternity of Eagles is worthy of its great subject, which is not only eagles but the earthbound mortals who marvel at them."
– Jonathan Rosen, author of The Life of the Skies: Birding at the End of Nature
"Throughout the world we stand in awe of eagles and Bodio's exciting chapters provide the information on why we feel so. Along with a general sampling of the different species of eagles, the writer provides a thread of thought throughout that ties them intimately to our cultural history. With a sensitive combination of art (Vadim Gorbatov's full paintings depicting hunting eagles as never before are truly breathtaking) and the writer's easy- going and evocative style (a jungle-hunting Harpy eagle will 'pluck sloths like hairy fruit') we are given a complete tour of the trajectory of these species in our lives. Read and enjoy this book and gain new knowledge that will vastly broaden your respect and understanding of these ascendant creatures."
– Tony Angell, artist, naturalist, and author
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Stephen Bodio was born in Boston in 1950. He studied Biology and English literature for years at both Universities of Massachusetts without ever quite managing to get his degree. He has lived in a remote rural village in New Mexico for over thirty years, and has traveled extensively in Europe, Africa, and especially Asia.
He has published six books, and has been editor and anthologist of more, as well as a frequent contributor to magazines. He has been on the masthead of publications as various as the scholarly English Literary Renaissance and the upscale outdoor magazine Gray's Sporting Journal, where he wrote a book column for eleven years. He has reviewed everything from novels to natural history for many papers, including the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the (London) Times Literary Supplement. His articles, essays, and stories have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Smithsonian, Sports Illustrated, and the LA Times Magazine, and in literary quarterlies. He is now a contributing editor and book columnist for the magazine Living Bird.
He was recruited by Annie Proulx to be the first resident faculty member at Sterling College's Wildbranch Writers Workshop in Vermont, where he taught for nine years. His last book, Eagle Dreams, was about his adventures with the Kazakh horsemen of Mongolia. An excerpt, published in the Atlantic, was included in Frances Mayes' anthology Best American Travel Writing.
He has a lifelong interest in birds, their behavior, and their relations with humans, as reflected in his books on falcons and pigeons. He has hunted with falcons for almost fifty years, kept rare pigeon breeds, and has bred and trained saluki dogs and their Asian relatives for thirty. He recently assisted retired Russian scientist and dog expert Vladimir Beregovoy with his translation of a 19th Century Siberian hunter's memoir. He has also contributed text and introductions to works about and by wildlife artists, including Thomas Quinn, Vadim Gorbatov, and Thomas Aquinas Daly.
Bodio's latest book, An Eternity of Eagles, on the natural and cultural history of eagles, comes out in October of 2012. He has also recently completed a "book of books" about the most interesting sporting literature of all time, scheduled for the spring of 2013. A memoir, a book about the ancient dogs of Central Asia, and a collaboration with his photographer stepson on western travelers in the Szechuan- Tibetan border country are all in the pipeline. He still lives in Magdalena, a former cattle drive town in the mountains of southern New Mexico, with his wife, Elizabeth (Libby) Adam Frishman, a second- generation mountaineer, archaeologist, and former Outward Bound trekking guide.