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Arriving in the New World, Europeans were awestruck by a continent awash with birds. Today tens of millions of Americans birders have made a once eccentric hobby into something so mainstream it's (almost) cool.
Scott Weidensaul traces the colorful evolution of American birding: from the frontier ornithologists who collected eggs between border skirmishes to the society matrons who organized the first effective conservation movement; from the luminaries with checkered pasts, such as convicted blackmailer Alexander Wilson and the endlessly self-mythologizing John James Audubon, to the awkward schoolteacher Roger Tory Peterson, whose A Field Guide to the Birds prompted the explosive growth of modern birding. Spirited and compulsively readable, Of a Feather celebrates the passions and achievements of birders throughout Americcan history.
"At once gossipy and scholarly, Of a Feather recounts rivalries, controversies, bad behavior and other key episodes in the making of modern birding. Lively and illuminating, it has surprises, too."
– The Washington Post Book World
"Weidensaul is a charming guide [...] You don't have to be a birder to enjoy this look at one of today's fastest-growing (and increasingly competitive) hobbies."
– The Arizona Republic