In this book, Elvira Werkman combines valuable and sometimes emotional nature conservation stories with hard facts about the state of agriculture and nature. The book follows harrier conservationist Ben Koks from the Netherlands to West Africa – seeing through his eyes and flying along with Montagu's harrier.
Montagu's harrier had almost disappeared from the Netherlands. Then, in 1990, a single nest discovered in a field was the starting point of what subsequently became an international movement. The Amazing Story of Montagu's Harrier relates the highs and lows of almost 30 years of harrier conservation – a success story in which agriculture and nature go hand-in-hand.
Written in a lucid style that immediately draws the reader into a compelling reflection on this endangered bird of prey.
Writer, photographer and nature journalist Elvira Werkman lives and works in the Netherlands. She grew up in the north, surrounded by fields and nature, which gave her a lifelong love of wide expanses. Her previous publications include books on birds, urban nature and cultural history.
:This is an interesting and well-structured book, with much of relevance to the UK where so many of our birds, including harriers, make use of arable farmland"
– British Birds, February 2022
"Originally written in Dutch, the title is quite appropriately De Man op de Dijk. It has been fluently translated and makes for a most enjoyable read. This is a story about birds needing people, but subtly stitched into it is a thread about human frailty, even tragedy, that gives cause for reflection. Maybe it's actually people who need birds."
– African Birdlife Magazine, February 2022
"A great story, brilliantly told, of pioneering work on Montagu Harriers. It includes everything from working with farmers, nest-protection, and tracking tagged birds to remote parts of the Sahel. Pallid Harrier also gets a chapter. Highly recommended."
– Ian Carter, naturalist, author, United Kingdom, August 2021
"The Amazing Story of Montagu's Harrier tells us the marvellous story of the connectedness between humans and wildlife, how nature conservation is based on developing people's relationships and how individual actions have global impacts. I see it as a message of hope for nature, and humankind within it, in the twenty-first century."
– Beatriz Arroyo, researcher and ornithologist, Spain, August 2021