Birds have inspired people since the dawn of time. They are the notes behind Mozart's genius, the colours behind Audubon's art and ballet's swansong.
In The Birds They Sang, Stanisław Łubieński sheds light on some of history's most meaningful bird and human interactions, from historical bird watchers in a German POW camp, to Billy and Kes in A Kestral for a Knave. He muses on what exactly Hitchcock's birds had in mind, and reveals the true story behind the real James Bond. Undiscouraged by damp, discomfort and a reed bunting's curse, Lubienski bears witness to the difficulties birds face today, as people fail to accommodate them in rapidly changing times.
A soaring exploration of our fascination with birds, The Birds They Sang opens a vast realm of astonishing sounds, colours and meanings – a complete world in which we humans are never alone.
Originally published in Polish in 2016 as Dwanaście Srok za Orgon.
Stanisław Łubieński is an esteemed ornithologist and writer. A regular contributor to newspapers and magazines, he is the co-author of a series of films about the life of migrants in Poland. The Birds They Sang won the readers' vote for the 2017 Nike Award, Poland's most prestigious literary prize.