No family of birds has quite the compelling allure offered by the hummingbird. For centuries they have captured our imaginations: revered by Native Americans, coveted by European collectors and admired worldwide for their jewel-like plumage, acrobatic flight and immense character.
Though their renown extends throughout the world, hummingbirds are found exclusively in the Americas. Small in stature yet fiercely tenacious, they have conquered every habitat imaginable: from boreal woodlands to deserts, mangrove swamps to active volcanoes, and on islands both tropical and sub-polar. The Glitter in the Green takes us on an unforgettable journey in search of the most remarkable examples of this wildly variable family. There's the Bee Hummingbird in Cuba, the smallest species of bird to have ever lived; the diminutive Rufous Hummingbird, whose annual migration exceeds 3,000 miles; and the critically endangered Juan Fernandez Firecrown, marooned on the remote Pacific island that inspired Robinson Crusoe.
Jon Dunn brings us closer than ever before to these magnificent creatures, exploring a heady mix of rare birds, a history redolent with mythology, and the colourful stories of the people obsessed with hummingbirds through the ages. With great passion for his subject and a taste for adventure, Dunn transports us to wondrous landscapes from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, and invites us into the kaleidoscopic world of the hummingbird – the bird that has won the hearts and minds of mankind for millennia.
Jon Dunn is a natural history writer, photographer, and wildlife tour leader. His writing has appeared in a number of magazines, including BBC Wildlife. He is the author of three previous books, including Orchid Summer. He lives on his croft on the remote Shetland Islands.