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The author goes birding up and down his local coastline (A Coruna province, in Galicia, NW Spain) seeking answers to the question that forms the title of What Good Are Birds?. Out of his stream of consciousness spill deftly-woven, bird-related tales of spies and shipwrecks, political shenanigans and serial killers, mysteries of the past and even battlefield epics.
Meanwhile, the real scenery he moves through kindles all sorts of reflections and memories about its past and present fate, while he also chats with others who, like himself, have managed to turn birdwatching into their livelihood. The net result is a celebration of just how much unspoilt nature can give us and just how much we lose for good by spoiling it.
"Rarely have I encountered a recollection of a love for birds and their behaviour melded so eloquently with personal anecdote and profound ornithological knowledge"
– David Lindo, from the foreword