Since 1972 Mark Cocker has been a member of a community of obsessional people, almost all male, who sacrifice most of their spare time, a good deal of money, sometimes their chances of a partner or family, even occasionally their lives, to watch birds. Birders is the story of this community, of its characters, its rules, its equipment and its adventures - many of which are hilariously funny, Birders is also a work of love - the story of what birds can do to the human heart.
Since 1972 Mark Cocker has been a member of a community of obsessional people, almost all male, who sacrifice most of their spare time, a good deal of money, sometimes their chances of a partner or family, even occasionally their lives, to watch birds.
At last! An up to date examination of what makes birders tick. And about time too! Wonderfully written * Bill Oddie *A natural history version of Fever Pitch... Reading it may even make you want to try out this strangely addictive past time for yourself * Guardian *Intensely readable, very funny and highly enlightening * New Scientist *With a mixture of well-chosen anecdotes and self-deprecating humour, Cocker succeeds in making event he most hardened cynic appreciate his passion. Birders is a stylish work in a long tradition of fine writing on the subject * Guardian *The best account yet of the "tribe" and its wonderful, unworldly passions * The Times *
The story of an obsession, and of the people who share it, by one of Britain's leading birdwatchers.
Mark Cocker is an author, naturalist and environmental activist whose eleven books include works of biography, history, literary criticism and memoir. His book Crow Country was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2008 and won the New Angle Prize for Literature in 2009. With the photographer David Tipling he published Birds and People in 2013, a massive survey described by the Times Literary Supplement as 'a major literary event as well as an ornithological one'. Our Place: Can We Save Britain's Wildlife Before It Is Too Late?, was described by the Sunday Times as 'impassioned, expert and always beautifully written... a sobering and magnificent work'. His most recent book, A Claxton Diary, won the East Anglia Book Award in 2019.