In the long, slow, painful process of transferring content from the old version of this blog to the shiny, new one, I realize I’ve been remiss in promoting the first book on bird watching I ever read, one that happens to still stand as one of the funniest. The Verb ‘To Bird’ by Peter Cashwell is ideal for birders and those sympathetic to the cause. Card-carrying members of the birding community and their allies will get a real kick out of it. Those individuals who do not understand our passion may not be as amused, engaged, or delighted as I was, but that’s truly their loss, because Cashwell’s book is a blast.
The book’s subtitle, Sightings of an Avid Birder, is dead-on accurate. Cashwell’s passion for bird watching is evident in every page. His explorations of the finer points of grammar, taxonomy, and history as they relate to birding educate and fascinate, while his trip reports come across as vivid and very human. The main quality to recommend this book is that the author is hilarious. The Verb ‘To Bird’ is very funny, particularly if you get the inside jokes (most birders will.)
At the point when I started writing about birding, I didn’t have much experience reading about birding. The Verb ‘To Bird’ turned out to be a great entry point, as it was both fun and educational. If you haven’t read this light-hearted book, you should consider it. Cashwell’s shrewd distinction between hunting and birding is alone worth the cover price.