||Bird-watching is one of the most popular recreational activities in North America ? North American birders are estimated to spend as much as $32 billion annually. Many of the world's greatest natural history writers have penned eloquent, informative and profound essays about these alluring creatures. This timeless evocation of our passion for birds features 20 works from such esteemed writers as Barry Lopez, Terry Tempest Williams, Jonathan Weiner, Barbara Kingsolver, Richard Mabey, and Candace Savage. Included in this diverse selection are excerpts from popular books as well as articles from science and natural history magazines, about birds from all over the planet, and the birders, pishers, twitchers, and listers who love them. Illuminating, entertaining, literary, and intimate, the varied writing reveals the numerous and often unexpected ways in which birds ? spiritual messengers, mythic symbols, personal obsessions, even harbingers of environmental catastrophe ? connect us to the natural world.