Edited by Elizabeth Easther
This is the most beautiful little hardback production celebrating the birds of Aotearoa. New Zealand birds have inspired mythology, song, whimsical stories, detailed observation, humour and poetry. There are tales of shooting and taxidermy, as well as of admiration and love. From the kakapo, kokako and kaka to the sparrow, starling and seagull, both native and introduced birds have been immortalised in print. This is a varied and stimulating selection from some of New Zealand’s best loved and best known writers, as well as a few obscure historical delights. The anthology traces the history of our close engagement with birds from the earliest colonial discoveries (and killings) to the evolution of a far more nurturing culture. It features a careful balance of 62 works of fiction, essays and poetry, some of which will be new to many readers. It is also pretty, complemented by the dainty drawings of natural history illustrator Lily Daff, who was commissioned by the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society NZ in both 1927 and 1931 to raise awareness of the plight of endangered native birds.