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Birders: Tales of a Tribe
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Birders: Tales of a Tribe

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  89 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Since 1972 Mark Cocker has been a member of a community of people who sacrifice most of their spare time, a good deal of money, sometimes their chances of a partner or family, and even occasionally their lives to watch birds. There is the record-holding husband and wife who cross continents to "twitch" (spot rare birds); the disgraced "stringer" who takes desperate measure ...more
Hardcover, 229 pages
Published May 10th 2002 by Grove/Atlantic (first published August 2nd 2001)
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Louise Davy
Jan 16, 2017 Louise Davy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Outstanding account of birders and mark's own development as a birder pre-GPS and mobile 'phones. Some laugh-out-loud passages.
Kristal Cooper
A British man's birding memoir, complete with evocative stories of Great Britain's great birders and bird sightings. In the process, he indirectly teaches a how-to, the rules, etiquette and lingo of the sport. It also got close to answering my nagging question: "Why are all great birders men?"

I do think you would have to be involved in bird watching, at least at the hobby level, to enjoy this book. Since I do like to observe and identify birds on a daily basis, I find it interesting to see how
Jul 20, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: birdwatchers both serious and not-so
While I wasn't sure about it at first, by the end, I was quite glad I had picked up this book. Written by a British twitcher rather than a US birder, there are still plenty of similarities. Lots of tales, that after repetition, take on a scope beyond the original version. But you have a few laughs, and try not to take yourself too seriously. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

One of my favorite quotes from the book which clarifies how binoculars work, "Anything within the orbit of those eight deg
Brian Robbins
There were some snippets in the book that were of interest, but it was very much a book for those inside the charmed circle of the twitching fraternity, who convert the Victorian and Edwardian obsession with shooting and stuffing rare birds, into hunting for them with binoculars, scope & camera.

Made me realise the gulf between my kind of bird watching (or is that bird-watching?). Found myself thinking is that really of interest at many points in the book.

haqve now read 4 books by Mark Cocke
Mike Sumner
Oct 14, 2014 Mike Sumner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bird-life
As a keen birder I thoroughly enjoyed BIRDERS: TALES OF A TRIBE even though it was published 13 years ago. Cocker's anecdotal approach to what makes a "twitcher" is perfect, some extremely funny. Above all BIRDERS is the story of a community, of its characters (many of those mentioned now dead), its rules, its equipment (this section actually prompted me to buy some Alwych notebooks) and its adventures. A wonderful examination of what makes birders tick.
Nov 16, 2015 Alastair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will lay my cards on the table and say that I am not a birder, however, I don't think that matters. If you have an interest in seeing how people "tick" you will find this book fascinating as it is more focused upon the people - the birders and how they used to flock around the country after teh latest rarity. I say used to as the age of Twitter and Facebook has kind of put pay to the phone in the local hangout or information picked up on the grapevine.
Jul 24, 2010 Cara rated it it was ok
This book gives some insight into the life of birders, like the importance of notebooks and numbers for example. However, for non-birders, the book gets bogged down in fairly dry stories about where and when who saw what rare bird. I would only reccommend this book to people who are birders themselves.
Chris Leuchtenburg
Sep 20, 2013 Chris Leuchtenburg rated it it was ok
Shelves: nature
The ‘tribe’ is actually Cocker’s close friends and associates in England. It isn’t about birders in general, but about his tribe of local birders. Chatty, discursive, occasionally interesting -- didn’t finish it.
Keith Hall
Aug 21, 2016 Keith Hall rated it really liked it
For a birder, this book is quite interesting to read with some truly amazing stories. It was a bit tedious in a few places as it is an English book and their language is a wee bit different than ours, but all in all quite enjoyable.
It's set in Britain and it's a series of stories about birders and birding. The birders are serious. The birding is funny. As an American I found it cross-culturally interesting, and as a birder myself I found it educational.
Feb 05, 2013 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this book for a reading course (not a birder/birdwatcher; I am studying them). It was a dry read and only somewhat informative. Certainly would not have read for leisure.
Jan 16, 2013 Barb rated it liked it
Read this book of my dad's while visiting him in Florida. We're both members of the tribe and some of our favorite times are birding together or talking birds together.
Feb 28, 2011 Liz rated it it was amazing
A great look into the world of birds and birding from the motherland of birding. I have a hero I will never forget in this book...Tragopan Pheasant is worth dying for.
The Pigeon
The Pigeon rated it really liked it
Aug 07, 2013
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Dec 23, 2015
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Jul 17, 2009
Mark Avery
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Nov 10, 2012
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Mar 25, 2013
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Erin rated it it was ok
Nov 13, 2015
Jonathan Hutchins
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