The Rarest Bird in the World

The Rarest Bird in the World

The Search for the Nechisar Nightjar

Book - 2016
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In 1990, a group of Cambridge scientists arrived at the Plains of Nechisar in Ethiopia. On that expedition, they collected more than two dozen specimens, saw more than three hundred species of birds, and a plethora of rare butterflies, dragonflies, reptiles, mammals, and plants. As they were gathering up their findings, a wing of an unidentified bird was packed into a brown paper bag. It was to become the most famous wing in the world.

This wing would set the world of science aflutter. Experts were mystified. The wing was entirely unique. It was like nothing they had ever seem before. Could a new species be named based on just one wing? After much discussion, a new species was announced: Nechisar Nightjar, or Camprimulgus Solala, which means "only wing." And so birdwatchers like Vernon began to dream.

Twenty-two years later, he joins an expedition of four to find this rarest bird in the world. In this gem of nature writing, Vernon captivates and enchants as he recounts the searches by spotlight through the Ethiopian plains, and allows the reader to mediate on nature, exploration, our need for wild places, and the human compulsion to name things. Rarest Bird is a celebration of a certain way of seeing the world, and will bring out the explorer in in everyone who reads it.

Publisher: New York : Pegasus Books, 2016
Edition: First Pegasus Books hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781605989631
Branch Call Number: 598.99096 H3409R 2016
Characteristics: 243 pages : illustration ; 22 cm


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May 13, 2016

This is more a book of philosophy than a plotted quest book. The prose is lovely with descriptions that make me want to visit the uninhabited places of the world.

Apr 17, 2016

Prefer if the author stuck to the interesting details in his search for rare birds. Much of the writing style is too wordy, full of tiresome similes and metaphors.


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