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Falcon Fever: A Falconer in the Twenty-first Century Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 9, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, May 9, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Falconry, a sport most of us equate with medieval kings and Arabian potentates, is alive and well in the twenty-first century. Gallagher, author (The Grail Bird, 2005) and editor in chief of Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s journal Living Bird, brings this arcane sport to life in his memoir-cum-travelogue-cum-falconry-history. Although he was born in England, Gallagher’s family moved to Canada and finally California in his childhood. An abusive father drove the young boy to nature, and when he discovered the thirteenth-century book on falconry by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, he was hooked. In part 1 of the book, Gallagher recounts his boyhood, obsessed with hawks and falcons, running with a less-than-perfect crowd, getting arrested for selling marijuana, and spending time in jail. This formative period segues into part 2, when the author decided to spend a year following in Frederick II’s footsteps, both figuratively and literally. This engaging book draws readers in from page 1, and we want to learn more about Gallagher’s life, his quest for understanding the souls of falconers from Frederick II to himself, and the majesty of the hunting falcons. A gem. --Nancy Bent

Review

"This engaging book draws readers in from page 1, and we want to learn more about Gallagher’s life, his quest for understanding the souls of falconers from Frederick II to himself, and the majesty of the hunting falcons. A gem." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

"Noted for tracking down the famously elusive ivory-billed woodpecker, ornithologist Gallagher is also an ardent falconer. His boundary-stretching memoir chronicles coming of age with birds of prey . . . Falconry is an art, Gallagher declares, proffering a rapturous vision of the sport that has spanned continents and millennia." Kirkus Reviews
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1st edition (May 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618805753
  • ASIN: B005HKS54G
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,285,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tim Gallagher is an award-winning author, wildlife photographer, and magazine editor. He is editor-in-chief of LIVING BIRD, the flagship publication of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Tim got his first field guide at the age of eight, and he's been hooked on birds ever since. His lifelong interest in wilderness exploration has taken him twice to Greenland, where he made two open-boat voyages up the coast to study nesting seabirds and falcons, and to the hinterlands of Iceland, where he climbed lofty cliffs to learn more about the spectacular Gyrfalcon, the world's largest falcon.

Gallagher also spent several years traveling across the South, interviewing people who claimed to have seen the legendary Ivory-billed Woodpecker and following up on their sightings. On one of these journeys down a bayou in eastern Arkansas, he and Bobby Harrison had a close-up view of an Ivory-bill. This sighting quickly led to the largest search ever launched to find a rare bird.

More recently, Gallagher has been on the trail of the Imperial Woodpecker--a spectacular giant woodpecker (and closest relative of the Ivory-bill)--in the vast mesa pine forests of Mexico's Sierra Madre Occidental. The last documented sighting of the species took place in 1956, and yet rumors persist among mountain villagers that the birds may still live on in the remotest reaches of this mighty mountain range. To find out if the rumors could possibly be true, author Tim Gallagher set out on a harrowing journey through the high country of the Sierra Madre--a vast, lawless region and now the epicenter of illegal drug growing in Mexico--which he chronicles in his latest book, IMPERIAL DREAMS. He is also the author of PARTS UNKNOWN, THE GRAIL BIRD, FALCON FEVER, and WILD BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Gallagher offers a fascinating window into the sport of modern-day falconry by presenting his own memoir - a life lived through the birds he captured, trained, and eventually released. From his hellish childhood to his troubled youth, and finally to his moderate and contemplative old age, Gallagher reflects both on the mechanics of the sport and what it means to those who embrace it.
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Format: Hardcover
Falcon Fever is the wonderful culmination of one man's work with raptors over the last few decades. Yet, this book transcends other works about falconry and raptors as Mr. Gallagher includes deeply personal, touching, and poignant memories of his childhood and life to date.

It's no surprise to me that everyone who has read this book loves it. Mr. Gallagher's knowledge of falconry is surpassed only by his writing ability. He manages to effectively capture the essence of the close-knit, arcane world of falconry and convey it to a broad audience in a fashion that everyone can appreciate, regardless of their level of knowledge about falconry or raptors.

This book deserves a place in the library of every falconer, raptor/bird lover, environmentalist, and outdoor enthusiast.

Nicely done. I look forward to your next book.
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Format: Paperback
Show stopper! Riveting, sad, happy, heartbreaking, melancholy, intense, funny, insightful... are just a few of the feelings you will experience when you pick up Tim Gallagher's "Falcon Fever." You will be glad you set aside some time to read this fascinating story. Once you start reading you will not be able to stop--it is a great book! I usually read nonfiction that is instructional; however, "Falcon Fever" transported me into another dimension of space and time. If you enjoy a great nonfiction story or you have flown (or would like to fly) a falcon or a hawk in this lifetime, this is the book to inspire you.

Omar
Kahn of the West
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Format: Kindle Edition
This was the first book on falconry that I have read. Much of it is something of an autobiography that enlightened this reader on the aspects and appeal of falconry. It is the tale of an unhappy boy that finds his escape with the raptors and the pursuit of truth and knowledge within that hobby that is perhaps more of a lifestyle. The first half of the book was very entertaining and puts forth emotion and the struggles of life many young hunters go through as they find comfort and peace in hunting. The second half of the book is a bit emotionally dry, but still very informative on falconry in modern American. While falconry is not for everyone, this book provides personal insight into the challenges and benefits of the sport.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Full of adventure, full of information, full of both exhilarating and poignant personal life-stories, and so eloquently written as to make you think you're reading a great novel.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My two daughters are apprentice falconers in Indiana and we are all good friends of the "Purdue student you met in 1966 and again in 2006". I had as much fun reading your book as I do hunting with my girls. Could not put it down and look forward to living our lives with the "fever".
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By Ry on October 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Pretty good read! The last third was a little slower as it focused more on his travels in Italy as he went to various Frederick landmarks but it was still a great read!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved the book - when I turned 65 I turned to page 65 and read about how my peregrine influenced his falconry career. Curt Stensrude
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